July 31, 2013
Students have fun and learn with Gizmos
“My students love Gizmos because they are fun! When they are working on Gizmos they are doing two of their favorite activities, working on the computer and collaborating with other students. I love Gizmos because, while my students are having fun, they are also learning.
-- High School Science Teacher, Richmond Public Schools, VA
July 26, 2013
SETDA Case Studies: Gizmos Improve Teaching and Learning
SETDA, a non-profit group representing state and national education technology leaders, recently published a series of case studies to demonstrate how ARRA EETT grant funds have impacted teaching and learning. The following case studies highlight powerful examples of successful programs that improved teaching and learning.
A SETDA case study of over 3000 Arkansas classrooms found that with effective professional development, Gizmos had a positive impact on student understanding and engagement, according to teacher reports. Read more
A SETDA case study of Rapides Parish School District in Louisiana found that a technology enriched learning environment that included Gizmos had a positive impact on teacher proficiency and student graduation rates. Read more
A SETDA case study of Thomasville City Schools in Georgia found that with a technology enriched learning environment that included Gizmos, students were more engaged in learning and more quickly visualized complex mathematics concepts. Read more
July 15, 2013
Jonte Lee: ExploreLearning Educator of the Month
Jonte Lee is in his first year of teaching high school in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and is off to a running start. He is engaging students in innovative ways by using Gizmos as the platform for virtual science fairs. He first tried them out this fall, and the feedback was overwhelming. Science fair visitors from around the community and local universities were amazed with the Gizmo experiments. He is replicating the experience this week for his summer school students. Mr. Lee explains, "with the use of Gizmos, experiments and analyses that would normally take days or weeks to complete are possible in a fraction of the time".
When planning for the science fair, Mr. Lee asked his students to choose from a list of appropriate Gizmos. He explained that, "this is key in helping students take ownership of their own learning. With the use of Gizmos, learning became student-driven. They were asking more questions, asking each other questions, and I became the facilitator of their learning experience". Students even began using scientific vocabulary with more frequency during class.
One of Mr. Lee's favorite Gizmos is the Disease Spread Gizmo. This Gizmo allows students to observe the spread of disease through a group of people. The methods of transmission can be chosen and include person-to-person, airborne, and foodborne. He shared, "the kids were able to read a graph as the simulation was happening, so students were able to understand the graph, and this is something that I really struggled to teach before using Gizmos."
Mr. Lee was first introduced to virtual simulations when he taught Biology for the University of Phoenix. With courses lasting only 9 weeks, he had to find practical ways to demonstrate science concepts in a short time. When he moved to teaching at DCPS, he attended a Gizmo professional development workshop. He instantly knew this was the best simulation tool for his new high school science students as well.
Mr. Lee looks forward to the start of school in the fall and finding new opportunities for his students to explore science concepts more deeply with Gizmos.
July 11, 2013
A Teacher's Review of ExploreLearning Gizmos
Glenda Stewart-Smith is a teacher at Creekside Elementary in Surrey School District, BC, Canada. She also writes a blog about inquiry-based learning environments for 21st Century learners. She recently posted a review of ExploreLearning Gizmos. In her review, she shares,
"(Gizmos) are interactive and engaging and do a great job of providing students with an opportunity to carry out scientific inquiry and test their understanding of concepts"
Visit Glenda Stewart-Smith's Blog to read the full review.
July 02, 2013
Gizmos Training a Hit with Memphis City Teachers
The ExploreLearning professional development team recently provided a full day of Gizmos professional development for Memphis City Schools. Sessions ranged from introductory trainings to advanced learning opportunities supporting the 5E Instructional Model, troublesome topics in science, and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.
Here's what one of the science teachers that attended the Initial Training had to say:
"I thought the Gizmos training was beyond superb. This was my first time being exposed to Gizmos, and I totally fell in love with them! I see Gizmos as a great tool that will become a bridge-builder for my students to fully comprehend the scientific concepts that are being taught--regardless of the academic-level of the students."
To learn more about these trainings, please visit our professional development and training site.