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August 28, 2009

Gizmos and Apple OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

Apple released OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) this morning. Many software companies are working to update their products to work well with this new technology.

picture of intel iMac Here at ExploreLearning our Gizmos make use of the Shockwave plug-in. If you have already installed 10.6 you may have noticed that you can't see the Gizmos. We don't like that at all! We investigated the issue and wanted to let you know that there is a way for you to start viewing the Gizmos!

The developer of this plug-in is Adobe, and they have stated that they are working on updating the plug-in to work with the new operating system natively, but currently you will have to run in "32-bit" mode. In the future the plug-in will be updated and you will no longer need to follow these steps.

If you have already installed Snow Leopard (OSX 10.6) and previously had Shockwave installed (see further below if you don't have Shockwave installed) follow these steps to view the Gizmos:

  1. Print this page (so you can quit your web browser and continue).
  2. Quit the Safari browser (in menu choose Safari > Quit Safari)
  3. In the dock click and hold on the Safari icon
  4. Select "Options > Show in Finder"
  5. You will now see the main Safari application
    safari in applications folder
  6. With Safari selected choose File > Get Info from the menu, or use Apple-i keyboard combination
  7. You will see a checkbox labeled "Open in 32-bit mode" on the Safari Info panel
  8. Select that option
    safari 32-bit checkbox
  9. Be sure that Open using Rosetta is NOT selected
  10. Close the "Safari Info" window
  11. Restart your computer. After the restart please check once again that Safari is still properly set to 32-bit mode by following steps 3 through 10 again.
  12. Start Safari by clicking on the icon in the dock
  13. You should now be able to view Gizmos!

If you have any problems following these steps you may have to talk with your technology coordinator or teacher. If you are still having any problems be sure to drop a line to customer support on our contact page and we will work with you to solve the problem.

As the software and technology associated with our content changes we will continue to keep you updated.

Note: To be sure you have the most recent version of Shockwave you can click here: Shockwave download link.

Update: Jan. 20, 2010

If you try to view a Gizmo and see an error similar to the one below it indicates you have not yet set Safari to run in 32-bit mode. You should try to follow the steps shown above one more time.


Update: Sept. 23, 2010

Adobe has released an updated version of Shockwave ( which is now compatible with Snow Leopard. You no longer need to set Safari to run in 32-bit mode (with a few exceptions - more information in this newer post).

Posted by Raman at 10:30 AM in Using Gizmos | Permalink

August 18, 2009

Five more make 50

Just in time for the new school year, we have updated the curriculum materials for five more popular science Gizmos:

Golf Range

Pulley Lab

RNA and Protein Synthesis

Chemical Equations

Seasons: Earth, Moon, and Sun

That makes a total of 50 science Gizmos that have been equipped with student explorations, answer keys, and vocabulary sheets this year, in addition to the 40 elementary-level science Gizmos that already have these materials. We will continue to add enhanced curriculum throughout the year! 

Posted by krosenkrantz at 02:54 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

August 11, 2009

Gizmos Make A Difference to Science Results...

Wayne Worthley is a teacher at Redland Middle school - which is part of Dade County School District in Florida. Wayne has contacted us with comments regarding the outstanding results he has seen in his students using Gizmos in preparation for their science FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). The results speak for themselves:

"There were around 350 8th grade students in the school and I taught about 75 of them. Of those 75, 67% passed with a 3 or better. Of the other approximately 275 8th grade students, only 10% of them passed with a 3 or better...

GIZMOS make a difference and are a valuable instructional tool for me."

Wayne, we are delighted that Gizmos are making such a difference to the students you teach, and thank you for your support of Gizmos!

Posted by ExploreLearning at 02:50 PM in Testimonials | Permalink

August 05, 2009

Five more Gizmos equipped with lesson materials

As a part of our continuing project, we've added lesson materials to five more Gizmos. The following Gizmos now have Student Exploration Sheets, Answer Keys, Teacher Guides, and Vocabulary Sheets:


Human Karyotyping

Temperature and Particle Motion

Chicken Genetics

Shoot the Monkey

All materials are available in pdf or Word format to allow for easy customization. Enjoy!

Posted by krosenkrantz at 02:43 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink

August 01, 2009

ExploreLearning 2.0

Today we launched a new and improved version of ExploreLearning.com.   This was a major effort by a lot of people and the team here is very excited that launch day has finally arrived.   We think you will be, too.

We had three main goals for the redesigned site:

  • to update the look and feel,
  • to make it even easier for new users to get up and running, and most importantly, 
  • to  help our teacher users share information about teaching with Gizmos. 

What's New

New Teacher-only features on ExploreLearning.com:

Gizmo recommendations:  
Want to see which Gizmos other Algebra teachers think are particularly useful?  Want to turn other teachers on to your personal favorites?  Now you can.

Lesson Materials Sharing: 
So you've created some lesson materials that really work well with your favorite Chemistry Gizmos?  Upload them so that other teachers can give them a try. 

Gizmo List Sharing: 
Have the perfect Gizmo List for your 7th grade science class?  Share it.  Want to see what the Gizmo guru down the hall is using with her 4th graders?  Ask her for the link to her Gizmo List.

Public Profile
Everything you contribute is displayed on your Public Profile.  Really like something that another teacher has shared?  See what else she has contributed by checking out her Public Profile.

Lesson Info page
Every Gizmo now has a companion page called the Lesson Info page.  Browse Gizmo descriptions, ExploreLearning Lesson Materials, teacher recommendations, and teacher-contributed documents, all from this new page.

'Getting Started' Movies
New users will be up and running in no time thanks to our new Getting Started movies.  In just a few minutes you can get a quick orientation to ExploreLearning.com, get oriented to our teacher community features, or get quick ‘how-to’ demonstrations on topics like enrolling students into the system.

Me Page
Your Teacher Homepage now has a new tab.  It’s called your ‘Me’ page.  The Me page is your home base on ExploreLearning.com.  On it, you can check out our Getting Started movies, see what other teachers like you are sharing on the site, or even register for a live webinar.

Of course, there are a lot of smaller improvements on the site as well, but we’ll let you discover them on your own.  Meantime, if you have feedback or questions for us, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.  We’d love to hear from you.  Enjoy!


Posted by ExploreLearning at 05:58 PM in Site Announcements | Permalink