Around this time each year we take a nostalgic look back at the last 12 months, nominate our best bits, and try to identify a theme that brings them all together.
In 2009 we went from “nothing to something” and nominated our first customer as the highlight of the year.
So how did 2011 play out?
6) Learning at your fingertips
2011 started with a significant arrival to the BrainPOP UK family: our featured movie App for Apple devices. We were all App-ed up. A fresh movie and quiz every day, delivered to you where you are at the moment you needed it.
Since its launch tens of 1000s of iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch owners have downloaded our App. Schools with Apple devices have embraced it on a grand scale such as Anson Primary:
“The film is animated, fun but clearly gives a message, a process or a piece of information. This can be followed up by a quiz which helps to promote listening, concentration or note-taking among the class. The questions are multiple choice and tackle inference as well as deduction. It’s a smart looking app and one that the (Anson) team are looking to build into their weeks as a fundamental part of the day to promote speaking and listening skills.”
…to little mobile learning moments when kids have woken their parents with facts they’ve just discovered. And everything in between.
5) Tap Magazine top spot
In a similar vein we were bowled over when Tap magazine gave us a place in their Top 100 greatest Apps of all time. A core value of BrainPOP is that learning should not stop at the school gates but blossom wherever learners need it. The App is just the first step along this path. Wait and see what’s coming in 2012. Our lips are sealed. At least for a few weeks.
4) Kids evaluating BrainPOP with their teachers
For BrainPOP to truly work in a school both teachers and pupils need to endorse it. We animated an Audioboo review by two pupils at Menston Primary who reviewed us as part of their school’s evaluation of BrainPOP. This directly inspired us to create a practical evaluation worksheet for teachers to give to their classes. They turned out to be a HUGE hit at the Scottish Learning Festival.
3) The number of kids interacting with BrainPOP/Tim & Moby
Every BrainPOP movie starts with something personal – a question from a learner. It’s not an urban myth – these are genuine letters and emails. Rather than existing to satisfy a dry set of curriculum objectives we place the exploration of the world at the heart of the BrainPOP experience.
As we’ve been embraced by more and more schools and homes the volume of kids “asking Tim & Moby” has seen a massive increase this year. The “Ask Tim & Moby” blog post has now seen over 150+ comments from kids around the world; our postbox is graced several times a week with hand made letters, drawings, treasure hunts and word search submissions (if you’re a subscribing school you’ll know what these are). Our email box contains, every morning without fail, several questions from kids.
It’s proof that learners often form a direct connection to Tim & Moby. They are there to help them place life, the Universe and everything into context. And have fun with it, of course.
It’s a wonderful thing to see. Please keep them coming – we read and enjoy everyone’s contributions.
In July we reached out to discover great class blogging stories that we could showcase. Called “Digitalk” it was one of our favourite social initiatives of the year. We welcomed incredible kid bloggers in a 4 part series starring teachers and children from Greenpark school, Ferry Lane school, Bearwood school & Heathfield school.
These posts have gone on to support and inspire other schools that want to introduce blogging to their schools. The culmination was a class from Heathfield primary who’s pupils recorded 4 audio interviews that we then animated for them.
1) The personal touch
Last year YOU were ALL our No.1 highlight. Our extended network of customers, supporters, professional friends and fans. It was about the power of a whole network.
This year’s No.1 highlight is at the other end of the spectrum, something that ties together much of 1-5 above: the personal connection.
We worked on dozens of micro projects with individual schools, parents and kids throughout 2011 on an eclectic range of bespoke activities, guest posts, student & classroom stories and lots more. We delved into the detail of working with our customers and friends this year.
Thank you to everyone that contributed – it’s been emotional. We can’t list every micro-moment of the year but here’s a few of our personal favourites from 2011:
- Seeing a teacher do the hokey cokey for a King Moby badge
- A home educating family telling us why BrainPOP helps with Dyspraxia & encourages independent learning
- Moby the Travel Bug geocaching its way from Scotland, to Ireland, through Germany and into Florida
- Designing a special blog badge based on a pupil’s design for Staining Primary school
- When Redhill Academy shared their student voice stories on “What makes a good lesson?“
- Celebrating our VIBs birthday’s by asking them to nominate their favourite movie for the featured movie calendar.
Well, BrainPOPpers, that’s it for another (awesome) year at BrainPOP HQ. The delights heading your way in 2012 will make your head spin, and, of course, your Brain-POP.
Wishing you all a very merry Xmas & new year,
Tim, Moby and the BrainPOP UK Team x