• 18.02.2011
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    “Great opportunity for staff to review the resources. A fresh approach to using video within the curriculum. All the responses were very positive.”

    Rhona MacKenzie, West Dunbartonshire Authority

    What a lovely thing to say. But what’s Rhona talking about? One of our new POPteach workshops.

    BrainPOP itself is so simple to grasp there’s not much call for conventional “training”. So we don’t offer it.

    The key challenge is to raise awareness of what BrainPOP UK can do in context – for YOU in YOUR lessons. A workshop where the focus is “BrainPOP plus CPD”.

    A POPteach workshop is an opportunity to gather a group of educators together to talk Tim & Moby. They may be subscribers or they may be total newbies to BrainPOP resources – all are welcome. It may be facilitated by a BrainPOPper or a VIB. Or both!

    Our pilot POPteach workshops have been held in Scotland. At the most recent our Scottish Ambassador, Kim Conway, worked with the West Dunbartonshire Authority to hold a twilight CPD workshop. Ten teachers from seven different schools attended. As is the BrainPOP way they got showered with cool BrainPOP merchandise including badges, pens and chocolates. We offered fruit too, but curiously that didn’t turn out to be as popular.

    Kim ran through the site, highlighting gems such Deep Beep, Spotlights and POPboxes and offered practical examples of how BrainPOP can be employed in the classroom.

    Participation is a key part of a POPteach workshop. Kim likes attendees to join in with the POPquiz, and it wasn’t long before teachers were leaping up to the whiteboard to select answers.

    These are only tentative baby steps with POPteach – we’re still polishing the format and always looking for feedback.

    Each attendee is asked to give the experience a mark out of 10. We’re proud to say we received a 10/10 across the board. Did the chocolate sway people? Who knows. A good result either way. These are some of the workable ideas the teachers took away with them (everyone at this workshop had not used BrainPOP before, though some were aware of us):

    • Use movies within classroom as discussion starters.
    • Tell the staff. Log in and try it out.
    • BrainPOP will tie in with my current topic. I intend to share BrainPOP with my colleagues – it is a useful resource.
    • Using movies with class related to current movies being sponsored.
    • Would like to use the videos for science.
    • Share with staff.  Use  free trial period in lessons with my class (P6) particularly in relation to e-safety.
    • Make use of the free trial in cross curricular areas and across stages.
    • I intend to use BrainPOP in line with Es and Os within the classroom if the video enhances the concepts we are covering.
    • Share with the rest of the staff and try out during the trial period.
    • To enhance my lessons. To incorporate into topics using ACfE links.
    • All useful. This was excellent. Great for pupils (+staff).

    It’s only fair to mention what was noted we could do better:

    • Could have had more ‘hands on’.

    In particular it was great to hear how useful Deep Beep, our Curriculum Matching Tool, could be. Some teachers mentioned how easy it would be to incorporate BrainPOP links into topics they are currently teaching.

    One thing that was said to us was “Good to see site, often ended up on it through Google but didn’t know what it was”, which is a lesson for us and a good reason why we might be holding more POPteach events round the country soon.

    And finally, as is our wont, we couldn’t help but offer some lovely BrainPOP UK prizes! Congratulations to Kate Watson from Levenvale Primary who won a BrainPOP UK T-shirt, Carolann McVey from Levenvale Primary who won a goodie bag, and Marion Henry from St Mary’s Primary School in Alexandria who walked away with a class set of badges.

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