May 27, 2009
Earth science and astronomy curricula enhanced
As part of our ongoing project, we have published expanded curriculum materials for several popular Earth science and astronomy Gizmos:
Physical science is coming up next!
May 26, 2009
ExploreLearning Gives A Red Apple
For the past 11 years the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council has presented awards to local innovators, and one is the Red Apple Award. This award honors the K-12 educator who clearly and consistently is able to do the most to inspire and prepare students for the limitless possibilities that technology offers.
ExploreLearning co-sponsored the Technology in Education Grant that is presented to the winning teacher. The winner this year is Matt Shields, a physics teacher at Charlottesville High School.
Matt Shields is always exploring and implementing the latest technology in his classroom. He uses his background in mechanical and aerospace engineering to lead innovative class projects, such as his "Super Space Adventure," for which students designed, constructed, and launched a weather balloon.
I talked with Matt later that evening and found out he uses Gizmos regularly in his classroom, and loves how they have brought physics concepts to life for his students. He already knows that he'll be using the grant for a new weather balloon.
Raman and Dan get all dressed up.
Matt Shields (on the right) wins the Red Apple Award.
May 20, 2009
Five new sets of enhanced curriculum materials
Our curriculum-enhancement project is rolling along, and we are pleased to announce that five more Gizmos are now outfitted with expanded curriculum materials:
The new materials include a Teacher Guide, Vocabulary sheet, Student Exploration sheet, and an Answer Key. All materials are available as a Word document or pdf. Feel free to modify any of these documents for your own specific uses. Enjoy!
May 19, 2009
Announcing our new "Introduction to ExploreLearning" video!
We have published a great new "Introduction to ExploreLearning" video. You can view it by clicking on the orange and black icon here on our website's front page (in the New to ExploreLearning box). The video features information on what Gizmos are and why so many teachers are using them in Math and Science classrooms. Best of all, it features our founder, Dr. David Shuster, Ph.D., talking about ExploreLearning's mission and showing some of his personal favorite Gizmos. Check it out today!
May 07, 2009
Gulfport MS video shows Gizmos in action for "New Skool" learning
At Gulfport High School in Mississippi, teachers and students are so excited about learning in an effective, "New Skool" way that they made a video to share their enthusiasm. The five-minute video, which features ExploreLearning Gizmos, can be found on ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Vision. Currently, Old Skool vs. New Skool is ISTE's most popular video, with over 2,700 views!
Here's Gulfport's introduction to their film:
"Wow, school has changed over the past two decades. From posters and models to gadgets and Gizmos. Our video depicts how technologies have changed what we do in school and how we do it. Learning is fun, interactive, and engaging. Content is richer, deeper, and conceptually based. Using terms common in high school now (e.g. "old skool/new skool"), this video will demonstrate how both teachers and students at Gulfport High School share the learning process."
Two ExploreLearning Gizmos are featured in the video. RNA and Protein Synthesis and Modeling Linear Systems Activity B. Students experiment with these Gizmos and model conceptual understanding in a whole group learning environment, using interactive whiteboards from Promethean. They also use Promethean's student response systems when answering our Assessment Questions.
Share your "journey of successes, lessons learned, and celebrations of educational technology making a difference for our kids" at ISTE Vision. If you share a Gizmo story, drop us a line at Customer Support and we'll help you spread the word!
May 06, 2009
ExploreLearning wins Best K-12 Instruction Solution Award
Just last night in San Francisco, ExploreLearning won an SIIA CODiE Award for Best K-12 Instruction Solution! This award honors the best overall education technology solution for curriculum and content for students in K-12 learning environments.
This is ExploreLearning’s 3rd CODiE Award win in four years. The CODiEs recognize leaders and innovators across the software, digital content and education technology industries. We are honored to be included among these leaders.
Since this news is hot off the press, the winners are not yet officially posted on the SIIA website, but should be in a matter of hours. Follow this link soon for more information: 2009 CODiE Award Winners
May 05, 2009
Five more Gizmos get updated curriculum materials
We are pleased to announce that five popular life science Gizmos are now equipped with expanded curriculum materials: Teacher Guides, Exploration Sheets, Answer Keys, and Vocabulary Sheets. The Gizmos are:
All of the new curriculum materials are available as a pdf or a Word document that you can easily edit and adapt to your own needs.
Expert's Corner: Carnival Probability
Lisa Bickel is the National Training Consultant (Mathematics) for ExploreLearning with a background in educational publishing. Lisa holds a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, and has led the development of math textbooks and software for middle school and high school students.
When I lead Gizmo training workshops, I like to suggest ways for teachers to bring in current events and make learning with Gizmos even more fun. What better way to celebrate spring than to have a Gizmo Spring Carnival! You can challenge your students to use different Gizmos and award tickets, or prizes, for wins.
Spring carnivals are popular at many schools. Games and prizes - a great way to celebrate the end of the school year - and the end of state testing! School carnivals also offer an opportunity to talk about games from a mathematical perspective.
What makes a game fair? In a fair game, a player is equally likely to win or lose. Consider the game shown:
Double your fun!
Only 1 ticket to play!
Spin the spinner twice and multiply the numbers.
Win 2 tickets if the product is odd.
It sounds fair, doesn't it? It's actually not. Because the player wins when the product is odd, the player has a huge disadvantage. Of the 36 possible products, only 9 are odd, so the probability of winning 2 tickets is one-fourth, or 0.25.
To make this game fair, the expected value must be zero. In this case, 3 tickets should be paid for winning. You can see this by finding the expected value of this game. Multiply the probability of winning and the number of tickets won. Multiply the probability of losing and the number of tickets lost. Then add.
Expected value = (P(winning) × tickets won) + (P(losing) × tickets lost)
= (0.25 × 3) + (0.75 × −1)
What better way to celebrate spring (and the end of state testing) than to have a Gizmos Spring Carnival! You can challenge your students to use different Gizmos and award prizes. Here are a few Gizmos that will work. Have fun!
Try these Gizmos, and others, at a spring carnival in your classroom:
Spin the Big Wheel (Probability) - Have students create a fair game and run the game with 1000 spins. Award prizes for the game with the closest experimental and theoretical probabilities.
Target Sum Card Game (Multi-digit Addition) - Have students play several times and award prizes for landing closest to the target.
Cannonball Clowns (Number Line Estimation) - Have students estimate a distance (such as from New York City to Paris). Award prizes for the closest clown launch to that distance.
May 01, 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 spring and summer. You can sign up for a forthcoming webinar by clicking on one of the links below:
For more information on our webinars, please contact [email protected]
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