June 22, 2006
New Gizmos Released!
As Summer officially begins this week and most of you are relaxing after a long school year, we are as busy as ever at EL. This week we have released three new Gizmos and have enhanced several others. In the Refraction Gizmo, students can observe and measure the bending of light as it moves from one medium to another. Evolution: Natural and Artificial Selection is a follow-up to the current Evolution: Mutation and Selection Gizmo. Together, these two Gizmos provide an unbeatable simulation of evolution, as students can see how favorable mutations gradually accumulate in a bug population.
To complete our strong suite of evolution Gizmos, we have created the Human Evolution - Skull Analysis Gizmo. Many kudos go to our talented graphic artist, Beth Hollen, for creating the accurate drawings of real fossils you can see in this Gizmo. By measuring and analyzing the skulls like real paleoanthropologists, your students can come to their own conclusions about what this evidence shows. (By the way, check out the latest issue of National Geographic for an excellent article on the development of bipedalism, or walking on two legs.)
We have also continued to work on enhancing older Gizmos as well. First on our list was the classic Density Laboratory Gizmo, which has been updated with new graphics and several new objects to measure, including three "gold" crowns. (Can you find the two fakes?) This Gizmo is a great example of our new Gizmo "skin", which includes a larger display area, larger and darker text, and a cleaner look that is specially designed for projection. Keep your eyes open for more of these Gizmos coming in the next few weeks!
June 05, 2006
Ongoing Gizmo Enhancements
This spring we have continued to modify and enhance our Gizmo library. Last week a user pointed out that the view of the Moon portrayed in the Moon Phases and Moonrise, Moonset, and Phases Gizmos was actually a photo taken from space, showing the Moon from an angle not possible to see from Earth. Luckily, our own Raman Pfaff is something of an amateur photographer, and he had on file a beautiful photo he had taken of the Full Moon. We all agree it adds a nice personal touch to a popular Gizmo!
Raman can also take credit for a fantastic new animation on Cell Division , and we have improved several other Gizmos as well, including Solar System Explorer , Rainfall and Bird Beaks, Food Chain , and Beam to Moon. Enjoy!
June 01, 2006
Site Changes Creating Potential Display Issues
We've made some changes to our the front/home page of the ExploreLearning site and we are getting some reports from teachers and students having display issues. The problem seems to be especially troublesome for those who are Mac-based and using Safari as their web browser.
If you are getting what appears to be a "whacky" looking front page on the site, the easiest way to fix this is by way of a "force refresh."
Most of you are already familiar with the "refresh" button on your browser, but the simple refresh alone often reloads the page based on what is stored in your browser's "cache." The force refresh does just that, it "forces" the browser to go and get a new copy of everything.
For information on how to do a force refresh on every browser and operating system, please refer to this Wikipedia page.