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Homework Day Educator Profiles: Nancy Brachbill and Shannon Smith

October 21, 2009 —
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We want to introduce you to a mother-daughter team who will be joining us for the first-ever Wolfram|Alpha Homework Day to share their passion for advancing educational technology in the classroom.

Nancy Brachbill and Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith and her mother, Nancy Brachbill have more than 30 years of combined teaching experience, and are working hard to integrate technology into their 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms on a daily basis. Through their company Recess TEC, they strive to help other educators do the same. They have been involved in countless hours of various educational technology programs to gain a full understanding of what continually engages students.

Recently Shannon took to her classroom blog “Blogsmith” to talk about how she has introduced Wolfram|Alpha into her classroom. Here is an excerpt from her post “The Online Brain”:

“The Online Brain”
“The Homework Helper”
“The Online Tutor” (as I have it linked to our classroom homepage)
“The One Stop Shop” for all of your classroom assistance.

What am I writing about?

Why Wolfram Alpha of course!

This website is opening up a whole new way of helping kids become successful students.

Just in the past few weeks I have used this site to help students with vocabulary definitions, spelling patterns, longitude/latitude, and state research projects.

But honestly, that is just the tip of the iceberg. I am very excited about its use when checking math problems for immediate feedback as well as locating nutritional values for common foods that don’t necessarily have a label printed directly on them (think fruit and veggies here). We are in the middle of our unit of study on the human body and I will be asking students to begin tracking their food intake for a day or two so we can evaluate whether or not we are getting proper nutrition. Using Wolfram Alpha will be a major contributing factor to these nutritional journals.

I had a wonderful opportunity to show the parents of some of the students who are in my classroom how we are using this site. It is my hope that parents, too, will use this site at home for aiding in homework success. Whether it takes the place of the home dictionary, thesaurus, calculator or conversion tables, students and parents alike will be able to benefit from this resource.

I was also fortunate enough to present Wolfram Alpha to a large crowd of teachers this past Friday to show them how their students could benefit from the site.

You can read the whole post in her blog.

We are thankful for their contributions and thrilled to have them joining us for Homework Day. Be sure to tune in to catch a live interview and demonstration with Shannon Smith and Nancy Brachbill. And if you’re an educator who has already incorporated Wolfram|Alpha into your classroom, or if you have questions on how to do so, please visit the Homework Day website to find out how you can submit your questions and work examples to be highlighted live on the air.


[…] One of those educators was an inspiring fourth grade teacher named Shannon Smith. […]

[…] Shannon Smith and her mother Nancy Brachbill, the teachers behind Recess TEC, joined us for live demonstrations and interviews about how they are using Wolfram|Alpha in their 4th- and 5th-grade classrooms. Learn more about Nancy and Shannon in our earlier blog post. […]

Posted by Wolfram|Alpha Blog : Live Update from Homework Day June 8, 2011 at 10:03 am