January 24, 2011
New lesson materials - 3 fractions Gizmos
We've added new Lesson Materials -- Student Exploration sheet, Answer Key, Teacher Guide, and Vocab sheet -- for 3 more math Gizmos!
As usual, these Lesson Material documents are available as both Word docs and pdf's. (Word doc form allows you to edit the documents yourself. The pdf gives you the same document in a smaller filesize, but it is not editable.)
Hope these new materials enhance your use of Gizmos! More to come.
June 03, 2010
Gizmo demo movies are live!
Who says that all the blockbuster summertime movie action is only taking place on the big screen?
We're happy to announce that all 80 Gizmos with the "purple bar on the left side" appearance have a demo movie!
These Gizmo demo movies are quick (~3 minute) how-to movies that show you what each Gizmo can do, and how you can interact with it. The movies don't teach the lesson (see the Lesson Materials or Exploration Guide for that), but they should help get you comfortable with that Gizmo.
Demo movies come with voice-over narration, so be sure you have your sound turned on. (We recommend using headphones if in a lab setting.)
Movies are appropriate for teachers or students.
To access the demo movie, click on the "Demo" button in the purple bar, at the lower left corner of the Gizmo.
April 16, 2009
Gizmo demo movies - elementary science - done!
It's been a long time coming, but at long last, every elementary science Gizmo has a demo movie! (That's 40 of them, if you're keeping score at home.)
The "movies" are short (about 2 minutes each) and have a simple "how-to" approach. They show how to use the basic features in the Gizmo. If students are brand-new to a Gizmo, the demo movie would be a nice brief introduction to it.
The movies feature a voice-over, so be sure audio is turned on before watching. (In a lab setting, you probably either want to project it for the whole class to watch and listen to, or have students use headphones.)
To see a demo movie, click on the "demo" icon at the bottom left corner of the Gizmo, in the purple bar, as shown below.
(Note: Demo movies will only appear in elementary-level Gizmos - the ones with the purple bar on the left side.)
Tip: To find the 40 elementary science Gizmos, either click "Browse Gizmos" and browse through the grade 3-5 science offerings, or just type "elementary science" (without the quotes) in the search field.
Enjoy! We hope these are useful for both teachers and students.
By the way, the elementary math Gizmo demo movies will now slowly start appearing also! We hope to have all 40 of them complete by the end of 2009.
June 26, 2008
Shockwave (for Director) Plug-in
In recent months Adobe has updated the Shockwave plugin to version 11. This is to enabled MacIntels to run Gizmos without having to use Rosetta mode (a good thing!).
Recently the plugin has stopped functioning on older Macs (PowerPC Macintosh), and we have reported this issue to Adobe and they are aware of it.
If you are on a Mac and Gizmos will not properly load, please drop a line to customer support (email@example.com) and let us know. We have put together some documentation that will help people with older Macs get version 10 of the plugin running on your computer so you can enjoy the Gizmos.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause in the near future. We are hoping that Adobe will get the plugin fixed in the next few weeks.
Note: For MacIntels version 11 of the plugin is working without any known problems. We are also working on updating our help page related to plugin issues.
Update: Adobe updated the plugin this morning (June 27, 2008) so Shockwave 11 works properly on PowerPC Macs.
April 29, 2008
Shockwave 11 Released
This past week Adobe released Shockwave 11. We are currently (and have been for a few weeks) testing our site to insure that our Gizmos still run as they should. As is the case with all new software, there is always a chance that some users may get errors when trying to use the Gizmos.
If you have any problems, please drop a line to or call EL Support and we will do everything to help you solve any problems you may have.
Note: This new release will allow MacIntel users to use Gizmos without having to use Rosetta mode, which is very good news!
November 16, 2007
Update on Shockwave for Intel-based Macs
Several of the developers here at ExploreLearning attended the recent Adobe Max conference in October. One of the reasons we went was to learn more about the status of the Shockwave plug-in on Vista and Intel-based Macs (or MacIntels).
Currently MacIntel users have to run their browser in Rosetta-mode (as I do at home). Our site will automatically let you know how to do that if you try to use a Gizmo on a MacIntel. This is not a long-term solution for viewing the Gizmos, and Adobe is working feverishly on getting a new version of the plug-in released.
At the conference we (the EL developers) met with several of the developers from Adobe that are working on the new version of the plug-in, and we got to see an early version of the new plug-in being used. Development continues and they let us know that they are trying to get the new plug-in released by the end of this year.
We know Adobe is hard at work on getting the plug-in updated, and we certainly hope it arrives in the very near. Thanks for your patience.
October 28, 2005
How do I get the most out of Gizmos?
ExploreLearning Gizmos are great learning tools, but how you get the most out of them? How do you make time spent with a Gizmo effective learning time for your students? These are questions we've heard a lot from teachers, and they are crucial questions. No tool automatically causes students to learn.What approaches seem to work for a lesson using Gizmos?
We've put together three documents that we hope will help answer those questions.
- Part 1, The Purpose of Gizmos
- Part 2, Using the Exploration Guide and Assessment Questions
- Part 3, Using Gizmos in Different Settings
June 06, 2005
Now Showing: Gizmo Demo Movies!
ExploreLearning has gone Hollywood! (sort of...) We've added five demonstration movies to our site:
- An Introduction to ExploreLearning.com
- Teaching with Gizmos - Fraction Sense
- Teaching with Gizmos - Exploring Quadratics
- Teaching with Gizmos - Genetics and Mouse Breeding
- Teaching with Gizmos - Force and Motion with Fan Cart, Part 1
The introduction movie is perfect for first-time visitors to ExploreLearning.com. It answers the question, "What is a Gizmo?" and also shows how Gizmos can help improve teaching and learning. (All that in under 8 minutes -- not bad, huh?)
The four Teaching with Gizmos movies show how you might teach a specific lesson using Gizmos. Each of these movies focuses on one Gizmo and highlights what that Gizmo helps you do to enhance student learning. (These movies are about 4-to-6 minutes each.)
We hope these movies are helpful to you. Maybe they can even help you take your teaching with Gizmos to another level. Let us know what you think!
By the way, these movies are large files (anywhere from 2 MB to 6 MB). They take some time to download -- depending on the speed of your internet connection, of course -- so be patient. They're well worth the wait!