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Using Spongelab's Help Systemarrow

There are three ways to access Spongelab’s online help system:

Help Pagearrow

The “?” icon at the top of every page contains all Spongelab help instructions.


Page Tourarrow

The page-tour icon is located in the red tab in the left hand panel of every page. Click it to display an overlay image that shows you where everything is on each page.

Video Tutorialsarrow

The video icon is located in the red tab in the left hand panel of every page. Click it to display a video tutorial for the current page.

About Spongelabarrow

What is Spongelab.com?arrow

Spongelab is a free online platform for playing, learning and teaching science. Interactive educational multimedia can be seamlessly placed in online lessons, then shared with students and integrated with powerful performance-tracking tools. Explore over 800 pieces of science content, including games, images, videos, animations, case studies & more.

The Spongelab platform is the toolbar at the top of every page.

It contains 5 keys areas: exploremy listmy lessonsmy classesmy profile

Click on the key areas below to find out more about how to use each section of the website or view our helpful video tutorials to guide you through the process.

What is the Spongelab platform?arrow

The Spongelab platform helps you find high quality interactive science media, organize it, present and deploy lessons to your students and track your user activity once you have registered for a free account.

How can Spongelab offer high quality interactive media and the educational platform to teachers and students for free?arrow

Our educational platform is made free for teachers and students through our unique partnerships.

Who works at Spongelab?arrow

Spongelab is a dynamic team of educators, researchers, designers, animators, programmers, partners and our users. Spongelab is a global science community where Spongelab, partners and users contribute and collaborate in the name of science education.

Why Spongelab?arrow

At Spongelab we believe that high quality interactive science education resources should be accessible to everyone. The Spongelab platform makes it easy for teachers and students to stitch together interactive science media with traditional educational tools and techniques. Why not share and collaborate with the GLOBAL SCIENCE COMMUNITY in your educational pursuits?

What is Spongelab's Mission?arrow

Spongelab Interactive is a group of scientists, teachers, animators, artists, and programmers passionate about science education. We believe that cutting-edge technology and stunning interactive media should be available to everyone, regardless of fiscal constraints. Learn more about our vision.

How to Registerarrow

Why should I register?arrow

Registering for a free account unlocks all the features of the Spongelab platform. When you are registered you will collect credits that can be redeemed for more valuable teaching resources!

What are the advantages of registration?arrow

Save media and lessons in “my list”. Add students in “my classes” and contribute resources to the digital library in “my profile’. You will also earn credits that can be redeemed for discounts on valuable educational products!

Where do I register?arrow

Visit our registration page to get a free Spongelab account.

Using Spongelabarrow

What is Spongelab.com?arrow

The Spongelab platform is the toolbar at the top of every page.

It contains 5 keys areas: explore, my list, my lessons, my classes, my profile.

Click on the key areas above to find out more about how to use each section of the website or view our helpful video tutorials to guide you through the process.

My Profilearrow

What is the overview?arrow

The overview provides a summary of your account information.

What is a Spongatar?arrow

Choose a Spong-atar at the left of the page. Your Spong-atar will be tied to your account and is displayed in the top toolbar of the website at all times. You will earn credits for selecting a Spong-atar!

What are stats?arrow

This section displays your credit, points, level and badge information. Click on the Details button to see more information.

How do I update or change my personal information?arrow

Click the Edit button in the Personal Details window in my profile to change your password.
You must click Update at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

How do I change my password?arrow

Click the Edit button in the Personal Details window in my profile to change your password.
You must click Update at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

How do I get my lost login or password?arrow

Contact us to retrieve your login name.
On the login form, click Lost your password?

What does it mean when my profile page is set to "public" or "private"?arrow

By default, your profile page is set to "public", which means that any user can see your profile page. This allows you to make use of all of the great social features that Spongelab has designed for science educators.
If you make your profile "private", this means that only you can see it. If you've chosen to make your profile private, this means that you can't share lessons, show off your contributed content, or any of the other great features that a "public" profile page allows.

What information can be revealed on my "public" profile page?arrow

None of your personal information is ever displayed or made publically visible on Spongelab. On a public profile page, other users will be able to see your shared lessons, contributed content, Sponge-atar, followers, who you follow, recent badges, recent games played, your user level, points, hours logged and registration date.
IMPORTANT: If your username is currently your real name, it is a good idea to change it to something more private. Simply go to My Settings and pick a new custom username.

What are affiliations?arrow

By providing your school or institution name and school board or organization you will help us to understand how our website is being used so that we can better serve you.

What is enter school code?arrow

When you or your institution purchases a Professional Development License you will be given a school code that you will enter in my profile > my account > Affiliations window that will unlock school wide tracking and reporting capabilities.

What are linked social accountsarrow

Linked social accounts displays accounts you have chosen to link to your Spongelab account. As Spongelab.com continues to make more partnerships you will have more social networking options available to you in my community.

How do I link more social networking accounts to my Spongelab account?arrow

Go to my community and click on the icons for the accounts you would like to link to your Spongelab account.

Contributing Contentarrow

Can I contribute content to Spongelab.com?arrow

YES! Earn credits & points by contributing lesson plans, case studies, videos or quizzes that you have created in Contribute Content.

What kind of content can I contribute?arrow

You can contribute lesson plans, case studies, quizzes and videos.

How do I contribute lessons, case studies, quizzes and videos?arrow

Go to Contribute Content in my profile. Click Create a lesson, case study or quiz; or Submit a video link and follow the instructions on the form. Make sure you click the Save button if you want to sign out and return at a later time to complete your contribution. Click the Submit button when your contribution is ready.

Will my contribution appear in Explore immediately?arrow

No, Spongelab will review all submissions for Quality & Assurance (QA).

How do I contribute graphics, images, animations or games?arrow

Please contact us for more information or visit the Content Contributing Partner (CCP) page to find out more.

Do I get credits and experience points when someone uses my contributions?arrow

Yes, you get credits and experience points when you submit, more when it passes QA and even more when other users access your contributions.

What does "pass QA" mean?arrow

Pass QA means that Spongelab Interactive has thoroughly reviewed a submission for quality & assurance (QA) for educational purposes.

My Creditsarrow

What are credits?arrow

Credits are the currency of Spongelab.com. You earn Spongelab Credits for everything you do on this site like searching, viewing, making lessons and classes. You can see them accumulating on the top menu bar beside your username. Credits can be redeemed for discounts on educational products.

Can I purchase credits?arrow

Yes, go to Buy credits in my profile.

How do I buy credits?arrow

We use PayPal for secure online transactions. So you can use your PayPal account, a credit or debit card to purchase credits.

Credit or debit card purchase:arrow

  1. Choose the amount of credits you want to purchase
  2. The secure PayPal window opens
  3. Select Don't have a PayPal account?
  4. Enter your payment information
  5. Select Review and Continue to complete your order
  6. 6. Check your new credit balance under My Profile or in top menu bar

PayPal purchase:arrow

  1. Choose the amount of credits you want to purchase
  2. The secure PayPal window opens
  3. Select Pay with my PayPal account?
  4. Log in with your PayPal account information
  5. Select Pay Now - your payment is confirmed.
  6. Check your new credit balance under My Profile or in top menu bar

Is there a record of my redemptions?arrow

A record of your activity including redemptions is displayed at Buy credits in my profile.

Is there anything else I should know about credits?arrow

Click on these links to find out more about other transactions.

Can I purchase credits with a credit card or a Purchase Order?arrow

Yes, you can buy credits through our PayPal ordering system, in the My Profile area, to my credits in my profile.
For Purchase Orders Contact us for more information.

How can I earn Spongelab Credits?arrow

You earn credits for:

  1. Completing your Personal Details in my profile.
  2. Viewing a digital asset at explore for the first time.
  3. Using site features like my classes for the first time.
  4. Referring a friend.
  5. Leveling up.
  6. Earning badges.
  7. Contributing resources like lessons plans, case studies and
  8. video links.

Explorearrow

How do I search Spongelab content? arrow

  1. Use the search bar that at the top of the explore page to look for graphics, games, animations, videos, case studies and other science topics.
  2. Use the dropdown menus above the explore window to filter your search.
  3. The results are displayed in the explore window

What is the explore window?arrow

This is the accordion-style menu that houses the Spongelab digital library content. The content is organized categories such as graphics & images, games & simulations displayed in the red tabs.

Can I view thumbnails in the explore window?arrow

Yes, use the display as menu above the explore window on the right hand side.

How do I look at an item in the explore window?arrow

Click on the item and look to the left hand preview window to view:

  1. Thumbnail image
  2. Click “View” to see a larger preview image
  3. A short description
  4. Related materials links to related Spongelab media
  5. Related textbooks

What are related materials?arrow

Spongelab has linked all explore digital media so that you can easily create a list ofr lesson with related materials.

What are related textbooks?arrow

Spongelab has linked all explore digital media to textbooks that cover the same topics to make it easier for you to stitch it all together.

How do I access featured games?arrow

You must register for a Spongelab account.

Is Spongelab content free?arrow

Spongelab content is free, however some featured games require users to register for a free account. This is because some games track and save player progress.

My Listarrow

What is my list?arrow

My list is a place for you to save a list of graphics, animations, videos and other science content you have found from "exploring" our digital library. Saving it means that it is there each time you login and ready to use in my lessons.

What are Actions? arrow

Actions are:
+ adds content to the list

  • removes content from the list

-> moves content between lists

How do I add content or media to my lists?sarrow

Register for a free account to save my list. To add an item to your list from explore, select the '+' on the far right under My List. Using the My List tab, you can manage all the items in your list and to create new lesson lists. Items can easily be moved in and out of lessons.

How do I use content from my list in my class? arrow

There are two ways to use content from my list. You can:

  1. My list - Present it to your class directly from the my list window by clicking view
  1. My lessons - Link multiple digital media assets to a lesson, add your teaching notes and make a full presentation.

My Lessonsarrow

How do I create a lesson?arrow

You can work with a lesson in 3 places:

  1. My List - Present it to your class directly from the my list window by clicking view
  2. My Lessons - create, manage, view your lessons.
  3. My Classes - create lessons and assign them to students in this area

What is the content viewer?arrow

The viewer allows you to see all the content in your lesson in full screen mode, perfect for presenting in class.

What are PROPERTIES?arrow

PROPERTIES allows you to name, describe and assign lessons to a specific class.

What is the EDITOR?arrow

The EDITOR allows you to re-arrange media in the correct order for your lesson or presentation, write notes and practice your presentation.

What is VIEW?arrow

VIEW displays a full screen view to present. You can add new notes while viewing the lesson.

What is ARCHIVE?arrow

ARCHIVE allows you to store a lesson under Archived Lessons. This function can be helpful as a way to reorganize lessons that you are no longer teaching with or editing. It's still possible to share archived lessons with other users, using the Sharing Status menu.

What is MAKE CURRENT?arrow

MAKE CURRENT allows you to transfer a copied lesson to the current lessons window, where it can be shared or edited.

What are "Private", "Public", and "Public with notes"?arrow

These are all different options for sharing your lessons with other users. By default, all of your lessons are set to "Private". This means that they will not be shared with other users. If you set a lesson to "Public" it will be listed on your profile page under Shared Lessons, however any notes that you have add to that lesson will not be shared. If you set a lesson to "Public with notes", it will be listed on your profile page under Shared Lessons, along with "Public" Lessons.
IMPORTANT: Never share personal information in your lesson notes.

How do I assign lessons to my students?arrow

Create a class in my classes. Add students to your class by sending them the class code.

My Classesarrow

How do I create a class?arrow

In my classes, select Add New Class. Fill in the fields and submit.

What is a class code?arrow

A class code is a random alpha-numeric sequence assigned when you create a class. You give the class code to your students so they can join the class you created.

Where is the course code?arrow

In in the third column called class code in the Classes I've created window on the my classes page.

How do students access my lessons?arrow

  1. Students must set up a free Spongelab account.
  2. Give students the appropriate class code.
  3. Students go to my classes and enter the class code in the Join Class box under Classes I'm Enrolled In.
  4. You must Accept a student into your class before they can access the lessons assigned to that class.

How do I accept a student into my class?arrow

  1. Go to my classes and click on the appropriate class name.
  2. The Student list or window will appear. Status is the second-last column in this list and it will read Pending. Click on the checkbox in the last column titled Select and click the Accept Selected button beneath the student list.
  3. The Status column will display Accepted for students that have access to the lessons assigned for that class.

Reportsarrow

Where can I access reporting tools?arrow

Go to my classes, and select Reports.

What are Spongelab Reports?arrow

Real time reporting metrics are collected continually and allow you to see how users are interacting with your presentations and lessons.

What types of data are tracked in Reports?arrow

Access metrics track the number of times a lesson or interactive was opened or accessed.
Usage metrics track the length of time spent with a lesson or interactive.
Score refers to specific interactives that are achievement and goal based.
Notes that are entered can also be viewed.
You can see metrics for classes, students, and for each interactive or graphic.

How do I create a report?arrow

Step 1: Classes
Define the group of users you'd like to see the metrics for. If a 'class' is checked, the report will populate an average across the whole class. If a multiple classes are checked, the report will populate an average across all the selected classes. Within a class you can select individual students or groups of students to look at more specific data averages.
Step 2: Lessons
Next, if a 'lesson' is checked, the report will populate an average across all your lessons. If a multiple lessons are checked, the report will populate an average across all the selected lessons. Within a lesson you can select individual assets or groups of assets to look at more specific data averages.
Step 3: Choose type of data to graph
In the Graph area, choose access, usage, score or notes to see data for each of these areas.

Can I track school-wide activity at Spongelab.com?arrow

When you purchase a Professional Development License school-wide activity can be tracked and reported by the school administrator. This allows the administrator to collect and see powerful metrics on staff and student engagement in the digital learning environment.

Can I export data?arrow

All the data can be exported as a spreadsheet to upload into other learning management systems.

My Communityarrow

What is my community?arrow

My community is a page where you can link your Spongelab account to other educational websites and social networks.

How do I connect to another website or network?arrow

The left window displays the websites and networks that are part of the Spongelab community. Select the websites you want to link with your Spongelab account.

Why is Spongelab linked to other websites?arrow

We want to stitch together all the educational resources and tools you need to teach and learn in one convenient location.

Site Transactionsarrow

What is a promo code?arrow

A promo code usually provides you with instant or bonus credits and points.

How do I redeem a promo code?arrow

  1. If you are a new user register for an account and enter the promo code on the registration page.
  2. If you are a registered user go to my credits in my profile. Enter you promo code at the bottom of the screen.

What is a Professional Development License?arrow

A professional development license unlocks administrator tracking and reporting capabilities allowing the license administrator to track detailed metrics about school-wide usage.
Contact us for more information.

How many credits, experience points and badges do I have?arrow

The top menu bar displays your accumulating credits and points.
You can also see your score and badges in the Stats window on my account page.

How do I collect badges?arrow

Badges are awarded through very specific behaviors or activities. Each badge provides you with extra credits and experience points. There are many secret badges waiting to be discovered!

What are the levels and what are the benefits of leveling up?arrow

A specific number of points must be collected to reach a level. There are currently10 obtainable Spongelab levels. Each level has its own rewards associated with it, including extra credits and in some cases, the unlocking of site features.

Partnerships with Spongelabarrow

Technical FAQsarrow

What platforms or devices can I access the Spongelab site from?arrow

Our site is HTML5 compliant and can be accessed through any web browser and on most mobile devices.

Do I need any additional software to use Spongelab content?arrow

Yes. Some of our games require the Flash player plug-in for your browser. You're browser will tell you if the plug-in is missing. You can download the plug-in by clicking on the Flash logo. Some of our downloadable games require Java software installed on your computer. Below is the link where you can download and install required software for your system.


Are there digital resources available in other languages?arrow

Yes, we have a number of media assets available in French with more coming all the time. When you are searching for a particular topic, you can filter by language using the filter field under the search bar. The number of results is shown on the right side of each search results pane.

On a Tablet?arrow

How can I play games if I am on an iPad? arrow

Some games use flash. For these games, we recommend using the Puffin Academy Browser. This is because the iPad does not support flash. This browser can emulate a flash player.

The free version of Puffin Academy
Browser can be downloaded in the following location:




How can I play games on Android?arrow

To play flash games on Android, you must download the Flash-Android-4.0 Android Application Package File.

Click here to download the installer.



In order to install this file, you must enable Installation of Applications not from the Google Play Store.

If you wish to download an older version of Flash Player for Android, click here to access the Flash Player archive. Look for "Flash Player for Android 4.0 archives".

Alternatively, users can try the Puffin Browser.

The free version of Puffin Browser can be downloaded in the following location:



Contact Spongelabarrow

Please contact us if you have any other questions or feedback.

Video Tutorialsarrow

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On a tablet?



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