• 16 Sep

    Did you catch Tim & Moby on the TV?

    BrainPOP was featured on the BBC’s flagship technology show, BBC Click, at the weekend (14/9/2013).

    BrainPOP on BBC Click with Kate Russell

    Tech journalist Kate Russell showed BrainPOP UK on her popular ‘Webscape’ segment, her “weekly review of the best apps and websites”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01gn3c8

    BBC Click has always been a firm favourite and must watch for the BrainPOP team so you can imagine how excited and honoured we are to be featured.

    Kate says:

    “To keep the children entertained and educated, BrainPOP is a digital learning platform for mobile and desktop that makes soaking up knowledge feel more like playing a game, with the help of two fun characters, Moby and Tim. The website uses animations, games, interactive quizzes and loads of other fun stuff to reinforce the learning experience. ”

    BrainPOP on BBC Click

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  • 12 Sep

    Big app news! Our BrainPOP UK Featured Movie app and BrainPOP Jr Movie of the Week app have both been awarded 5 stars and the prestigious “EAS Recommended” certification.

    EAS recommends BrainPOP UK

    “BrainPOP have created beautifully animated videos with accompany quiz testing features…that will suit the classroom learning environment or will do well to support extended learning at home.”

    http://www.educationalappstore.co.uk/app/8724/brainpop-uk-featured-movie

    What is the EAS Certification?

    It’s all about “determining what makes a good educational app”.

    Here’s what EAS says:

    “There are over 100,000 educational apps available in the stores. A lot of them overlap and are in similar subjects therefore, it is important to be able to identify what makes a good educational app. We created the EAS Certification in order to benchmark the apps against a set of pedagogical criteria and academic research. Our community of teachers review and rate the app using our pedagogical EAS Certification.

    1. A strong association with learning outcomes (whether curriculum or non-curriculum based).
    2. Interactivity with the learner via correction and feedback on any questions that are set.
    3. An ease of use of the app so that the learner does not need any guidance and teach one’s self if necessary.
    4. A variety of levels in the app so that learners can progress and different levels of learning within the same age-group can be taken into account.
    5. The ability to collaborate on work with others and co-create.
    6. The impetus to motivate learners to go beyond the apps and find more information on the subject at hand.
    7. The impetus to engage learners and hold their attention to fulfil learning objectives.
    8. Clear pricing, no in-app purchases and privacy controls.
    9. Good quality, design and sound features.
    10. Content without errors in subject matter and/or spelling.”

    This criteria means that only the most educationally valuable apps receive the EAS certification. We were identified as useful for:

    • Cognitive Development
    • Critical Thinking
    • Life Skills
    • Academic Relevance

    Give our app a try – it’s free, can be linked to existing BrainPOP site subscriptions and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

    Get our BrainPOP UK Android app

    App itunes badge

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  • 05 Sep

    Have you noticed an amazing new addition to some of our Topic pages?

    Lesson Ideas button

    New for Autumn term 2013 we’ve started the process of adding BrainPOP Lesson Ideas to each Topic. Look for a “Lesson Ideas” button on a movie page and click it to see the associated lesson support.

    The Lesson Ideas for our Credit Card Topic

    These ideas were provided by teachers from all over the world, based on successful classroom practice. Each one provides one or more lesson frameworks, a way to use our resources to create an engaging learning experience. Some Lesson Ideas will cross over multiple topics but we’ll be adding many more over the coming months.

    The age ranges, ideas and activities are quite broad and intended to be flexible. You could follow a Lesson Idea to the letter or adapt parts of the plans as you see fit.

    We’ll also be looking for NEW Lesson Ideas soon, so if you have any BrainPOP based Lesson Ideas you want to share with us please keep them safe and sound.

    Here are 7 Topics with new Lesson Ideas to get you started:

    Arts: Mozart

    WolfgangAmadeusMozartScreenshot3

    English: Similes and Metaphors

    SimilesandMetaphorsScreenshot2

    Humanities: Humans and the Environment

    HumansandtheEnvironmentScreenshot3

    Maths: Adding and Subtracting Integers

    Adding and Subtracting Integers

    PSHE: Credit Cards

    CreditCardsScreenshot1

    Science: Human Body

    HumanBodyScreenshot3

    Tech: Internet Search

    InternetSearchScreenshot3

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  • 08 Jul

    BrainPOPpers Hayley and Jude had the pleasure of attending the first Blackpool Celebrating Science Conference, an innovative event where children from local schools had the opportunity attend lots of different science based workshops.

    The day ranged from handling creepy crawlies and constructing erupting volcanoes, to making bananas chime with a MaKey MaKey.

    Blackpool Celebrating Science Logo

    Celebrating Science

    The conference brought representatives from primary schools around the area to St. Mary’s Catholic College; a school specialising in maths and computing with fantastic facilities.

    St. Mary’s kindly let BrainPOP UK and the other workshop leaders take over classrooms and labs for the day to put the kids through their scientific paces, and of course to inspire the teachers with different ways science and ICT can be incorporated into lessons.

    Though the first group was as quiet as you would expect for first thing in the morning in a strange venue (and one filled with big kids!) it wasn’t long before they opened up and started getting stuck in.

    First up we got them to tell us what they already knew about electricity and the types of things we use it for, then showed them the BrainPOP UK Electric Circuits movie to bridge any gaps in understanding and introduce the concept of conductors and insulators – our focus for the day.

    Blackpool celebrating science workshop

     

    The Desk of Curiosities

    After the kids told us what they learned from the movie about conductors and insulators they then came up to what we dubbed the “Desk of Curiosities” which was crammed with a selection of oddities from our homes and the BrainPOP UK office.

    The kids had the opportunity to feel the objects and work out what they were made of, then voted as to whether they thought they would or wouldn’t conduct.

    They had fun working out what some of our troublesome items were such as a marble apple and some sneaky items like a ceramic statue with a hidden piece of copper tape.

    We went through the piles of “yes”, “no”, and “maybe” objects by connecting them up to a MaKey MaKey and testing them by using this piano made in Scratch. If the object conducts then the piano would chime! We even had all the kids hold hands and used ourselves as one of the conductors to start a talk on safety around electricity.

    We purposefully chose some surprising objects like the banana and the Play Doh and the kids got a chance to reassess some of their guesses when a result surprised them. In the end we finished up with our conduction hall of fame and talked about which ones we were most surprised by and thought of other things we’d like to test if we did the experiment again.

    One of the best moments of the day was when one group (disbelieving that the banana we had just tested could really conduct) insisted that we peel it, break it in half and eat a piece before they believed we hadn’t tampered with it! That constant questioning lies at the heart of good science.

    We finished up by making our own game pad to control BrainPOP’s GameUp games – the most popular one of the day was a maths game called Dublox which we played as a team. There were even kids who had finished other workshops watching us at the windows working out the puzzles for when it was their turn later!

    A Grand Day Out

    All in all we had a wonderful day hearing all about what the kids had learned and experienced in other workshops (the creepy crawlies were particularly popular) and seeing how much fun they had in ours. We got some fantastic questions about electricity and conductors from the kids, and even the secondary school prefects who were guiding the students to their workshops couldn’t help but join in to help solve Dublox.

    The kids seemed to enjoy the day as much as we did and we received some lovely feedback from both teachers and children. A teacher from Devonshire Primary School said, “It gave me ideas on how to use ICT in science. Useful videos to use as part of a lesson. Would use in a lesson and interested in getting a ‘MaKey MaKey’!” and a quote from one of the children who attended, “I really enjoyed it. I learnt that it doesn’t have to be a metal as a conductor.”

    If you’d like to give trying out BrainPOP and the MaKey MaKey in your own lessons you can find a lesson plan to try based on this workshop here.

     

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  • 17 Jun

    We are super excited to present the 4 winning badge designs in our 2013 Moby badge idea competition.

    We received 100s of amazing entries from all over the world, showing such a wonderful range of ideas and talent that Moby nearly blew a fuse trying to decide his favourites. You’ll find each new design and the winning idea that inspired it below.

    Each winner will see their badge made into a real life Moby badge, and receive a first print set. Winners and special mentions will be notified by email in the next couple of days. Thank you everyone who entered!

    line 3

    “Mo-be, or not Mo-be? That is the question”

    Why we liked this idea: Our Shakespeare topic is very popular but we’ve never had a badge design to go with it! We loved the idea of Moby posing as Hamlet during his famous “Alas, poor Yorick…” speech. Or should that be “Alas, poor Tim”?
    Congratulations Lauren R, Oakdale Junior!

    Moby? Or not Moby? badge

    Moby or not Moby original

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    Mo-Bee

    Why we liked this idea: What’zzz not to like about a buzzing, flying Mo-bee? Someonezzz clearly been inzzzpired by our Honeybees topic!
    Congratulations Ivy I, Oakdale Junior!

    Mo-Bee badge

    Mo-Bee original

     

    line 3

    Mobylisa (with an enigmatic smile)

    Why we liked this idea: The most famous painting in the word, the Monalisa, by Leonardo Da Vinci, is an inspired idea for a Moby badge. But look at his enigmatic smile! What can he be thinking..?
    Congratulations Araz T, Kuwait English school!
    Mobylisa badge

    Mobylisa original

     

    line 3

    Tuten-Moby, Robot Pharaoh of Egypt

    Why we liked this idea: We’ve had a Mummy badge but not a Pharaoh badge. Apparently whoever discovers the tomb of TutenMoby will be cursed forever!
    Congratulations Nicole G, Saint Joseph Institutional Elementary School!

    Pharaoh TutenMoby badge

     

    TutenMoby original

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    Special mentions:

    There were some ideas that, while they didn’t make final design, are worthy of note. The two entries below are special mentions and will be receiving a pack of new badges each.

    MerMoby by Eleanor T, St John Baptist school

    MerMoby

    80s Synth Moby by Kelli Louise P, Longton Lane school

    Synth Moby

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  • 10 Jun

    We saw such a terrific video on the BrainPOP Educators blog this week that we had to re-blog to bring it to the attention of our UK readers.

    “Mooresville North Carolina has gotten national publicity for their successful implementation of a one to one laptop program. So we were thrilled to see that BrainPOP was featured in a video about Mooresville on EdWeek’s “Digital Curricula Evolving” video series. In this video, see how 6th grade teacher, Judy Cohen, assigns BrainPOP videos as homework “to introduce, to reinforce and to remediate.” She also describes how video is engaging today’s students. “it doesn’t replace the interaction, but it does help them to formulate questions.” Cohen is clearly a gifted teacher, and she describes how using online video has profoundly changed the way she teaches.”

    Andrew Gardner, Senior Manager, BrainPOP Educators
    BrainPOP in Mooresville NC – a Video from EdWeek

    The video really does highlight how BrainPOP is embraced as a resource in Judy’s classroom. Even though it’s a school several 1000 miles away from most readers of this blog we think the themes are universal.

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  • 10 May

    COMPETITION TIME! Would you like to see YOUR design on a new Moby badge?

    Badge-Design

    This competition is open to anyone under 16. All you need to do is:

    1. Download and print this Badge Design Competition template. IMPORTANT: Use the big circle for your design and keep inside the lines as best you can. We’ve added an “actual size” circle too so you have an idea of how big your badge would be in real life.
    2. We like to make badges that are inspired by our topics. Your design must incorporate Moby in some way – perhaps in costume, or in a famous historical setting, or in the style of your favourite artist! The possibilities are endless. For inspiration see some of the badges we’ve made in the past. But be creative as you like!
    3. Don’t take too long! The competition closes midnight 26th May 2013.
    4. Scan or photograph it and send it to us using the form below. You could also post your entry to:

    Moby Badge Competition
    BrainPOP UK
    58 St. Aldates
    Oxford
    OX1 1ST

    We’ll pick our favourite design which will be made into a REAL Moby badge later this summer. The winner will not only be sent a first edition print of their badge, but also the first person in the world to get a pack of our upcoming new badge collection.

    Submission criteria

    • Finished work must be submitted using the Badge Design Competition template
    • This competition is for children up to 16 years old
    • The winner will be chosen by the BrainPOP UK team (Moby and BrainPOP’s decision is final)
    • The winning design will be interpreted by the BrainPOP design team and re-created in the BrainPOP graphics style (BrainPOP’s design decision is final)
    • Entries must be received by midnight on 26th May 2013 (entries received after the competition deadline will not be considered)
    • The winners will be contacted by email. Failure to provide a working email address will void your entry
    • Winning entries will be showcased on this blog
    • You can read our full Terms and Conditions on our website

    Good luck, everyone!

    Fill out my online form.

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  • 29 Apr

    Wow! It seems we’ve been shortlisted in the “Online skills and training” category in the Nominet Internet Awards 2013!

    What are the awards?

    “The awards celebrate the achievements and innovation of UK internet initiatives. Now in their seventh year, the annual awards aim to showcase projects which help to make the internet a more secure, open, accessible and diverse experience for all.”

    http://nia.nominet.org.uk/

    Our category is sponsored by the venerable Open University. This is the criteria that entrants had to meet:

    • Helping people to learn new skills or knowledge using the internet
    • Using the internet to provide access to education or information
    • Websites or tools that help to empower people online
    • Improving skills to help users make the most of the internet

    Well, Tim, Moby and The BrainPOPpers are knocked sideways even to be considered to stand alongside the other worthy entrants.

    Now, can you help?

    We would love it, if our fans from far and wide, could add their vote to our entry. Votes don’t decide the outcome but are taken into account.

    It would mean the world to us if we knew folks out there thought enough of us to give us a nod. The Nominet Internet Awards evening is on 4th July 2013 (at the British Library in London, no less) so please get your vote in before then if you can.

    To do this just fill in this very short form, and select the “Online skills and training” category > then “BrainPOP UK”. Simple.

    Thanks for your support everyone, we’ll keep you updated!

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  • 26 Apr

    Google Apps for Education is the free browser based set of office and productivity tools, starting to be adopted by many schools across the UK, and the world. And we have our own free Google app your school can download.

    Our short screencast shows some of the ways you can combine BrainPOP and and Google apps:

    A great blog to read if you are thinking about setting up Google Apps in school is http://ianaddison.net/, run by the ever helpful @ianaddison. It is super supportive, offering advice to other teachers or administrators setting up their domain.

    But leaving to one side the technology, what ideas for teaching and learning does Google Apps bring to the table?

    One increasingly popular approach is Project Based Learning.

    BrainPOP has long been a go to resource for project or enquiry based learning and with the addition of the BrainPOP Google app students and teachers can use BrainPOP outside the classroom too.

    (Not sure about project based learning? Download this comprehensive primer to PBL –  ”Work that matters: The teacher’s guide to project-based learning” which describes PBL as “…students designing, planning, and carrying out an extended project that produces a publicly-exhibited output such as a product, publication, or presentation.“)

    In PBL:

    1. Students must work together to solve real life problems, and present solutions to the outside world.
    2. It is designed to foster communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills. The skills students will need to work in a globally connected online world.

    If you are interested in exploring PBL practice, we suggest the blogs of Tait Coles or Darren Mead for amazing teacher eye views of planning and implementing PBL with different student cohorts.

    Being able to use Google Apps is ideal for students engaged in project work because it lets them communicate with their teacher and each other in a safe environment and collaborate on the production of documents in real time by sharing.

    The point of project based learning is really to let students discover their own answers, the teacher acts more akin to a facilitator than an instructor. Sometimes students can lack the necessary ‘scaffold’ of knowledge to formulate solutions and this is something BrainPOP can help support.

    Learning subject knowledge is only part of the process of Project based learning. Doing this quickly and efficiently means students can get on with the other vital elements such as thinking about and applying their learning. On BrainPOP UK not only will you find topics that cover curriculum areas, you will find a huge number of skills based topics from public speaking to writing business letters.

    Google Apps + BrainPOP is a great fit for Project Based Learning because it gives students ‘anytime access’ to information without telling them all the answers (you can’t cut and paste from a BrainPOP movie!).

    It lets them discover what they find interesting without sticking rigidly to a curriculum.

    After all, life’s not like that… why should learning be?

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  • 25 Apr

    To better support our teachers we’ve created a new section called “Teacher Use“.

    You can access it from the main website home page or from this blog.

    It brings together all the very best articles and materials to help you get the most out of BrainPOP, and offer up inspiration from the classroom stories we’ve gathered in the last few years.

    We’ve divided it up into the following sections, some practical, some exploratory.

    • Spread the Word Kit – A collection of resources, support materials and technical tips to help you introduce and embed BrainPOP into your school.
    • BrainPOP lesson tips and techniques – A digest of quick wins to effective use of BrainPOP in class. It’s a great place to start.
    • BrainPOP and SEN children – This is where we have brought together (and will continue to add) stories about how BrainPOP has been successfully used with SEN childen.
    • BrainPOP and the curriculum – Read stories of how schools have subscribed to BrainPOP to complement their curriculum choices.
    • Create outstanding lessons – Using BrainPOP as a way to engage kids and build terrific learning experiences.
    • Use BrainPOP to stimulate further learning – Ideas to help you expand your use of BrainPOP, or simple inspiration to enhance your school’s digital learning.
    • BrainPOP for NQTs – A couple of case studies explaining why BrainPOP is a big hit with newly qualified teachers. Always happy to find more!
    • Making Great Use of Mobile Technology – Mobile is a HUGE part of the future of BrainPOP. Learn how to get started with BrainPOP mobile in this section.
    • Using ICT effectively – Experience how BrainPOP can add tremendous value to your ICT strategy and demonstrate modern and effective ICT teaching.
    • Promoting Literacy Across the Curriculum – See how BrainPOP can be used to promote opportunities to deliver literacy learning in ANY subject.

    All these sections will be constantly developed and improved over time. If you have any feedback or suggestions (or you’d like to feature your own experiences of BrainPOP!) please get in touch.

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