Saw on Twitter a link for instaGrok so I checked it out. According to the home page, grok means to understand thoroughly and intuitively (sniglet, anyone?). At upper left is a visual graph illustrating the basic approach of the site. The intro video gives a better idea of the approach and capability of the site.

As a Latin teacher, I’m always a bit skeptical of the applicability of new educational (re)search tools to what I do, so I figured I’d throw something somewhat obscure at instaGrok and see what it came back with: Cycladic Art (teaching the Archaeology course again this year, so it’s on my mind). Here’s what the site came up with:

On the one hand, I was pleasantly surprised it came up with anything; these sites tend to be focused on greatest hits topics (as on the home page: photosynthesis, civil war, etc.). If nothing else, the visual graph looks great. On the other hand, if you look more closely, it’s not quite as impressive as at first glance. A lot of the terms that comprise the visual graph are too general or unrelated to be helpful (art, Greece, museum), though a few have potential (bronze age, cyclades, maybe aegean sea (though I can see that becoming too general upon expansion)). Most of the Key Facts at right are from a Cycladic Art reproduction site’s homepage. The videos seem decent, and the quiz is useless.

So some potential to instaGrok. I’m not going to start every lesson there, but seems intriguing enough to pursue. With an account, you can customize and pin your graphs, so that could prove fruitful. We’ll see.