• 18.01.2012
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    There’s no shortage of post-BETT chatter clogging up the internet super highway this week and most folks can sum up their time far more eloquently than us, plus we were kind of tied to our stand for the duration, so we’ll keep this debrief…brief. Our highs, lows, and everything in between…

    1. VIBs and a girl named Phoebe

    For the past few years, we’ve invited VIBs (Very Important BrainPOPpers – expert BrainPOP Educators) to help us out on our stand. We figure it’s better for teachers to hear from teachers about BrainPOP than just a demo from us*. So a round of applause and huge thank you to Dawn Hallybone (@dawnhallybone), Charlie Deane (@charliedeane) and Ian Addison (@ianaddison) who all rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in for BrainPOP.

    Special mention must go to an honorary VIB, who operated the stylus on the IWB for us when we showed BrainPOP movies on the Saturday afternoon, like only a 10 year old history fan can. She worked the board as competently as any dyed in the wool classroom teacher.

    Phoebe watches Cleopatra

    Phoebe watches the Cleopatra movie

    Phoebe, we salute your laid back style and whiteboard skills. And you’ve got great taste in movies: Black DeathQueen Elizabeth I and Cleopatra to name but a few.

    *Please note: we don’t actually pitch, that’s not how we roll.

    2. TeachMeet Takeovers

    Having been the host to the first ever TeachMeet Takeover in 2010, we were keen to offer up our stand once again. On Thursday we watched Mark Anderson (@ictevangelist) present on Web 2.0 tools you can use straight away, followed by Friday appearances from Julia Skinner (@TheHeadsOffice) who kindly shared what she’s been up to with her 100 word challenge, and Phil Bagge (@Baggiepr) who talked about using Posterous on the iPod touch. We’ll be doing a post shortly showcasing all of their presentations – there’s too much to fit in here – so stay tuned and watch this space!

    It wasn’t a Takeover but we also welcomed Mr Handley’s class who presented a masterclass in BrainPOP. They were incredible and a real highlight of the show for us. This presentation deserves a full blog post to itself so look out for that. In the meantime see the post they wrote up on their BETT visit.

    Mr Handleys class meets Moby at BETT 2012

    Mr Handley's class meets Moby at BETT 2012

    3. The heart-stopping moment when your wi-fi fails

    We were so excited about our “media counter“. We were finally going to be able to show off just how flexible BrainPOP is: For use at school, home, and on the go. BrainPOP can be accessed via the Sony PS3, various flash-enabled tablet devices, and also our free app for iPad, iPod touch and iPhone. We were also keen to hear Dawn Hallybone’s top 5 educational apps.

    However, none of this is possible if your wi-fi connection fails. And fail it did!

    It’s fair to say we were pretty devastated about both of the above but have learnt a good lesson for forthcoming years. Do not rely on wi-fi at BETT.

    4. Are you using iPads, iPod touch or iPhones in school?

    A question we asked everyone we spoke to. And it seemed for every teacher with access to iPods or iPads in school, there were another three who were visiting BETT to help them make a decision: Is there enough content available to justify the spend on such devices?

    While we can’t speak for other suppliers, we are well aware of the growing multitude of helpful apps and tools available for mobile devices which can be used in schools. As we’ve mentioned many times now, we’ve got a free app you can download from iTunes and start using it today. You’ll find top tips for classroom use available on our Mobile page.

    BrainPOP App screenshot and App button

    5. The goodies, the goodies!

    As ever, BrainPOP goodies seemed to go down a storm. But, when we’re surrounded by suppliers who seem to be offering less and less giveaways on their stands each year, we’ve got to wonder whether it’s truly worthwhile having them.

    A sample of BrainPOP giveaways

    What do you think? As a teacher, does it make any difference whether you get something to take away and share with your class? Or, does it all end up in the bin at the end of the day anyway? We implore you to let us know.

    6. Evaluate BrainPOP? No bother

    Dear Tim & Moby letter from BETTy

    If you spoke to any of the BrainPOP team at BETT you’ll know that this year we opted to set up a generic free trial for the event. This meant that anyone could walk away and log in to BrainPOP as soon as they liked; no messing with emails and activation links and all that jazz.

    Not only did we make the free trial process as simple as can be, we created evaluation booklets, each with a photocopiable topic sheet so your class could complete an evaluation of BrainPOP for you. Download the PDF here if you didn’t manage to grab a copy last week:

    Topic Evaluation Sheet

    Click image to download

    7. Moby does the robot

    Erm, there are no words?

    (iPod touch, iPhone and iPad are all trademarks of Apple Inc.)

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