Key Terms


Your account gives you access to ExploreLearning's Gizmos. You login to your account by using your username and password. A Teacher Account contains classes that students can enroll into. Activating a Free Trial Subscription creates an account for you automatically.

Assessment Questions

All modern Gizmos include a set of multiple-choice questions to help assess student understanding of the Gizmo's focus. Teachers may view a record of student answers to Assessment Questions on the Assessment Results page.

Assessment Results provides a unique way of assessing student progress. The Assessment Results link provides a visual overview of student performance on Gizmo assessment questions.


Classes allow teachers to partition their accounts so that certain students (say students in 3rd period) are presented with different Gizmos than others (say students in 4th period). Each class is represented by a tab on your home page. A standard Teacher Account can have up to 6 classes.

Class Code

Teachers can allow students to self-enroll by giving them a Class Code. A Class Code is like a student-pass into your class.

Classic Gizmo

Classic Gizmos are venerable Gizmos that have been retired and are no longer officially supported by ExploreLearning.

Enroll, Enrollment

You can manually enroll students or have them self-enroll into one of your classes. In either case, they can login to as a student and will be presented with the Gizmo List for the class when they do so.

Exploration Guide

A guided activity students can complete as they use a Gizmo. Exploration Guides are provided for many modern Gizmos. Student Exploration Sheets are provided for others.

Extra Materials

Some Gizmos have supporting materials such as teacher manuals, how-to guides, or additional curriculum associated with them.


Some Gizmos are programmed in Flash (a product of Adobe). To see and use these Gizmos in your browser, you will need the Flash Player plug-in. Visit our System Test Page and click Run System Test to see if your computer has an updated version of the Flash Player. If not, visit our System Requirements page, where you will find the links you need, along with some helpful instructions.

Full Name

The Full Name appears as the heading on the Gizmo List when the corresponding class tab is selected. You can edit it via the Rename Class link.


A Gizmo is a highly engaging, inquiry-oriented, interactive online tool that covers a specific body of knowledge or skills in math and/or science.

Gizmo Catalog (AKA Gizmo Library)

The Gizmo Catalog is the collection of all Gizmos on The catalog is currently divided into two groups: math and science and three grade bands. Within each division, Gizmos are categorized by educational topic, and each topic is further divided into subtopics. The Gizmo Catalog Page provides text links to each topic as well as dropdown lists. These controls are efficient ways to browse the Catalog.

Gizmo Details

This page provides information about a particular Gizmo and includes a screen shot of the Gizmo itself. In addition to a Launch Gizmo button, the page includes links to several other documents (e.g., curriculum, learning objectives, etc.)

Gizmo List

Every class has a list of Gizmos (or, more precisely, Gizmo Records) that show up when the class' tab is selected. We call this the Gizmo List for the class. If you find a Gizmo you like by searching, browsing, or using the correlations to state standards and textbooks, you can add the Gizmo to a class using the Add to Class link. You can also modify the Gizmo List for any class using the Manage Gizmo List tool.

Gizmo List Manager

The Gizmo List Manager is the tool you can use to re-sequence or delete Gizmos in a Gizmo List. You can also add, edit, or delete section headers (e.g., "September Gizmos," "First Week," or "Chapter 1") from a Gizmo List.

Gizmo Record

A Gizmo Record is a an entry of a Gizmo List furnishing a small thumbnail of a Gizmo as well as the most important links a student or teacher needs. From the Gizmo Record, a user can launch a Gizmo directly, or use links to access Assessment Results or the Details page for the Gizmo.

Home Subscription

An account designed for use by a student, parent, tutor or other interested individual outside a traditional school setting.

Launch Gizmo

The Launch Gizmo link takes you to the page where the Gizmo, a Shockwave application, "lives." (Note: The free Shockwave plugin is required to view and use ExploreLearning Gizmos.)

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives, knowledge, understanding and skills the Gizmo is designed to support, are displayed on the Gizmo Details page.

Lesson Plan(s)

Documents that help teachers integrate Gizmos into their curriculum. Generally, older Gizmos that first appeared on the award-winning have at least one lesson plan.

Profile, User Profile, My Profile

Your user profile contains your account data, including your username and password, first and last name, school/district/county/state, etc.

Register, Registration

You register by creating a Free Trial Account. Registration is the first step toward purchasing a subscription.


A seat is a "slot" in a class. Generally classes can hold up to 35 students. If you need more seats than this, contact us.


Some Gizmos are programmed in Director (a product of Adobe). To see and use these Gizmos in your browser, you will need the Shockwave Player plug-in. Visit our System Test Page and click Run System Test to see if your computer has an updated version of the Shockwave Player. If not, visit our System Requirements page, where you will find the links you need, along with some helpful instructions. (Note: There are both a slim installation and a full installation of the Shockwave Player available from Adobe. To ensure that all Gizmos function correctly, you will need the full installation.)

Sole Source

ExploreLearning is the sole source for the online subscription services of math and science Gizmosā„¢. Download a sole source letter in PDF format.

Student Exploration Sheet

A Student Exploration Sheet is a collection of activities designed to engage younger students working with elementary Gizmos. Each Exploration Sheet has an introductory sheet containing pre-activity questions and a familiarization activity with the Gizmo. After the introductory sheet, up to 3 Activities are included. These Activities each focus on a single idea and are designed to be independent of one another.

Tab Name

The Tab Name for a class is the text that appears in the class' tab on your home page. You can edit it via the Rename Class link.

Teacher Guide

A compact information packet is provided for every elementary Gizmo. These Teacher Guides start by describing the basic learning objectives and vocabulary treated by the Student Exploration Sheet. Then they provide a suggested lesson plan, pertinent background information for the content, peripheral interdisciplinary information, and useful web resources.

Teacher Plus Students Subscription

A Teacher Plus Students subscription enables a teacher to enroll students in her classes.

Trial Subscription

A free, fully functional 30-day subscription. Create a Free Trial now!

Vocabulary Sheet

A single page listing the key terms students will encounter as they work through the Student Exploration Sheet. A grade-appropriate definition is given for each term, and a few pieces of useful extra information is often provided as well.