As Moby finishes dusting the mince pies, Tim writes his Santa list, and the team gear up for the Xmas party, I’m taking my annual look back across the year, 12 months that can only be described as an “Annus Mobybilis“.
Who (or what) will be No.1 this year? Read on, dear BrainPOPpers, all will be revealed!
No. 6 – People are #awesome
We’ve been knocked sideways by people’s generosity with their time, praise and reflections on BrainPOP this year. It’s humbling and very motivating.
We were Nominet Internet Awards Shortlisted in June, selected as PTA+ magazine’s “Top 10 buy” in their 2013 summer edition, received the EAS 5 star recommended award for our apps in September, and finished the year as a BETT Awards 2014 finalist in November.
Teachers and parents on Twitter also continue to bless us with their support.
— Ian Addison (@ianaddison) August 4, 2013
— Urban Teacher (@urban_teacher) September 14, 2013
— Keris Stainton (@Keris) September 24, 2013
Forgive us for this rather self indulgent entry but we wanted to take the opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU in return to everyone who has taken the time to support us over the last 5 years. You know who you are and you are #awesome.
No.5 – Are you sitting comfortably?
Tim & Moby get sent lots of letters and fan art by post, which all get proudly displayed on the wall at BrainPOP UK HQ.
But this year we have to bow down to talented 6 year old BrainPOP uber-fan Elizabeth, who, with help from Granny, made us 4 wonderful Moby cushions. They now take pride of place in our office.
We’d also like to throw high fives out to all the kids from around the world that sent their Moby badge designs to our competition in July.
No.4 – From Robot to Android
You may know about our Apple app but 2013 saw the release of our free Featured Movie app for Android tablets and smartphones.
Why was this significant? Because this brings us ever closer to achieving the ideal of being device agnostic, to enable children to access BrainPOP when and where they want to. Android devices comprise 80%+ of the consumer market and kids using our movies to study independently at home is one of the most valuable aspects of BrainPOP.
No.3 – Games get played. Seriously.
Our learning games portal, GameUp UK, where BrainPOP resources are aligned with the very best learning games, was launched at BETT 2013.
We’re strong advocates of game-based learning to motivate, encourage participation, and improve problem solving skills.
And learners seem to feel the same way. How do we know?
Because BrainPOP users have racked up 139,000 cumulative hours of play on GameUp UK this year.
Now that’s playing with a purpose.
No.2 – The hardest working team in (edu)showbiz
Making an Android app and launching GameUp would be enough to keep the average team busy. But this is not an average team. So, with 5 years under our belt, I want to recognise the hard work, smarts, and dedication of the BrainPOP UK team. In 2013 the team also…
- Published 400+ Lesson Ideas
- Upgraded our Activities
- Created our first set of GameUp Game Guides
- Launched the new Teacher Use section
- Built Moby desktop icons to help schools access BrainPOP quicker and easier
- Constructed a STEM Spotlight
- Added Opt out subtitles to support literacy
And loads more, more than I can list. I am immensely proud to work alongside them. They have moved mountains this year to keep BrainPOP UK fresh, relevant and engaging for teachers and learners.
Good work, BrainPOPpers, good work.
No.1 – BrainPOP gets Clicked
OK, so here’s the story.
At the Nominet Awards dinner in June we were lucky enough to be seated next to the host, the rather fabulous tech journalist and BBC Click presenter, Kate Russell.
We got chatting and talked BrainPOP, which she really liked the look of. We had a blast on the night, but as we didn’t win, we didn’t think much more on it.
Until a few months later we started seeing tweets coming in congratulating us on being featured on the BBC’s flagship technology show, BBC Click.
Wow. Watching Kate review BrainPOP on TV was a brilliant moment, and we’ve since welcomed many new subscribers who watched that show.
It’s been an amazing year. From Tim, Moby and all the BrainPOPpers we wish you all a very merry Xmas and new year. We’ll be back, ready to BrainPOP, in January 2014.
Chris Bradford, Head of BrainPOP UK