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January 27, 2009

Attend an "Introduction to ExploreLearning Gizmos" Webinar

If you are new to ExploreLearning, or are taking a free trial, learn more about the power of Gizmos by attending a one-hour webinar.

We have a number of sessions this winter and coming up in spring. You can sign up for a forthcoming webinar by clicking on one of the links below:

Monday, February 9, 2009, 3.00-4.00pm Eastern time

Monday, February 23, 2009, 7.00-8.00pm Eastern time

Monday, March 9, 2009, 3.00-4.00pm Eastern time

For more information on our webinars, please contact [email protected]

Posted by ExploreLearning at 03:43 PM | Permalink

January 23, 2009

Award of Excellence for ExploreLearning Gizmos

ExploreLearning Gizmos has been recognized as a 2008 Awards of Excellence Winner by Tech & Learning magazine. The Awards of Excellence honor innovative software and web applications that break new ground, as well as those that demonstrate clear superiority over similar products in the market.

Awards of Excellence Winners were featured in the December 2008 issue of Tech& Learning magazine. For more information on this year's winners, visit http://www.techlearning.com/article/15112

To read the full press release on this award, visit 


We are very excited to add yet another award to our growing list of accolades!

Posted by Julia Given at 04:59 PM in Press Clippings | Permalink

New web page: The Research Behind Gizmos

For many years, research has consistently shown simulations to be powerful tools for improving student learning. ExploreLearning has compiled the best of this research and packaged it for you in an easy-to-read format. Learn more about why Gizmos work by reviewing this compelling evidence.

You can easily find this information by clicking on "What the research says about Gizmos" on the front page of ExploreLearning.com, or by using this direct link: http://www.explorelearning.com/research

If you have any questions or would like more information on any of these studies, please call Support at 866-882-4141 Option 4 or send us an email at [email protected]

Happy Reading!

Posted by Julia Given at 04:57 PM in Testimonials | Permalink

January 06, 2009

Gizmos making a very positive impact on student learning

Sally Urquhart is a science teacher working within the Coppell ISD in Texas, and she had some fantastic comments to say about Gizmos which we wanted to share:

"Just a quick note to thank you for the Gizmo subscription for my students and myself.  I used the Temperature and Velocity Gizmo for AP Chem this afternoon and the students were able to grasp the basic concept of root mean square velocity as applied to gases quickly (and without the usual frustration).  My Pre AP Chemistry classes have used the Balanced Equation Gizmo as part of their introduction to chemical equations.  It is great to be able to introduce a concept and then let my students go home and practice on their own with the Gizmo and the accompanying questions at a time convenient for them....

The subscription is making a very positive impact on student learning

Thanks Sally, and we are delighted that Gizmos are making such an impact!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 04:31 PM | Permalink

January 05, 2009

40th new Gizmo for 2008!

We've released the 40th and final new Gizmo for 2008! (Hey, at least it was very recently 2008...)

Check out the Road Trip (Problem Solving) Gizmo! This Gizmo ties together many concepts as students plan and take a road trip around the United States. Gas mileage, budgets, geography, state capitals, general problem-solving skills... they're all in here. A lesson with the Road Trip Gizmo can be a great capstone lesson, challenging students within an open-ended and very realistic context.

Enjoy, and again, happy new year from ExploreLearning!

Posted by Dan at 05:05 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

Case Study: An Interview with Glenn Nakamura

thumbnail of Line Best Fit GizmoGlenn Nakamura is a math teacher at the International Baccalaureate at Bartow High School in Polk County, Florida.

For the past 15 years, Glenn has worked as a Mathematics instructor in Polk County, teaching various levels of math, ranging from Pre-algebra and remedial math courses to Advanced Placement Statistics and Calculus. In 2004, Glenn earned National Board Certification in AYA Mathematics, and in 2007, he became certified in Advanced Placement Statistics.

We are very grateful that Glenn could spare some time to talk to us about Gizmos!

Let's learn more about how Glenn uses Gizmos in his teaching by asking him a few questions:

How did you first hear about ExploreLearning?

I heard about Gizmos through a district-wide initiative. Our county purchased 150 licenses for high school science and math teachers and sought volunteers to pilot it. I seized the opportunity because I had been searching and using flash applets for a few years on my own, and I thought it would be great to have access to a large variety of them in one place.

What were your first impressions of the site and Gizmos when you got access to ExploreLearning.com? What keeps you using Gizmos?

During the initial training, I really liked the user-friendliness of the site. The browse option for alignments by text or state standard was great. It was nice that there were exploration guides to assist in lesson prep. The more I use Gizmos, the more likely I am to use more Gizmos. I like the flexibility of the applications. My students like exploring the topic using the Flash applets too.

How do you use Gizmos in class? (For example, do students work individually on computers? In pairs? Do you use Gizmos as a demo for the whole class? Do you assign Gizmos as homework?)

I use Gizmos in a few ways. Like most, I’ll use it during whole class instruction. If I use it as an assignment, it is the introductory piece. Where I can, I use it to build student knowledge and background prior to my instruction. Most students won’t understand all of it, but it helps provide those “ah-hah” moments where the student might say they understand what it means when… It’s really nice to have students come to me with questions about a math topic prior to me teaching it. I have also used Gizmos for remediation when a student is having difficulty with a concept or has a “hole” in their math knowledge that needs to be filled. It can also be used as an enrichment activity or even extra credit.

If you've used other technology and/or teaching methods to cover some of the same math concepts, how do you find that Gizmos help you cover the topic more quickly/easily/more effectively?

Gizmos are convenient in that they are all kept in a singular library that I can browse and find applicable ones quickly, without much searching. The online assessment and student tracking give me a simple source for student accountability. The ability to edit the exploration guides cuts down on my planning time and makes implementation easy. And any time that I can find something to enhance my teaching and provide a different method of delivery, I’ll use it if it benefits my students.

Describe the technology setup in which you use Gizmos. (e.g., Networked classroom? How many computers? Laptops and/or Carts? Projector? Interactive whiteboard?)

I have an interactive whiteboard that I use with most of my instruction, so Gizmos are easily integrated into my instruction.

What Gizmo did you have the most success (and/or fun and/or satisfaction) teaching with?

In math I liked the linear regression and rational functions Gizmos. The science ones have several that are a blast to play with, but I don’t teach science.

What was it about these Gizmos that made the lessons successful?

I like the instant, interactive manipulation of graphs. The students get to see the effect of changing points, equations, or data instantly without having to flip back and forth between a whiteboard and a calculator or taking the time to graph by hand. By reducing the time between the algebra and the graphical representation, the students don’t lose the concepts while pushing buttons or performing calculations.

Have you any evidence that you’d like to share on the impact of Gizmos on student learning in your classes?

My students have been pretty receptive. Many of them appreciate that they can self-remediate on their own schedule, instead of having to come before or after school for help. They will often browse for Gizmos on their own to help with understanding in my class or in their science classes.

Do you have any other comments or statements that you’d like to make about Gizmos?

If I were a beginning teacher I would love these things. They are so inundated with administrative hoops to jump through that anything that could cut down their lesson planning while at the same time improve the diversity and quality of their instruction would be of tremendous benefit.

Posted by ExploreLearning at 04:13 PM in Case Studies | Permalink