Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Is a Gizmo?

1: Interactive simulation that makes key concepts easier to understand and fun to learn.

n. 2: A mechanical device or part whose name is forgotten or unknown; a gadget.

What Makes a Gizmo a Gizmo?

frogs from the mean, median, mode Gizmo.
  • Brings research-proven instructional strategies to life
  • Targets higher-order thinking skills and lasting conceptual understanding.
  • Correlates to state and national standards.
  • Works easily with all major textbooks.
  • Includes assessment and real-time reporting.
  • Web-delivered and successful in many settings, e.g., instructor-led demonstrations, individual or group work in computer labs, library, or from home.
  • Easy to use - requires no special training.

Why Do We Call Them Gizmos?

We call them Gizmos because virtual manipulatives is too difficult to say! All kidding aside, the use of the word Gizmo to describe our multimedia activities goes back to the origins of ExploreLearning.

Dr. Raman Pfaff first coined the term "gizmo" to describe the new learning tool he created while he was a graduate student in nuclear physics. When Dr. Pfaff joined ExploreLearning (employee number 2), the name Gizmos came with him and it stuck.

We like the name Gizmo because not only does it sound fun, which the Gizmos are, but also because it implies that the Gizmo is a piece in a larger machine, if you will, the machine being the whole of the teaching and learning process of which a Gizmo is one part.

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