We’ve been BrainPOPping in the UK for a year now so before we sign off to wish all of you a merry Xmas and happy new year we thought this is as good a time as any to stop and reflect back on an amazing year.
We sometimes say that a Tim & Moby movie takes your understanding of a concept “from nothing to something“. That also couldn’t be a better way of describing what we’ve been through in 2009.
There’s so many things we could list and the team will never agree on exactly what the top 6 should be, but we all think the following were pretty significant moments.
1. Our first customer!
You never forget your first time, so they say. Well our first ever customer was Okehampton College in Devon. Thank you for placing your trust in Tim, Moby and the BrainPOP UK team. We hope you’ve had a very BrainPOPpy year.
2. BETT 2009
If you’ve ever run or staffed a BETT stand you’ll know what a rush to the head it can be. We were a teeny tiny team at the start of the year and the sheer amount of tasks we needed to squeeze in took us by surprise. We thought we’d ticked all the many, many BETT boxes but we’d missed off one important thing: electricity. We just didn’t realise power was something you had to organise.
And for an online service electricity is pretty important.
Luckily our very able stand design company, BJA Designs, sorted us a last minute Sparky and we were up and running in time.
On the plus side our hard work paid off and we met 100’s of teachers, the vast majority of whom hadn’t heard of BrainPOP UK, and made some firm friends. Just don’t get us started on the amount of pens we ordered. It was also good experience for exhibiting at BETT 2010.
3. Teachmeet at the Scottish Learning Festival and multiple TeachMeet movie adaptions
Ollie Bray, a long time fan of BrainPOP (especially in Geography), asked us if we could produce a special one-off BrainPOP UK movie to inform people what a TeachMeet is all about. We’ve always been big supporters of CPD and TeachMeet – how could we refuse? You can see our TeachMeet movie on Youtube, where anyone can embed it into their own website.
Soon after, as tends to happen when an idea really starts to gain traction (go viral?), we were asked to do movie adaptions for Perth, Blackpool, East Lothian and Falkirk TeachMeets. Little known fact: If you ask for an adapted TeachMeet movie we put YOUR name into the famous Tim & Moby letter.
The TeachMeeters also kindly put the movie on the front page of the TeachMeet Wiki website. This year TeachMeet is going to happen across 3 nights: TEDxOrenda, AMPed (Amplified) and the TeachMeet itself.
As well as TeachMeet Takeover, where exhibitors open up a part of their stand for a TeachMeeter to “takeover” for half an hour to demo free and useful Web 2.0 type classroom tools. Naturally, we think that sounds really worthwhile and lots of fun so we voluteered too.
4. Our Swine Flu movie goes past 10,000 hits…then 20,000…then 30,000…
A little while back Swine Flu was a big headline topic. One thing BrainPOP does well is react quickly to classroom needs, when we are able.
In this instance we made a Swine Flu movie aimed at kids, to help answer some of the basic questions (“You can’t catch it from eating bacon, can you?”) and quell a few fears children may have.
We decided to upload it to Youtube and allow people to embed it in their own school blogs and websites. To keep an important topic free. We wrote all about our decision to do this on our blog: The little movie that could.
We got loads of favourable comments on the movie and it even ended up being reported in the TES and the Times Schoolgate blog.
5. Our first UK movie – Bonfire Night
BrainPOP UK is part of the global BrainPOP family. Our resources are currently nearly all anglicised versions from the incredible collection of movies on BrainPOP.com. But part of the appeal of a UK BrainPOP is to develop new UK resources that are meaningful to UK classrooms. Our first UK movie was Bonfire night. It was a UK subject scripted by a UK author. It was a very proud moment to finally launch a bit of BrainPOP history.
There’s lots more coming in 2010, but we won’t spoil the surprise just yet.
6. Listening to classroom stories
We love to tell classroom stories of how different teachers around the UK are using BrainPOP UK resources with their pupils. Whether you are a Newly Qualified Teacher, Home educator, Award winning ICT Specialist or Maths Teacher we’re happy to show off your BrainPOP thoughts on our blog.
We know there will be many more stories to tell in 2010 (2009 was just lighting the touchpaper for the BrainPOP fireworks coming in 2010) so we’ll simply wish you a very merry Xmas and happy new year from all the BrainPOPpers, from around the world.
Ho ho ho!