For Educators

Using Wolfram|Alpha in the Classroom

Wolfram|Alpha is a free online computational knowledge engine that generates answers to questions in real time by doing computations on its own vast internal knowledge base. Our long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. This can be valuable to educators in many ways.

Gather information on a general concept

Derivatives » | Maps » | Stars » | Animals »

More examples »

Research details on specific topics

sinx » | AAGCTAGCTAGC » | H2O » | USA »

Use it in lesson planning

Creative writing » | Algebra I » | Geography »

Create visual aids for presentations or
handouts, including images and graphs

Michael » | plot x^2+5 and x^3 »
tetrahedron » | chart US population »
buckyball 3D structure »

Show steps to math problems

solve 3x+4= 5x +7 » | derivative of cosx * sinx »
limit of x^2/(3-x) as x -> 0 »

For more ideas, see the Step-by-Step Math post on the Wolfram|Alpha Blog.

You can also use Wolfram|Alpha...

  • to assign homework based on information in Wolfram|Alpha
  • as a reference in computer labs and libraries
  • for research papers and group projects

Other Wolfram Resources for Educators

Wolfram Education Portal

Wolfram Education Portal »

The Wolfram Education Portal includes a dynamic textbook, lesson plans, widgets, interactive Demonstrations, apps, and more, built by Wolfram education experts.

Wolfram MathWorld

Wolfram MathWorld »

Explore the web's most extensive mathematics resource, with information on algebra, calculus, geometry, statistics, number theory, and other math-related topics.

Wolfram Mathematica Online Integrator

Wolfram Mathematica Online Integrator »

The world's only full-power symbolic integration solver, the Integrator uses webMathematica to access the mathematical knowledge built into Mathematica.

Wolfram Products & Technologies for Educators

Wolfram Products & Technologies for Educators »

Make your math and science classrooms come alive. Engage your students and visually reinforce important concepts with full-color graphics, interactive exercises, classroom demonstrations, quizzes, and assignments with Mathematica.

Wolfram Insider for Education

Learn about new products and trends in classroom technology.

The Wolfram|Alpha Community

The Wolfram|Alpha Community Education Group Join the Education group to connect with other teachers using Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom


What is Wolfram|Alpha?

Wolfram|Alpha is a computational knowledge engine. It computes answers to specific questions on the fly using its built-in algorithms and an ever-growing collection of data. This lets you and your students ask questions that have never been asked or answered, and get accurate and appropriate answers. Learn More »

How can I use Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom?

The possibilities are endless. In addition to helping students understand the steps involved in solving calculus problems or chemistry equations Wolfram|Alpha can help answer thought-provoking questions in science, probability/statistics, economics, finance, and myriad other subjects. To gain a better understanding of the capabilities of Wolfram|Alpha, please explore our examples.

What does Wolfram|Alpha cost?

Wolfram|Alpha is free for noncommercial use as described in its Terms of Use.

Is Wolfram|Alpha reliable to use in the classroom?

Yes. Unlike a traditional search engine, Wolfram|Alpha generates answers to questions using its own internally curated data sources. As a result, you do not have to worry about inadvertently displaying inappropriate web content while using Wolfram|Alpha.

Can I use Wolfram|Alpha on an electronic whiteboard?

Yes. Wolfram|Alpha works very well with all modern classroom presentation tools. For a great example, watch this video of 4th grade teacher Shannon Smith teaching her class with Wolfram|Alpha and a Smart Board.

Is Wolfram|Alpha just an online graphing calculator?

Wolfram|Alpha can do pretty much everything that a graphing calculator can do and more. Unlike most graphing calculators, Wolfram|Alpha can plot 3D functions, inequalities, and many other kinds of plots. It also knows how to plot over a specific range and evaluate a far wider range of functions. You can also plot more than one function at the same time. Of course, another big advantage is that if you put in a function without saying "plot", Wolfram|Alpha will not only plot it for you, but also show you how to solve it, integrate it, etc.