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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:


Water Pollution

Earthquake - Recording Station

Earthquake - Determination of Epicenter

Star Spectra

Physical science is coming up next!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 03:19 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

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.

Posted by Raman at 11:27 AM in Road Trips | Permalink

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:

pH Analysis

pH Analysis: Quad Color Indicator

Density Experiment: Slice and Dice

Mystery Powder Analysis

Triple Beam Balance

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!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 12:05 AM in Site Announcements | Permalink

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!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 06:39 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

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!

Posted by Julia Given at 10:39 AM in Testimonials | Permalink

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

Go Gizmos!


Posted by ExploreLearning at 11:40 AM in Press Clippings | Permalink

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:

Mouse Genetics (Two Traits)

Cell Energy Cycle

Building DNA

Natural Selection

Identifying Nutrients

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.

Posted by krosenkrantz at 03:19 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

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)
= 0

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.

Go Gizmos!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 03:13 PM in Math (Real World), Using Gizmos | Permalink

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:

Monday, May 11, 2009, 3.00-4.00pm Eastern time

Monday, June 1, 2009, 7.00-8.00pm Eastern time

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

Posted by ExploreLearning at 02:38 PM | Permalink