How I Use It
I use a variety of these online labs in my high school Biology class for primarily 9-10 grade students. The gizmos are fun, colorful and interactive and allow students to pick their own variables to complete multiple trials. Many of these labs are online versions of pencil paper labs from years ago without the mess or time (i.e. Karyotyping lab which lets kids use colors as well as size/shape to pair up homologous chromosomes.) The explorelearning pre-made labs are ok but most have WAY too many pages and can be resized to minimize photocopying time. I also like to screenshot the data to include in tests and quizzes to see if kids really understood what they were doing. As anything - I wouldn't do them everyday or even multiple times in a unit (kids tend to say "are we doing those gizmos AGAIN!"
I really like them! They help some topics come alive for students. I like the topics (for Biology.) They are simple and easy to use and students get the hang of them quickly. Sometime students don't want to "read" ALL the directions so they need redirection. Some of the quizzes at the end of the activity could be improved (i.e. some are too easy and don't require the student to actually do the lab.)