• 25 Jan
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    It’s that time of year once again when Moby packs his kit bag and makes his way to the Big Smoke to show off all the awesome things that are happening at BrainPOP HQ.

    We’ll be at STAND C30 at the ExCel center in London from Wednesday 30th Jan to Saturday 2nd Feb. We’d love to see you.

    There will be a million and one things to experience at BETT so why should you come and visit the BrainPOPpers?

    1. You’ll get to experience GameUp UK for the very first time, our new games based learning section. This new area of BrainPOP UK will get plenty of blog posts of its own but BETT visitors will be the first to play. You’ll love it. Seriously.
    2. You’ll be able to see our mobile apps in full effect. We now have apps for both Apple© and Android™ devices and we’ll be showing you how you can access the full movie and quiz range in your tablet or smartphone device. We also have Gavin Smart presenting on the stand on Thursday talking about how he employs our app in his teaching.
    3. We’re very lucky not just to have amazing teachers joining the BrainPOP team on the stand but also selection of wonderful teacher guest speakers. We’ll be recording the talks in case you can’t make it and adding them to our YouTube channel too.

    Wednesday 30th Jan

    • 11am-11:30am – Tim Handley & Class – Using BrainPOP to engage learners
    • 2pm-2:30pm – Charlie Deane & Class – Introducing Digital Leaders

    Thursday 31st Jan

    • 11am – Chris Green from Manga High – Introduction to games based learning
    • 12pm-12:15pm – TeachMeet takeover presentation – Danny Nicholson “Now go write it up” : Digital Storytelling tools
    • 12:15pm-12:30pm – TeachMeet takeover presentation – Lizzie Ostrom “Stinky Poems and other whiffy learning: using smell in Key Stage 2 learning.”
    • 2pm-2:30pm – Gavin Smart and the Digital Leaders from Priory Community School: “How we use iPads and apps in our lessons to enhance the learning environment, demonstrating progress and sharing their work with the world”.

    Friday 1st Feb

    • 11am – Chris Green from Manga High – Introduction to games based learning
    • 12pm-12:30pm – TeachMeet takeover presentation- Phil Bagge “Robot Sandwich Maker KS2 CS”
    • 1pm – Kirsty Tonks and E Learning Team – “BrainPOP at Shireland Collegiate Academy”

    You’ll also be able to cuddle up with Moby and take home a fistful of new BrainPOP badges for your class (or just for you!).

    Phew! So much to see and do. We’ll write much of the madness up over the next few weeks so even if you can’t make BETT you’ll still be able to feel involved.

    PS: If you are coming (or considering it) we can highly recommend Terry Freedman’s “Guide to BETT“. It’s free, it’s designed to help visitors get the most from their visit and is comprehensive and very readable.

    Hope to see you there!

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  • 26 Jan
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    We are keen supporters of TeachMeet Takeovers at BETT. We actually hosted the very first one by Tom Barrett in 2010 and, frankly, it was such a blast, we couldn’t wait to volunteer our stand for 2012.

    This year we were lucky enough to have three teachers take over our stand, each of whom, in the spirit of TeachMeet, were  more than happy to share their presentations with us so we could share them with you.  What a wonderful world!

    TeachMeet Takeover

    1. Mark Anderson (a.k.a. @ICTevangelist) kicked off with a crowded session on Thursday where he shared the “cornerstones” of his classroom: Web 2.0 tools you can use straight away. He managed to cram an unbelievable amount into just 15 minutes and told us about the following, to name just a few:

    • Popplet, a mindmapping tool that works on the iPad
    • A free online presentation tool, SlideRocket
    • SpicyNodes – a mindmapping tool which teachers can even use to write schemes of work
    • VisuWords – an online graphical dictionary
    • Format Factory – a free tool for converting mediatypes
    • And offered good tips and tricks for using YouTube in school

    2. On Friday, we were delighted to have Julia Skinner (a.k.a. @TheHeadsOffice) “let loose” [her own words] on the stand and tell us all about the 100 word challenge, a creative writing challenge which aims to spark the imagination of potentially reluctant writers. It’s truly awe-inspiring to see what kids have written and shared with a worldwide blogging (and tweeting) community.

    3. And finally on Friday we had Phil Bagge (a.k.a. Baggiepr) take over the stand with an animated and engaging presentation about how easy and effective it is to blog in schools using an iPod Touch and Posterous.

    You can find a full list of other takeovers from the four days here: TeachMeet Takeover BETT 2012

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  • 25 Jan
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    We were delighted and honoured to have so many kids visit our stand at BETT this year.

    But we were especially delighted to welcome Fiona, Betsie, Jack, Trafford, Bayleigh from Woodlands Primary class 4h, onto the stand along with their teacher, Mr Handley (a.k.a. @tomhenzley and author of The PGCE Survival Guide). The kids gave a presentation about BrainPOP and finished off with a quick lesson on the Heart.

    A sizeable crowd looked on as Mr Handley kicked off with a quick introduction before the kids took over:

    Here’s a prezi Mr Handley put together to accompany their presentation: A Child’s View of BrainPOP and we’ve included the full transcript below too.

    Mr H: Introduce what we are going to do – talk about BrainPOP, why the children love it and then do a mini lesson.

    Bayleigh: BrainPOP is a really cool website that we all love and we use a lot in school.

    Fiona: On BrainPOP there are lots and lots of videos, featuring our favourite characters – Tim and his Robot friend Moby.

    Betsie: Each video starts with a letter written by a child, asking Tim and Moby a question.

    Trafford: And Tim and Moby receive the letter and try and answer it in the video.

    Jack H: The video is full of lots of useful information about lots of different topics.

    Bayleigh: All the topics are interesting – many are linked into what we study in school.

    Betsie: But others are about interesting events or generally super information, that we love to learn about.

    Bayleigh: All of 4H love to watch Tim and Moby and often ask to watch Tim and Moby vidoes.

    Jack H: We can also go on BrainPOP at home – which is super for exploring with our parents and helping them to learn things too!

    Fiona: Often the videos are quite funny too and always try and with a joke or something silly.

    Trafford: At the end of each video there is also a quiz to help us show what we have learnt.

    ALL: WE LOVE Brainpop because…

    Jack H: Because it can help us with our learning

    Trafford: Because it is easy to understand.

    Bayleigh: You learn things without realising.

    Betsie: You can go on variety of different things and explore.

    Fiona: You can watch things and they are fun whilst learning.

    All: Our Favourite BrainPOP movie is…

    Fiona: Fireworks – because it’s cool to see what is inside fireworks.

    Betsie: Chocolate – because I love chocolate and it’s interesting to see how it is made!

    Jack H: Electricity – because it is really interesting as it works each day.

    Bayleigh: Heart – because it’s funny

    Trafford: Simple Equations – as it’s really interesting.

    Mr Handley finished up their presentation with a quick BrainPOP lesson using our Heart topic.

    Mr Handley takes a lesson on the Heart

    The kids’ favourite movies again for you:

    Fireworks

    Fireworks

    Chocolate

    Chocolate

    Electricity

    Electricity

    Heart

    Heart

    Simple Equations

    Simple Equations

    A big thank you to Mr Handley and all the kids from Woodlands Primary School for your clear dedication to BrainPOPping. We have your letters and promise to answer them soon!

    And finally, it’s no fun visiting the BrainPOP stand unless you get a hug from a big orange robot. Moby was happy to oblige.

    Kids from Woodlands Primary meet Moby

    Jack, Trafford, Bayleigh, Fiona and Betsie meet Moby

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  • 20 Jan
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    We’re proud of being a “social business“. Not only because we’ve met the most amazing people via social networks but because we discover new things every day just by listening to you all.

    BETT is one of those exhibitions where you bump into people a lot – in both the idiomatic and literal sense. 1000’s of minded folks head along to meet with other like minded folks, all keen to see new technology and tools for education.

    One of the best ways to find out about the coolest things to see & the people to meet and greet is to join Twitter. If you’re a teacher looking to collaborate and share teaching ideas and hear about new resources and tools to use in school it’s a fantastic thing.

    Below, we’ve included a selection of our BETT tweets using this awesome free webtool called “Storify” . It just goes to show how much is said and done in the virtual world of social networking.

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  • 09 Jan
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    It’s mid-January and that signifies a few things: breaking well intentioned new year resolutions, grey skies, rubbish TV and, of course, the BETT Show. We’re back, back, back on the roller coaster that is the world’s grandest ICT exhibition between Jan 11th-14th in London.

    BrainPOP Stand at BETT 2011

    Last year's stand - this year's will look a bit different

    If you’re attending you’ll find us in the same place as last year on stand B60, next to the big RM stand, neatly tucked up against the staircase, on the Grand Hall ground floor. You’ll be able to experience the full range of BrainPOP products, get all the gossip and, maybe, get a hug with Moby.

    Everyone who comes and talks to a lovely BrainPOPper will walk away with a free trial to every BrainPOP product, a chance to win 6 months of BrainPOP UK for your school AND an ice-cool set of BrainPOP goodies.

    1. Get your kids involved: Something we’re trying this year, which we piloted at the Scottish Learning Festival, is our “Evaluation booklet”. We thought you might be a little jaded with marketing brochures so we’ve made a photocopiable Activity sheet that you can give out to your class when you’re evaluating BrainPOP. It’s designed to provide a visual framework to help your pupils give their thoughts on BrainPOP. This means you have a simple way to collect their feedback to input into any descion about whether to subscribe.
    2. Spotlights 2012 Calendar: A high quality piece – full to bursting with BrainPOP colour, based around our monthly Spotlights for 2012. Always extremely popular! If you want one come and see us early doors as once they’re gone, they’re gone.
    3. Research Leaflet: A 2 page summary of our “Study of the Effectiveness of BrainPOP” report, which provides insight into how BrainPOP can effect real and substantial change in your school. You can see more here: http://www.brainpop.co.uk/support/research/
    4. Badges: Our brand new 2012 badges will be released into the wild. Glorious little round discs of Moby goodness. Pick some up and wear them with pride. But can you collect them all?
    5. Tim Handley & Class BrainPOP lesson at 11am on Thursday- we’re properly excited about this. Tim Handley and his class will be running a real BrainPOP lesson on the “Heart and Circulation”. Please come and support the children and see how Tim blends BrainPOP resources into his teaching.
    6. Dawn Hallybone will be presenting her “Fave 5 Apps for Education” at 12:15pm on Friday. In her talk she’ll be showing a range of iPad Apps that she knows and values. This is a must see – Dawn is a great presenter and we think you’ll find her thoughts invaluable.
    7. Catch the “TeachMeet takeovers” on Thurs & Fri at our stand. We GUARENTEE you will walk away with practical ideas:
    • Thursday 2pm-2:30pm: Mark Anderson (@ICTEvangelist) – “Web 2.0 tools you can use straight away”.
    • Friday 11:30am-12pm: Phil Bagge (@baggiepr) “Posterous & IPod Touch Dream Blogging made easy” & Julia Skinner (@theheadsoffice) – “100 Word Challenge Creative writing through blogging”.

    Anything else?

    1. Our VIBs will be in attendance on the stand – in what has become a bit of a BrainPOP UK tradition genuine classroom teachers and BrainPOP experts will be on hand to talk shop with you. They can give honest and practical advice on how they use BrainPOP, giving you a “from the chalkface” view of our resources.
    2. We’ll be talking mobile a lot at BETT this year (as will many other exhibitors, we imagine) so this year’s show will be a fine time to explore how you can take BrainPOP mobile.
    3. To show you how flexible BrainPOP is there will be a “Media bar” where you’ll be able to see (and try) BrainPOP on a PS3™, an Android tablet, and Apple devices. We don’t think learning should stop at the school gates and we’ll show you how BrainPOP could become an integral part of your parental engagement strategy.
    4. Meet Moby – come and have your photo taken, give a high five or get a hug of our resident robot superstar.

    We met Moby at BETT 2012

    If you’ve not been to BETT before or fancy a refresher we recommend you have a good look at Ian Addision’s “BETT Guide”. It’s full of hints, tips and advice.

    So if you’re already a subscriber come and say hi and we’ll share tall BrainPOP tales. If you are new to BrainPOP then WOW have we got a lot to talk about ;-)

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  • 24 Jan
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    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.

    Tammie (left), Moby (middle) and Adina (right)

    “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:

    1. Research-based short videos that enhance instruction in any subject
    2. Quizzes that are integrated with Promethean whiteboards and ready to be taken via personal response systems
    3. Class charts with student responses that can be exported to PDF and graded accordingly
    4. Extension activities through the FYI section
    5. Closed captioning (subtitles to you guys!)
    6. 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:

    1. There are some amazingly dedicated teachers and professionals out there working tirelessly to reach our kids
    2. 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 :-)

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  • 20 Jan
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    Much like the Edinburgh festival many of the more interesting activities at the BETT show happen on the fringe. Although with Learning Without Frontiers, TEDX, Collabor8 4 Change and the TeachMeet being sold out it seems what was the fringe a few years ago is now challenging the mainstream for why teachers throng to London in mid January.

    One of the most exciting of these developments is the TeachMeet Takeovers, where a commercial supplier gives their stand over to a classroom practitioner to present on a free tool, service or learning experience that they want to share. We really like this idea as it appeals to the BrainPOP ethos that places, above all else, the learner at the heart of things. And it feels deliciously rebellious too ;-)

    We had 4 teachers present their Takeovers – Dan Roberts, Alessio Bernardelli, Ian Guest and Bill Lord. Each one of them was erudite, interesting and entertaining. We uploaded some recordings of them below. We really do recommend you take the time to watch them, you will walk away enriched with practical ideas to take into your classroom.

    Dan Roberts aka @chickensaltash “35 Free Tech Tools in 6 Mins and 40 secs”

    This is the Slideshare which contains all the links:

    Chicken pecha kucha 20×20 free tech tools

    Bill Lord, aka @Joga5, talking about his Year 1 “Giraffeclass” in which he employed Twitter as a tool for literacy:

    Ian Guest aka @ianinsheffield gives a TeachMeet Takeover entitled “Poll Dancing – Using online tools for formative assessment, eliciting opinion & stimulating discussion”. He recommends some really excellent free Poll tools and best practice on how to use them in the classroom.

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  • 19 Jan
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    It’s traditional at BrainPOP to ask teachers to join us at BETT each year. We call them VIBs.

    2011 was no exception. We welcomed more VIBs than ever before: Dawn Hallybone, Ian Addison, Charlie DeaneTim Handley, Adina Popa, Tammie Mihet,  Tom Sale , Mhairi Healy, Vickie Bacon, Patricia McLean and James Maloney . All passionate about embedding ICT into classroom practice and all BrainPOP fans. But how do we get such great teachers to volunteer their valuable time to help support BrainPOP?

    Our Friday VIBs (clockwise from left): Jim Maloney, Tom Sale, Dawn Hallybone, Ian Addison, Charlie Deane, Mhairi Healy

    In truth it’s a million small interactions but essentially it comes down to two things.

    First and foremost, the concept of a VIB wouldn’t be possible if the BrainPOPpers didn’t place keeping our customers happy as our No.1 priority. That’s easy to write, and often claimed, but hard work in practice. Working with our Educators is KEY to the BrainPOP experience. Just having a great product isn’t enough these days. We’re a social business.

    Secondly, teachers and parents can be just as passionate about an educational resource they use, as the iPhone they carry or the TV show they tune into every week. If you’re lucky enough to find and connect with those engaged customers then it’s important to give them ways (small or large) to express that.

    So when you combine a real time, personalised & remarkable customer experience with an amazing product you can, if you’re lucky, invite your customers to collaborate with you. So we do. Having a close connection with our Educator network makes a substantial difference to the quality of the conversations and feedback we can have with teachers, and not just at BETT.

    And that’s what VIBs do – metaphorically speaking, they join the dots for us.

    Teachers are fatigued with sales people at exhibitions like BETT, bored with endless direct mail and dismissive of cold calling. The chance for one teacher to connect  to another teacher, even if they don’t work directly with the same age range, makes a world of difference. It’s all to do with “domain expertise“, which even the BrainPOPpers cannot rival when it comes to talking about using BrainPOP day to day with pupils, and the power of word of mouth referral.

    So we implicitly trust our Educators to support and represent BrainPOP. They are our Ambassadors and our Advocates. They simply are “Very Important” to us.

    We’ll leave the final words to Jim Maloney, a Year 5 teacher and ICT Leader (and VIB!), from Blackpool:

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  • 18 Jan
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    For some people, BETT is about innovative ICT, for others, it’s about networking. And for a special few, it’s the annual opportunity to meet inspiring colleagues in the world of education.

    But we were thinking along the lines of something a little more ORANGE and ROBOTIC.

    Yes, we’re talking about meeting the mechanical maestro himself – Moby the BrainPOP robot. This year he had his very own photobooth where BrainPOP fans could have their picture taken with Moby. It was a massive successs and he LOVED the attention.

    Were you one of the lucky few who grabbed a special moment with the robotic rascal? If so, go and add yourself to your photo on Flickr or watch the slideshow below.

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  • 06 Jan
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    This will be BrainPOP UK’s 3rd year at BETT and this time we’re turning it up to 11.

    At BETT 2009/10 we were “up in the Gods”, on the gallery section overlooking the Grand Hall. A sweet spot, but not too easy to find and not much space for Moby to bust out his moves.

    Moby on our old 2010 BETT stand

    Moby on our old 2010 BETT stand

    For 2011 we’ve graduated to the ground floor of the Grand Hall, stand No.B60, right in the middle next to the stairs and the RM stand. It’s a modest sized space compared to some of the monolithic structures that surround us but we promise it will be one of the most social and fun stands you visit.

    Each day we’ll be meeting lots of current and future BrainPOP Educators and demoing ALL the BrainPOP products and features, including BrainPOP ESL and BrainPOP Jr. Of course there will also be a scintillating array of BrainPOP goodies for you to take back to school to show off.

    Here’s a few more reasons you should come and visit our stand:

    • We’ll be joined by a number of VIBs – BrainPOP teachers (including Dawn Hallybone, Ian Addison, Tim Handley, Adina Popa, Tom Sale and James Mahoney) who have kindly given up a few hours to show how they effectively use BrainPOP in their classrooms, both 1-2-1 and presenting on our Interactive Whiteboard. They will have their own special VIB tshirts – keep an eye out for them as not only are they passionate about BrainPOP, they are great exponents of relevant and modern ICT practice.
    • We’re hosting TeachMeet Takeovers at 2pm on Thurs/Fri (maybe Saturday too). This is when we hand the stand over to a real teacher who gives a presentation about free tools and services that they’ve used in the classroom. We’re honoured and priviliged to have the inspiring Alessio Bernardelli and Dan Roberts doing a tag team Takeover on Thursday about “Using Livestream to create and broadcast pupils work as a TV Show & Chicken Pecha Kucha 20×20 free tech tools” and the fantastic Bill Lord (who is a wonderfully infectious speaker) talking about “Amazing free tools to fire up literacy learners“. You do NOT want to miss these.
    • Moby’s Photobooth – come and get a Polaroid portrait picture taken with the big orange fella himself, to treasure forever. His Photobooth will be open most of the show, except when he needs a break to oil his sprockets.
    • BrainPOP Spotters! If you visit the BrainPOP stand, get a demo and pick up a special Moby shoulder bag make sure you proudly display it when you’re wandering around the exhibition. Why? Because at 2pm each day Moby will be wandering the exhibition hall looking for a BrainPOP bag. If he “spots” yours then you’ve won a full year’s subscription to the BrainPOP product of your choice. Woot!

    BrainPOPpers will also be attending these events:

    • Learning Without Frontiers (Drinks reception sponsor and general hob-nobbing – please grab a BrainPOPper if you see one and say hola).
    • Collabor8 4 Change – Sponsor, Keynote and round table lead.
    • TeachMeet BETT 2011 – Generally kicking back with lots of old (and hopefully new!) friends at this highlight of the educational calendar.

    Find us where the little red box is:

    The location of the BrainPOP stand at Bett 2011

    The location of the BrainPOP stand at Bett 2011

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