• 02 Sep

    We were super proud to have been invited to be part of XLR8′s transition summer camps this year.

    Making the leap from from primary to secondary school is no small thing for any child and these camps are designed to give the participants an early chance to get familiar with the new school surroundings and meet some of their new class mates and staff.

    There was lots of physical and creative play, and they also got hands on with a selection of digital learning products, such as Mathletics and Nightzookeeper.

    We’ve collected all the tweets, photos, and student comments about BrainPOP UK in the Storify below, but you can see the full range of their activities on the @XLR8camps tweet stream.

    Good luck from The BrainPOPPers to all the kids who attended the camps – what an amazing start to life at secondary school!

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  • 18 Aug

    The BrainPOP ESL app (for ‘English as a second language’ learners) is now also available for Apple mobile devices!

    On iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches, BrainPOP ESL site subscribers can log in directly from the app and access all 90 levelled lessons, at no extra charge. Non-site subscribers can still get to know Ben and Moby via the app’s 18 free lessons, or one of the in-app purchase options that provide different levels of expanded access.

    Try the app for yourself – it’s free on Apple iTunesGoogle Play, and Windows Store.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    If you teach in a school and you would like to try out the full BrainPOP ESL website and app together then please ask us for a no obligation free trial.

    What is BrainPOP ESL?

    BrainPOP ESL (www.brainpopesl.com) is a comprehensive English language learning program that uses highly engaging animated movies to model conversational English while seamlessly introducing grammar concepts and vocabulary words. The movies are levelled, with each new movie and associated features building upon earlier ones, thereby reinforcing vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading comprehension, and writing skills. The building block structure enables students to master the language in a step-by-step process, giving them the confidence they need to read, write, and speak English.

    What is the educational philosophy behind BrainPOP ESL?

    Launched in 2009, BrainPOP ESL is the creation of Naomi Prawer Kadar, Ph.D., a devoted language teacher, scholar, and visionary with extensive experience as an educator, curriculum strategist, and teacher trainer.

    Bringing together the best of language-learning pedagogy and innovative interactive media, BrainPOP ESL continuously engages and challenges English language learners while remaining sensitive to their varying needs and learning styles. The movies range from simple everyday scenarios to more complex content-related stories that reflect what students are learning in the classroom. Idiomatic and cultural nuances, as expressed through the actions of the endearing and funny characters, model social cues and demonstrate how to use the English language in every day contexts.

    To support teachers, BrainPOP ESL provides detailed lesson plans incorporating learning strategies, graphic organisers, printable resources, as well as reading and writing activities.

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  • 24 Jul

    Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow business secretary, warned parents are now “petrified” of the technological skills their children were being taught at school and must not be left behind (source: The Telegraph, July 2014).

    We’re with Maggie Philbin when she says “Tomorrow’s World should return to prime time television to educate parents who are intimidated by the technology their children are using”.

    But as awesome as that would be, what is your school doing to help bridge the digital divide between kids and their parents? What easy thing can you do with BrainPOP right now to start the ball rolling?

    Get kids to teach their parents, that’s what.

    We’ve made a free downloadable BrainPOP guide to modern technologies, behaviours, and concepts that kids are using that parents might want to learn more about. Download and share this PDF with your parent community.

    Watch these movies and get techie together. Break down that divide!

    Learn about digital technology with BrainPOP UK PDF

    Here’s the list if you want to just dive in…

    • Internet Search – Learn how to use an internet search engine and tips on the best ways to find exactly what you are looking for.

    Internet Search on BrainPOP

    • Computer Programming – Discover how people write computer languages called code, and how code is broken down into step-by-step procedures called algorithms. Then, see how to turn a lines of text into useful programs and activities!

    Computer Programming with BrainPOP UK

    • Online Safety – Find out how to avoid cyber bullying and find out about some places that are good for kids to hang out online.

    Online safety on BrainPOP UK

    • Video Games – Tear yourself away from that PlayBox and spend a few minutes learning about how your favourite games work!

    Video games on BrainPOP UK

    • Information Privacy – In this BrainPOP UK movie, Tim and Moby show you how you can keep yourself safe online by keeping your personal information private! So don’t be scared of the Internet; educate yourself, and be prepared!

    Information privacy on BrainPOP UK

    • Cloud Computing – Tim introduces Moby to the wonders of cloud computing. How can cloud computing change the way we communicate, learn, and do business?

    Cloud Computing on BrainPOP UK

    • Email and Instant Messaging – Understand the differences between email and instant messaging, and how your Instant Messenger service knows who’s online and available to chat! Finally, you’ll get a few important safety tips for all online communication.

    Email and IM on BrainPOP UK

    • Social Networking – Find out exactly how social networks bring people together, and why so many users have signed up. Tim gives a few valuable tips to help you stay safe.

    Social Networking on BrainPOP UK

    • Blogs – Got something you want to share with the world? Try blogging!

    Blogs on BrainPOP

    • 3D Printing – This movie explains the ins and outs of this amazing new technology (but also why you shouldn’t throw out your inkjet printer just yet)!

    3D printing on BrainPOP UK

    • Data Storage Devices – Tim and Moby will tell you about binary, the special language made of 1’s and 0’s that all digital devices use to communicate and store data.

    Data Storage on BrainPOP

    • MP3 – Tim and Moby will teach you what MP3s are, how they’re created, and why they’re so popular.

    MP3 on BrainPOP UK

    • Cyberbullying – In this BrainPOP UK movie, Tim and Moby take on cyberbullies – those not-so-lovable types who use cell phones, email, instant messaging (IM), and the Web to make you feel terrible. Tim will explain what to do if you are bullied online, showing you different strategies for keeping your online experience pleasant and safe.

    BrainPOP UK - Learn about Cyberbullying

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  • 15 Jul

    The last World Cup ball’s been kicked, the final ace has been served at Wimbledon, and the air is heavy with the smell of barbecuing sausages.

    The summer holidays must be here!

    BrainPOP-summer

    Children will be looking forward to weeks of summer fun (and so they should), but it’s worth looking ahead to the next school year and making sure they keep on learning. Here’s some BrainPOP ideas to keep minds fit and active during the summer break…

    Get into code

    In September students following the new national curriculum (to be taught in all maintained primary and secondary schools in England from September 2014) will be following the new Computing program of study, some of which will involve learning how to code.

    We suggest you watch our “Computer Programming” movie, and then play our GameUp Tynker games. This will give your kids a good understanding of what coding is, how it’s used, and to take their first steps into coding.

    ComputerProgrammingFYIImage3

    Tim and Moby on the go

    Apparently  “44 per cent of UK children between the ages of three and 12 now own a tablet..(and)…amongst kids nine and over smartphones overtake tablets with 25 per cent of all nine to ten year olds owning one. This rises to 46 per cent for ages 11-12, with ownership amongst girls in particular reaching 53 per cent.” (from MCVUK, June 2014).

    This means there’s a good chance your family has access to a smart device of one type or another.

    Our popular Featured Movie app for Apple and Android shows a fresh BrainPOP movie every day, which means you can learn something new every day. AND it’s free. We’d say that was an offer you can’t refuse.

    BrainPOP UK App awards

    Will the sun have his hat on? We hope so. But don’t forget to top up your learning while you’re topping up your tan.

    • It’s easier than you think to go from a healthy glow to red raw burned skin. See how to protect yourself in the sun in our Sun Protection movie.
    • What exactly is the Sun? Put your shades on and watch our Sun movie to learn more about this celestial body.
    • Hopefully you’ll get to travel over the summer. We’ve put together a Spotlight about “Travel” which brings together all our travel themed topics. Bon voyage!

    We wish all BrainPOPpers a wonderful summer break! We’ll see you all in the next school year!

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  • 26 Mar

    On 28th February 2014 BrainPOP UK, Jesmond Gardens SchoolSpace To Learn, and C-Learning came together to host an event showcasing some of the most interesting educational technologies available to schools today.

    It was a new type of learning event, split into distinct areas hosted by experts, teachers, and kids.

    Attendees were given the opportunity to get hands on and in-depth with games based learning, iPads, Chromebooks, and Google Apps for Education.

    Everyone was encouraged to play, ask questions, and explore ways to embed this technology into their practice. Experts were on hand to answer any questions – BrainSpace is designed to be inclusive to all levels of technical understand or experience.

    The feedback was terrific and it seemed the attendees got lots of value from attending.

    We’d like to thank everyone who took a chance on BrainSpace, from delegates to presenters to hosts, as it was new to us all. But we’d especially like to thank the kids from Jesmond Gardens school who did their teacher and themselves proud. Seriously, everyone said you were awesome.

    The future of BrainSpace – what did WE learn?

    This event was such a success and really seemed to strike that sweet spot between product and practice that we’d like to take BrainSpace to other parts of the UK.

    1. Space to Learn was a brilliant venue and well connected to the community. It’s important that we source interesting and vibrant tech venues for future events.
    2. It’s an event that works best with smaller numbers on each tour so everyone gets a chance to join in and get their hands on the tech. A big crowd would squash that vibe and leave people out.
    3. Everyone was so buzzed about what they were learning we had lots of requests for “mingle time” to meet other attendees and share thoughts. We’ll work on doing this better next time.

    If anyone who went has any other feedback please do let us know.

    If you’d be interested in knowing when and where the next BrainSpace will be sign up below and we’ll make sure you get emailed before we even tweet it!

    Fill out my online form.

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  • 25 Mar

    Following pre-test consultation in 2013 we pleased to announce that BrainPOP has been selected to be part of the online reading materials in 2014′s Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy.

    ssln

    Gordon Brown, Assessment Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority, explains why they chose BrainPOP materials:

    “SQA are constantly searching for a wide range of texts that will engage and interest learners. BrainPOP materials do just that and we are happy to use one of their clips as one piece of a large assessment jigsaw”

    We’re excited and honoured to have been selected to be part of Scotland’s national schools standards survey. If you are a Scottish school and want to evaluate BrainPOP please contact us.  BrainPOP UK is mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence and available through GLOW.

    Moby with bagpipes

    What is the SSLN?

    “The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) is an annual sample survey which monitors national performance in literacy and numeracy in alternate years, for school children at P4, P7 and S2. 

    The SSLN was developed to support assessment approaches for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). It provides a snapshot of Scotland’s achievement in literacy and numeracy at a specific point in time and allows for comparisons over time to be made. 

    The SSLN is a joint venture. The Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority work together to design and deliver the survey.

    The survey consists of a set of written and practical assessments and questionnaires for both pupils and teachers. All schools in Scotland (except special schools) are invited to take part, and almost all do. Approximately 11,000 pupils and 5,000 teachers participate in the SSLN from across the 3 stages being assessed. 

    The SSLN is intended to provide relevant information about pupil achievement, assessing numeracy and literacy in alternate years which local authorities, schools and ministers can use for purposes of quality assurance, evaluation and improvement. 

    The SSLN will be published as Official (or National) Statistics.”

    Extracts reproduced with with kind permission from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/SSLN

    More information on the SSLN can be found on the Scottish goverment website , SQA’s page about the SSLN, and the SSLN website.

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  • 11 Mar

    From September 2014 “computational thinking” and computer programming/coding will be part of the national curriculum, across all the key stages.

    Computer Programming BrainPOP UK

    We know this isn’t a challenge to be taken lightly so we’re here to help you meet it. And, perhaps, even make it fun :-)

    To support schools and parents introducing coding we’ve done two things (the first of many to come):

    1. Created a brand new ‘Computer Programming‘ Topic, which explains the fundamentals underlying programming.
    2. Teamed up with our friends at Tynker to add their programming games to GameUp UK.

    Where should you start?

    First of all, use the ‘Computer Programming‘ Topic to introduce the concepts around coding – essentially how to think and act like a coder.

    Using these resources will build a level of comfort with potentially unfamiliar terms like ‘loops’ and ‘functions’. The movie also de-mystifies scary sounding words like ‘Variable’, ‘Condition’, and ‘Output’ – in the signature BrainPOP style, of course – which will prepare learners to tackle the accompanying ‘Identify It‘ activity.

    ComputerProgrammingScreenshot3

    But programming techniques don’t have to be taught digitally. In fact, a bit of hands on might work wonders.

    Our accompanying Lesson idea “Program your Partner” brings a physicality to a digital concept that can help students grasp the concept more easily. Aimed at Years 4 – 12, this hands-on, movement-based lesson, students will use BrainPOP UK resources as they are introduced to the concept of coding and programming. They will create short programs and sequences and then follow the computer programs from their individual partners.

    All you need are sticky notes!

    Now to get really playful.

    A great way to reinforce what they’ve learned is practice through play - from guiding a puppy to flying through space – using the four Tynker games in GameUp UK.

    Bonus tip: You can also download the new free Tynker app so continue your coding practice on your Apple device.

    Puppy Adventure

    After a day in the park, Pixel’s been left behind. Connect visual code blocks in the right way to help him avoid obstacles and get back home.

    Tynker - Puppy Adventure screenshot

    http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/tynkerpuppyadventure/

    15 Block Challenge

    Create your own animation with programming blocks! What’s the coolest scene you can code using only 15 blocks?

    Tynker - 15 Block Challenge

    http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/tynker15blockchallenge/

    Lost in Space

    Biff the spaceman has crash landed onto a deserted asteroid. Help him reach his moon base by solving these coding puzzles!

    Tynker - Lost in Space screenshot

    http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/tynkerlostinspace/

    Sketch Racer

    Program Snap the turtle to draw shapes and patterns using simple commands that he can understand.

    Tynker - Sketch Racer screenshot

    http://www.brainpop.co.uk/games/tynkersketchracer/

    But don’t stop there! BrainPOP’s computer technology section includes topics like:

    • Computer history
    • Computers
    • Internet
    • Cloud computing
    • Data storage devices
    • Video games
    • Ada Lovelace

    …and more. These topics can help students understand how the technologies they use everyday work and the inspiring people who made them.

    We’d also recommend playing the Common Sense Media games ‘Search Shark‘ (helps you improve your search skills) and ‘Share Jumper‘ (making the right choices about sharing online).

    We’ll be reinforcing the range of coding support in BrainPOP UK over time. Let us know if it inspires you to get coding!

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  • 24 Feb

    BrainPOP UK schools can now access our resources via the MyLearning platform.

    BrainPOP UK Logo mylearningukltd

    We’ve worked with the MyLearning team to incorporate our ‘single sign on’ function to their service. This means that MyLearning schools who subscribe to BrainPOP UK can add us to to their content library. It removes the need to remember multiple passwords and helps you get to our movies in one click.

    Adding us is easy, as the video explains below. But if you need any help please contact the MyLearning support service.

    PS: Your BrainPOP UK username and password will still be required to unlock the content on our apps.

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  • 03 Feb

    Before going any further consider these 3 questions:

    1. Have you ever wanted to introduce games based learning into your teaching but are not sure how, or why, or what benefits it might bring?
    2. Is your school considering using iPads, but before making the leap would like to hear first hand from a school that’s had huge success doing just that?
    3. Would you like to roadtest Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks, and learn how they might drive down costs and enhance collaboration?

    If your school is looking into any of the above, or is intrigued enough to want to spend a couple of hours hands on with all these learning technologies in the company of experts then you need to come to our BrainSpace event on Friday 28th February 2014. Tickets are free and available from the BrainSpace Eventbrite page.

    BrainSpace header

     

    It’s free. It’s not a sales event. It’s designed for educators of all levels, of any technical ability.

    There will be 3 tours, each lasting around 2 hours, and we think it will be a valuable use of your time. You’ll have a chance to ask questions, play with the tech, and walk away more informed about the technology options available to schools.

    The 3 tours are:

    • 10:00
    • 12:00
    • 14:00

    It’s being held at the amazing “Space to Learn” center in Hartlepool.

    Space to Learn
    King Oswy Drive
    Hartlepool
    TS24 9PB

    Tel: (01429) 234145

    (Google Map)

    Tickets are free and available from the BrainSpace Eventbrite page.

    BrainSpace poster

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  • 10 Jan

    From Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th January 2014 we’ll be at the world famous BETT exhibition. It’s kind of like Glastonbury for elearning, but with less mud and people dressed as druids. Come and see us on Stand B200, near the center, next door to the Learn Live arena.

    BrainPOP BETT 2013 stand

    The calm before the storm at BETT 2013

    What can you expect from BrainPOP this year?

    • An exclusive 30 day free trial to BrainPOP UK, BrainPOP Jr, and BrainPOP ESL
    • Personal demos by experienced BrainPOPpers of our range of learning resources
    • Play with our GameUp games, including new ones launching at BETT
    • Try out our BETT Awards finalist apps for Apple and Android devices. They’re free too so if you can get a decent wireless signal you can download them on the spot
    • Meet a VIB (Very Important BrainPOPper) – classroom practitioners that use BrainPOP in class and have kindly volunteered to work alongside the BrainPOP crew for a few hours, showing others how they use BrainPOP in their schools
    • Presentations and TeachMeet Takeovers throughout the show
    • Take home handful of a Moby badges for your pupils, and some of our special BETT only Digital Leader badges
    • A chance to get a hug and photo from Moby, our resident robot. This year he will happily do a selfie with you.

    What else are we up to?

    At 16:30pm on Wednesday 22nd January we’re co-hosting a live panel discussion on games based learning titled “Playing Games – Does gaming offer effective learning contexts?” in the MirandaNet lounge. The line of contributors is amazing and it’s free to attend.

    In the evening we’re very honoured to be attending as finalists at the BETT Awards. Keep everything you’ve got crossed for us!

    At 11am Friday 24th January we’re welcoming Tim Handley & Class to present on our stand on the topic of “Top 20 apps in 15 mins”. Mr Handley’s class are old hands at presenting at BETT and it’ll be well worth 15 mins of your time to stop and listen to the kids. You may even pick up some great app tips!

    Almost straight after at 12pm we’re extremely happy to host a TeachMeet Takeover by Lisa Stevens (@lisibo). At time of writing the subject is TBC but she’s always an entertaining and wise speaker, so don’t be late!

    Throughout the show you can also experience BrainPOP on some of our partner’s stands.

    • Samsung (stand B98) will be hosting BrainPOP presentations on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as showing our range of Android apps on a dedicated BrainPOP Pod.
    • We are also now available through RM Unify, their new single sign on solution. Visit them on stands C240/250 to see it in action.
    • Dell (stand B368) will be welcoming an educator from Denmark, who has been trialling BrainPOP on her class set of Windows 8.1 devices, and will be presenting on her experience as part of their “Orchestrating the 1:1 Classroom” sessions.

    No doubt more exciting stuff will pop up as we get closer to the event but we hope to see lots of BrainPOPpers there, old and new. See you on the 22nd!

    PS: Have you  our “7 Must Read Ideas That Will Inspire You To Get The Best From BETT” for our hints and tips how to get the best from BETT?

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