This year at BETT we welcomed two International VIBs to join the BrainPOP team, Adina Popa (Technology Resource Teacher/International Ambassador, Loudoun County, VA) & Tammie Mihet (4th Grade Teacher/Teacher Trainer, First Baptist Academy, Naples, FL). They have been using the American English version of BrainPOP in their classrooms for many years. We asked them to provide their unique perspective on the BETT event as a visitor, Collab8 4 Change keynote presenter, VIB and teacher.
“Do you want to see the latest and greatest technological advances in the education field? Do you want to rub shoulders with the brightest names in ICT? Then head to the BETT Show and come ready to be blown away.
That is what we did last week. Except we didn’t jump on a train to get there. We flew through the night, all the way from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, very eager to take part in the biggest ICT show in the world.
Our first impression when we walked in…overwhelming! Overwhelming not because it was confusing or disorganized, it was just the opposite.
Overwhelming because we felt like kids at Disneyland – so much to see, and so many activities in which to participate!
The real treat, however, was our involvement in the show. We didn’t fly all the way from the US just to experience BETT as visitors. We came to take part in it. We were VIBs – “Very Important BrainPOPers“. As VIBs we shared the power of BrainPOP with people from around the world. What an amazing opportunity we had to meet parents, teachers and school leaders and to share our passion for BrainPOP and its ability to drastically impact the learning of our students.
Through our encounters we showcased many features BrainPOP offers:
- Research-based short videos that enhance instruction in any subject
- Quizzes that are integrated with Promethean whiteboards and ready to be taken via personal response systems
- Class charts with student responses that can be exported to PDF and graded accordingly
- Extension activities through the FYI section
- Closed captioning (subtitles to you guys!)
- ESL lessons that teach English in a very stimulating environment
We also had the opportunity to attend and deliver a mini-note at Collabor8 4 Change, event held on Thursday evening, and sponsored by a few ICT leaders, including BrainPOP UK.
The layout of the evening was beautifully arranged. The opening address was provided by Lord Jim Knight, who mentioned that ICT needs to be quintessential to education. As we listened to Lord Knight we began to realize that, no matter which side of the Atlantic we call home, we are all facing similar struggles – economies are failing, schools are cutting budgets, and ICT integration is jeopardized.
It is, therefore, important that as innovators we lead the way in illustrating the importance of 21st century tools in educating our children. Throughout the evening we listened to lead educators who shared ideas on successful implementation of technology.
As a result of listening to these presentations, we created future collaboration plans between the two continents, and felt ready to implement many cutting-edge initiatives in our own schools.
The evening ended with two mini-notes, one delivered by us. Our theme centered on the fact that collaboration, especially at the international level, is becoming a necessity in education today.
It is required by our ever-evolving society, and its integration is essential in order to understand and respect our globally connected world. There are many ways to connect globally, and quite a few are offered through BrainPOP. From international competitions, to BrainPOP Educators, to POPtalk, students and teachers alike have a place to learn and share practices, lessons, and finished products. BrainPOP is a great catalyst in facilitating collaborations, and it is a good place to start collaborative activities.
As we reflect on our time at BETT two things are very evident:
- There are some amazingly dedicated teachers and professionals out there working tirelessly to reach our kids
- Technology has magnetic power; it can engage even the most obstinate learner
Personally we feel that BrainPOP is on the frontline, reaching out to teachers and students, and transforming the classroom into an engaging, 21st Century environment. There is a saying that comes to mind when we think about the BrainPOP family: “Behind every great product there is a great team.”
Thank you, Adina & Tammie! We hope to welcome you next year as our favourite International VIBS