Gizmos Support Learning in the Classroom

Gizmos Support Learning in the Classroom
Posted on 02/18/2019
GizmosStudents at Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School receive their own iPads for multimedia learning. However, chemistry teacher Mrs. Michelle Filippini was disappointed to learn that iOS devices like iPads do not support Adobe Flash, a program used by much of the best educational software programs. This led Mrs. Filippini to find Explore Learning’s Gizmos, a collection of more than 450 interactive online math and science simulations for grades three through twelve that are aligned with PSSA, Common Core, Next Generation Science, and Keystone Assessment standards. 

“Gizmos operate in a platform that is compatible with the iPads,” Mrs. Filippini explains. “And I love the interactive component. They provide every student with the ability to graph, compare, and measure.” 

To introduce Gizmos to the Wyomissing Area School District, Mrs. Filippini wrote a grant proposal asking the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation for a one-year license to start a Gizmo pilot program in the 2017–2018 academic year. Eighteen teachers volunteered, participating in summer in-service days to discuss and explore integrating Gizmos into the curriculum, implementing them in the classroom, and providing data about student use and engagement. 

The pilot program was a success, with teachers reporting that using Gizmos “provides hands-on time with challenging math concepts” and “inquiry in a virtual lab setting.” Thanks to this success, the District has purchased a license to use Gizmos in all of its schools. 

Mrs. Valerie Knauer, who teaches Physics of Space at Wyomissing Area JSHS, used the “Seasons in 3D” Gizmo during a class this past fall to teach the causes of the seasons and why seasons are different in each hemisphere. 

Freshman Tane Townsend and sophomore Nicholas Koch were tablemates during this Gizmo activity. “It’s fun,” Tane says. “You can get the perspective of what you are learning, and you can change the numbers to see what would happen with the seasons.” Nicholas agrees, adding that he also uses Gizmos in his biology class. 

The Wyomissing Area School District thanks the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation for supporting our teachers and for making the pilot program possible.