Wolfram Alpha launches free portal with tools for math instruction

The foundation’s FlexBook platform is an open-content, web-based collaborative model. FlexBooks are up-to-date, standards-aligned, and customizable by subject, language, and level of difficulty. They also are self-publishable, giving teachers the flexibility to create tailored educational content for their students.

Wolfram’s new Algebra textbook takes CK-12’s Algebra I FlexBook and makes it dynamic with Wolfram technologies, including Wolfram Alpha widgets, links, interactive demonstrations created in Mathematica, and the Computable Document Format.

A number of initiatives are cropping up to help teachers and students succeed in math instruction and learning.

A program at Western Kentucky University (WKU) is helping some elementary school teachers enhance how they teach math and use more technology in the classroom.

The three-year Math and Technology Leadership Academy, which wrapped up its first year in May, aims to give teachers new ideas and better teaching methods.

A $500,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation helps cover teachers’ course fees and allows WKU faculty members to run the academy.

In addition to graduate-level online classes, teachers routinely attend seminars led by education experts and university professors. It comes at a time when educators are emphasizing the importance of math and technology.

And national movement 100Kin10 aims to increase the supply of math and science teachers and retain excellent teachers currently in U.S. classrooms by preparing 100,000 new math and science teachers over the next 10 years.

The initiative was sparked by President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech, in which he called for an increase in the number and quality of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers, and by the impending retirement of thousands of STEM teachers over the next few years.

Laura Ascione

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