Counterintuitively perhaps, these online programs offer a solution to the problem of too much online learning. Reflex(Math) and Gizmos (Science) are fun and engaging interactive programs that promote rapid understanding and send boredom to the back of the class. Gizmos are online simulations that put 4th, 5th and 6th grade students in the role of STEM professionals tasked with solving real-world problems via interactive case studies. Students form and test ideas to find solutions, just like real scientists. Gizmos shows specific analytics for each student and for each Gizmo they do, and the teacher can also see a student’s answer to an individual question, enabling targeted help with the skills needed. Gizmos use a four-pronged approach:
- Representing new knowledge in graphic and other nonlinguistic formats
- Using computer-based manipulatives to explore and practice new knowledge
- Generating and testing hypotheses about new knowledge
- Teaching new knowledge to students directly through demonstration and explanation, thenhaving them apply it to different situations and contexts on their own.
Reflex is a variety of exciting fast paced games for 4th graders that take math facts from acquisition to automaticity. The basic facts are necessary if students are to move on to bigger and more complex math concepts. Reflex helps them learn and retain, while having fun and earning tokens. Reflex:
- Covers the complete process of fact mastery, from initial acquisition of previously unknownfacts through to automaticity
- Continuously differentiates instruction and adapts practice to each student’s current ability andneeds, throughout the entire session
- Generates a fun, motivational environment for students, one that encourages frequent use andreinforces the connection between effort and success in mathematics
- Provides educators with intuitive, insightful reports to monitor fluency gains and system usage.