• 25 Jan

    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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  • 28 Nov

    We always enjoy seeing how schools use BrainPOP so when Ms Tonks of Shireland Collegiate Academy said it would be okay for Jude (our BrainPOP Elearning & Mobile Consultant) to visit the school she jumped straight into her Moby-mobile. Here’s how she got on…

    Before lessons started for the day, we dropped in on a Year 9 class using BrainPOP  in tutor time. I had imagined the class would be watching the daily featured movie but on arrival I discovered that BrainPOP fits into the learning at Shireland Academy in a different and useful way.

    Shireland use a unique curriculum model called Literacies for Life’. This is a project-based learning approach that focuses on a common theme throughout all subjects for a given period of time and uses dynamic learning to bring the subject to life. The theme this month is ‘Over the Top’ – learning about WWI.

    Ms Dhillon ushered everyone into the room and we watched the WWI movie followed by the quiz. To add a fun twist to the quiz, after each question students held up a coloured card to show their answer – A, B, C, or D – and Ms Tonks and Ms Dhillon  stood at the front and could see which colour was the decision of the class.

    Voting cards

    The class answered nearly all the questions correctly – impressive how switched on everyone was considering it was only 9 am! No sooner had we finished the quiz than the bell went and everyone rushed off to their first lesson. I couldn’t help wondering what a Science lesson on the theme of WWI would be like (making mustard gas?).

    Having everything planned on the learning platform was helpful in squeezing learning into every little bit of the day. The eLearning team have embedded links to the BrainPOP movies (and other resources) being used in each lesson so they’re easy to find for teachers and students. They’ve even animated their own BrainPOP access buttons!

    KS3 Button Banner

    The elearning team kindly showed me a few more innovations they use to get the best out of their learning platform and resources:

    • In tutor time, teachers use flip cameras to record the work done – the evidence is then stored on the learning platform.
    • E-Pic’ – a library collection of resources students would find helpful tying in with the theme of the month. This could be free materials or clips or BrainPOP movies all accessible through an animated walkthrough, saving students and teachers hours of internet searching!
    • Attitude Rocks – short clips designed to prompt discussion about various situations that might arise in school. I thought the accents sounded familiar…sure enough, it turns out the voices had been done by students and teachers from the school.
    • Apps for Good – students have to come up with ideas for apps that don’t already exist but also do something good for the community. Quite a tall order considering the huge number of apps already out there! Undaunted, students are already coming up with ideas and designing the apps themselves, the best of which will actually be put into production by a digital company.

    I hope I’ll get the chance to call in and see Shireland again soon, it’s always good to get stocked up on good ideas to pass on to other BrainPOP schools. Meanwhile, I hope we can persuade Shireland students to blog for us in the future…they certainly have a lot to write about!

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  • 18 Oct

    Today we’ve invited Louise and her son J to share how they use BrainPOP at home. Having been an avid BrainPOP fan for well over a year J was super keen to tell us why he likes BrainPOP. We’ll hand you over to his Mum to take up the story…

    “As a child who is always keen to investigate topics and, at the same time, is an enthusiastic technology user BrainPOP UK is a daily ‘must visit’ site.

    J is a boy with motor coordination and planning difficulties (dyspraxia), but the site is completely accessible to him. A few clicks of the mouse and the odd bit of typing and he’s able to get to where he wants to be – independently.

    J loves to start with one topic and, by using the intelligent search, he will choose a movie to make his first ‘viewing’.

    As he watches Tim and Moby he chats along with them and answers their questions. For J this is an important part of learning. He needs to see the pictures but also see and hear the words too.

    Frequently he will laugh heartily at the content and, of course, he has some favourite movies (Bogies is his all time number 1!).

    He loves to share the movies he likes with his pals and they will all take turns to answer the POPQuiz at the end. Judging from their reactions, it’s a great hit for children from 5 to 13.

    At the start of each week, to help J with his planning and organisational skills, we talk about topics we’ll be covering or places that we are going to visit. J will carry out preparation work by seeing what BrainPOP can tell him.

    Sometimes, BrainPOP is used to consolidate learning done in other settings. For example, in the picture above, he was checking up on Sir Francis Drake by watching the Pirates movie. We’d been on holiday the week before and visited Buckland Abbey, which was Drake’s home.

    Whilst on holiday, J used the iPhone app to see the daily free movie when he wasn’t out building sandcastles. It too is simple to use and contains the same great graphics the website has.

    The best thing about BrainPOP for J is that it is completely his domain. The content is informative, fun and he drives his own exploration and learning. It keeps him engaged and Tim and Moby do not get fed up or complain about repeating themselves.

    He seeks out the new movies and is keen to share his new found knowledge with us.

    What a lovely way to learn!

    PS: J, as a piece of extension work for his blog post above, designed it as a PDF Independent Learning with Tim & Moby designed by J and also recorded a short Audioboo:


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  • 10 Nov

    When we were up in Glasgow recently, we treated ourselves to a wee school visit. Well, we say “wee”, but Calderglen High School in East Kilbride has roughly 1800 pupils so that was a misleading statement to say the least.

    We were invited along by class teachers, Mhairi Healy and Lindsay Purdon, to observe an S2 English class in action. The teachers decided to bring two S2 classes together for a creative World War One lesson.

    40 kids rolled through the doors and we were immediately impressed at how quickly they got organised.

    The lesson objectives were clear:

    1. In groups, come up with a slogan to encourage men to sign up and help the war effort
    2. Create a propaganda poster and include your slogan.
    3. Make a presentation to the rest of the class where you make a persuasive argument to young men to sign up and fight.

    To provide a little context and focus everyone’s attention, Mrs Healy and Ms Purdon played the World War I movie. Then, in groups of 4 and 5, the kids got to work.

    It was wonderful to see how quickly each group immersed themselves into the tasks assigned, easily deciding who got what job. They had one class period to come up with the slogan, design a poster, and write and practice their presentations. They all worked really well considering the time pressure. Slogans and design seemed to be a doddle to this lot – why don’t we find it that easy?!

    One hour up!

    Attention to the front again to watch the BrainPOP UK movie on Public Speaking. We loved how the teachers decided to use the movie – rather than play the whole thing, they started it halfway through to cover the most relevant points for the second half of the lesson. It worked really well as a way of focusing the class’ attention after the discourse and loud creativity of the previous hour.

    Presenting to BrainPOPpers (and everyone else in class)

    All of the groups did well with their presentations. Given the little time they had to prepare, we were excited to see how varied the presentations were and how innovative some of the groups could be.

    And the winner is…

    After some “x-factor style” deliberations we picked a winner – a group with an original idea which they carried off with real enthusiasm for the goal – to recruit young men to the British Army. They were men who were in the army themselves and could proudly say it was great to be fighting for their country; we were convinced to sign up ourselves!

    The winning group were given some specially made tartan badges and Ms Purdon got a prize-winning cup (a.k.a. BrainPOP UK mug).

    We finished off with a fun Q&A session and, fortunately, the kids had some good questions. We were asked what our favourite movie was and Ann picked Etymology (Moby speaks in this one!) which promptly led into a discussion and explanation of what etymology actually was – very appropriate for an English class.

    We had a fantastic time at Calderglen High School. As well as the English Department we visited the Gaelic Department – one classroom! We were warmly welcomed though our Gaelic was left wanting…

    Good luck Calderglen for the rest of the school year and Glee fun in English! It was a pleasure visiting your school and we hope to be back again soon. We’ll leave the last word to adorable BrainPOP fan and VIB, Mrs Healy:

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  • 29 Jun

    When Stacey Newman, a home educating parent, posted the comment below on POPtalk, we asked if she’d like to review the site.

    Not only did Stacey happily write a review but her 10 year old daughter, Esther, added her thoughts to boot!

    We couldn’t believe our luck and, we kid you not, there were tears of joy in the eyes of even the stoniest heart in the BrainPOP UK office when we read them…


    “A little background:

    I actually stumbled across BrainPOP UK by accident and subscribed for the free trial.  I must confess that with there being so much information available free of charge on the internet that I doubted I would subscribe to the site once the trial period was finished.

    Within the first hour I was impressed with the site.

    Before I allowed Esther to sit and use it I checked out a good number of the videos and topics available to see how sensitive issues such as reproduction, war and notorious people in history were dealt with.

    I am now most definitely subscribing to the site as I can see the advantage of the small fee for such a wealth of information all in one place.  This will cut down on hours of surfing the web for information and further time spent on writing my own quiz questions to see how much Esther has learned and retained.

    I was very impressed. Issues are not skirted around, but are dealt with sensitively and I felt, in an age appropriate manner.

    The fact that it covers so many topic areas in such an appealing way is fantastic.

    We are currently completing a  project on World War 2, a difficult subject to cover with a 10 year old.  Esther was interested in how it all began and why.  We are Christians who have an extremely close friendship with a Jewish family and she wanted to find out more about ‘The Holocaust‘.  I did wonder how such difficult subjects might be tackled with Tim and Moby, the lovable, quirky duo.  I was extremely impressed.  The topic was dealt with very delicately, tenderly and sensitively.

    Advantages of BrainPOP UK:

    • So much information all in one place – it’s like a one stop shop!
    • The videos are engaging and packed with information.
    • The videos I have seen are age appropriate and I would not worry about Esther accessing this site without me being in the same room. Safe surfing!
    • The quizzes are very useful and can be used in a number of ways. We use the review quiz fairly soon after watching the video clip just to check general comprehension of the topic then later on, sometimes the same day or even a few days later we will use the graded quiz or printed quiz to check retention of the information.
    • The extra FYIs that are currently available on some of the topics are also an excellent source of further information.  These are being expanded so that more will soon be available.
    • The related links are brilliant and again save time ploughing the Net for more resources.
    • The search section for easy access to items viewed in the past is very helpful.
    • I also must mention the very helpful BrainPOP UK team. I have had many questions re the site and have contacted the help team by phone and email.  Every person I have corresponded with and spoken to have been very friendly, professional and helpful.

    The BrainPOP UK site is a real asset to me as a busy home educating Mum.  I look forward to using the Site often.”

    Esther has some thoughts of her own she’d like to share…

    I enjoy everything about BrainPOP UK:

    • the videos because they are very informative and give you all the information you need and extra information, which is very easy to comprehend.
    • the quizzes because they test the knowledge you have acquired and help you see what you have retained and also what you need to study a bit more.
    • the FYIs are very good because they give you just the right amount of extra information without making you bored or making your brain explode with too much information.

    The site is excellent but I do think that it would be a good idea to have different levels of quizzes for different age ranges.

    I was impressed with all of the site, but I was most impressed with the way they dealt with delicate issues like WW2 and The Holocaust and the fact that these issues are not skirted around or just said in a sentence and not brought up again.  The way they do them is great and I think that it has just the right balance.  I think this because people need to be told what happened in the past to prevent it from happening in the future.

    I was also very impressed with the variety of subjects which could be accessed on the site.

    The Tim and Moby characters are really cool, very loveable, very funny and extremely easy to listen to.  The stories are very easy to follow.

    BrainPOP UK is an incredibly good site and I would recommend it to anybody between the ages of 7-14.”

    We really like Esther’s idea for the quizzes – definitely something to bear in mind for future.

    As a thank you to Stacey and Esther, we’ve extended their free trial so they now get to enjoy BrainPOP free for the rest of the summer. Lucky them!

    As ever, if you have thoughts or feedback you’d like to share with us just get in touch by emailing info@brainpop.co.uk

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  • 20 May

    We don’t say enough how much parents like BrainPOP UK, to use out of school as a safe, interesting and engaging resource.

    So we asked one of our parent subscribers to tell us why they use BrainPOP UK. Here’s her review.

    “My 10 year old daughter loves BrainPOP UK.

    Here’s why:

    • It’s great for people who think in pictures. It suits visual learning styles and it’s perfect for children with a short attention span or for busy people who don’t have time to watch long programmes.
    • The range and choice of subjects is fascinating, informative and seems to be well-researched.
    • The illustrations are great.
    • The tone seems just right, even in subjects that could be controversial or difficult to explain to children.
    • Clips can be watched at a time that is convenient for the user, any time of day or night.
    • Very educational, but the children are having so much fun, they don’t notice how much they are learning about the world until they impress their parents with something that even they don’t know. And then, when you ask them how they know, they’ll probably say they heard it on BrainPOP.
    • School is so long nowadays and sitting at a desk all day can be very tedious for a child.  BrainPOP is so much fun and so different from being talked at by a teacher, that my daughter begs to watch a few more clips even when we’re short of time.
    • I have recommended BrainPOP to friends and they seem very impressed and pleased that such resources exist.
    • Clips can be watched many times, either because of the humour or to consolidate learning.
    • The content offers something for a huge range of ages – I would say from 7 to a 100+

    My ideas for BrainPOP UK:

    • Personally, I would have liked more voices behind the clips.
    • Maybe some children and women could also read some of the material.
    • We’re always hoping that you will add more new clips!
    • We feel that some of the movies are a bit too short – could perhaps be 4-5 minutes, but then the beauty of BrainPOP UK is that it explains and illustrates everything so clearly and concisely.

    We don’t use other resources, apart from BrainPOP UK. Our daughter spends all day at school and it’s important that she has time to play and relax when at home. She used Mathletics and Spellodrome for a little while. They are excellent (award-winning in fact), but it’s difficult to find time for them or any other useful resources.

    I enjoy watching the clips with my daughter and learn from them myself, but I know that I don’t need to check the content before I allow access to it. So if I don’t have time to watch them, I know that whatever she is listening to within BrainPOP UK is entirely appropriate.

    I consider that her time on BrainPOP UK is time well spent, as she is being exposed to important matters that the school might not cover. This will surely broaden her horizon and help her to become a well-rounded and caring citizen.”

    And we’ll save the last word for the daughter in question, Donny, the lucky recipient of some Moby badges:

    “Thank you so much for the badges you sent me. I love them! I also love BrainPOP.”

    Best wishes, Donny”

    by Merita Lumley, from Buckinghamshire.

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  • 17 Mar

    We recently asked on the Edugeek forum if anyone would be willing to help us research integrating BrainPOP UK into their school VLEs.

    The response from the Edugeek community was amazing (a dedicated blog post about that another time). We’re still collating the research but we wanted to show you an example of how generous and helpful some people can be.

    The below are two screencasts made by James May, ICT Manager at St Margaret’s CE Junior School. They are evaluating the Its Learning VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) platform for their school.

    Obviously one of the major considerations when buying a VLE is ease of use and ability to integrate the products you know and love. Our request was just the excuse he needed to apply his growing Its Learning skills.

    The first movie shows how he inserted our new POPbox (our POPbox shows the current featured movie and can be embedded into a webpage):

    The second shows how he linked BrainPOP UK movies directly into a “discussion” page, using an iFrame technique (using an auto-login URL we supplied so the user doesn’t need to login to BrainPOP UK to access the resources). iFrames can show “a webpage within a webpage”. This is useful as the teacher can link directly to an individual movie, invite comments and the pupil doesn’t need to necessarily leave the VLE.

    Huge BrainPOP UK thanks to James for his time.

    What does this tell us?

    1. BrainPOP UK is pretty easy to integrate into your VLE. The techniques James showcases here are fairly standard and could be replicated in the vast majority of VLEs. We’re building a set of “How to” pages for each of the major VLEs in the UK. If you are unsure, let us know and we’ll help.
    2. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. We are very grateful to the EduGeekers for their support and experience.

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  • 16 Dec

    We are very lucky and privileged to regularly get Tweets and emails from our customers telling us what they think about BrainPOP UK.

    A while ago we received a letter. A real letter on real paper from a real person. This is actually a pretty rare occasion in this digital era.

    It was from Vickie Bacon, a Maths Specialist and Enrichment co-ordinator (and huge fan of all things BrainPOP) who teaches Years 3 to 8 at Hurstpierpoint College in Sussex , and simply had to write in and tell us how much her and her students loved BrainPOP UK.

    “…I immediately decided to sign up for a free trial. I am so glad I did! Since then I have been converted into a passionate user of BrainPOP! I couldn’t wait to introduce it into my classes. So much so, that I’d like to share with you the different ways in which BrainPOP is now being used throughout the curriculum…”

    Well, it seemed like a perfect excuse for Tim, Moby, Eylan BrainPOP and Mike BrainPOP to jump in the BRAINmobile and go and say hi.

    IMG_1639

    During the first class, Y7 maths, we were impartial observers, seeing how she incorporated Tim & Moby into her front of class teaching. She mentioned on several occasions how well behaved and quiet the children were that day. We’d like to think it was BrainPOP’s super engagement power but we secretly suspect this was mostly because there were two BrainPOPpers watching from the back of the room ;-)

    IMG_1655

    Tim and Moby’s movie on Fractions took centre stage as Mrs Bacon framed the whole lesson around it. The movie had the students undivided attention and the message seemed to sink in as the POPquiz was shared by all.

    One by one the pupils hopped up from their chairs to tap the interactive whiteboard to answer the POPquiz questions. It’s always fascinating to see how the product we pour our hearts into used so effectively and engagingly. She clicked around the screens with ease, pausing for discussion points on several occasions. We’ll be blogging the detail of the lesson in Part 2.

    IMG_1661

    The lesson came to an end and the children began to pack up their things. At this point, Mrs Bacon officially introduced us to the children, although it felt more like the big reveal at the end of a game show, because the kids mobbed us immediately! We survived the demands for Moby t-shirts and mouse mats, but only just. Vickie was very happy with her new Tim & Moby mug.

    It was very special getting to speak with the children, who subsequently never left our side for the remainder of the day, helpfully making suggestions for such things as new products and movies. They were big, big fans.

    We went on to have encouraging chats in the staff rooms and corridors, eventually seeing BrainPOP UK used on a one-to-one basis. This showed that BrainPOP UK is just as engaging on this smaller, more personal level, as it is for larger classes.

    IMG_1672

    Overall, it was about as positive as a customer experience can get. We plan to return to Hurstpierpoint in the New Year for an open day, where other schools in the area will attend to see it in action and to share experiences.

    Following that, Vickie Bacon hopes to join us at BETT in January as a VIB (Very Important BrainPOPper) to present BrainPOP UK on the Promethean Planet stand. It will be great having her there and suggesting to teachers that they don’t just have to take our word for it.

    So we got to spend most of the day seeing Tim and Moby in action across a selection of classes and to not only meet the teachers who use it, but to also meet the children (or should we say BrainPOPpers?) who adored it.

    Big thanks to Vickie, her kids and the staff at Hurstpierpoint college for making us feel so welcome.

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  • 09 Nov

    We met the lovely Annette Iafrate (twitter: @annette__i ) at the recent Scottish Learning Festival Teachmeet in September 2009.

    She is a big BrainPOP UK fan and told us stories about how her class used Tim and Moby as characters in their climate change wall posters.

    Well, suffice to say (after we waved a whole book of Moby stickers at her), she kindly agreed to tell us the story of that lesson. We just LOVE pupil made Tim & Moby stuff! Anything we can share and enjoy that comes direct from the classroom is the juice that keeps us motivated…

    “Hi BrainPOP,

    I’m currently doing my probation (NQT) year at Knightswood Secondary, Glasgow.

    I have a fantastic S1 Geography class, with whom I have been working through a unit on weather. Towards the end of the unit I decided to include a few lessons on climate change. We focused on the causes, environmental impacts and what pupils can do to help prevent it.

    I decided to use the BrainPOP UK movie on Global Warming and quiz as a plenary to the lesson. I signed up for a free trial as I had been directed to the site after reading Ollie Bray’s blog.

    I used the global warming movie because it brought together everything we had been learning during the lesson.

    Using the clips with the lower school (S1/2) was useful because they are short, fun and cater to different learning styles.

    They engage the pupils with their bright and colourful animations and at the same time are packed with geographical content. The quizzes are great too because the pupils are given instant feedback.

    After watching the movie the next lesson pupils were given was a task to design a poster to be placed around the school that makes people think about their actions and what they can do to help limit climate change.

    I specifically asked them to make the posters fun so as to attract pupils their age to read them. Some pupils had asked me to play the global warming movie again as they wanted to include Tim and Moby in theirs. The poster was then taken away to be completed as homework, and the photos you see below were the end result.

    I have also used some of the movies with other classes – PSE and tutor group – the bullying and Swine flu movies.

    Annette Iafrate”

    Sounds like you used Tim & Moby to inspire some real creativity. You have also inspired the team to establish our own climate change manifesto. Thanks so much for sharing your lesson with us, Annette.

    s1 climate change2_small

    s1 climate change3_small

    s1 climate change4_small

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  • 05 Oct

    We’re excited to welcome Dawn Hallybone as an official BrainPOPper today.

    Dawn, a Senior Year 6 teacher and ICT Co-ordinator at Oakdale Junior School, has very kindly offered to give us her take on using BrainPOP UK.

    Dawn is perhaps best known for her ground breaking work with game based learning in the classroom  – see her presentation here using Nintendo DS in the classroom. She is also deservedly a finalist for the Hand Held Learning 2009 Special Achievement Awards winner of the Hand Held Learning 2009 Special Achievement Awards!! (Well done, Dawn!)

    If you’ve been fortunate enough to hear her speak you’ll know what an inspirational teacher she is, and how passionate she is about integrating exciting and engaging ICT into the realities of classroom life.

    dwan_hallybone

    “I am not sure when or where I first heard of this product but have a feeling it may have been at BETT.

    I remember being drawn by the bright colours and the characters of Tim and Moby. This is true as well of the students themselves when they first use it; however there is a lot more to this package than colours and characters.

    BrainPOP UK is an online environment, where as a teacher and as a pupil you can watch short (5 minute) videos explaining a range of subjects across the National Curriculum.

    The videos are well presented and convey the information in both a child-friendly and factual way as well as injecting humour – a must I feel with some topics! After each video there is a short activity and a quiz, although you do not need to complete this if you chose not to.

    I used BrainPOP UK a lot during the Summer Term with my year 6 class, and found their videos covering puberty and PHSE invaluable as they dealt with these topics sensitively, but with a sprinkling of humour!

    When I asked the class which part of the topic they had enjoyed – they all agreed watching Tim and Moby as it:

    • ‘…made it clear’
    • ‘…did not talk down to us’
    • ‘…I felt they understood us’
    • ‘…I liked the fact that the letters are written by real children’ (a fact that I nor they knew until we asked via Twitter – another recommendation by one of the class when I admitted that I did not know).

    Once we had used it for this topic – the class were eager to explore other areas – they wanted to know what else Tim and Moby talked about!!! We then discovered some great resources for Literacy and Maths which we watched before we sat the SATS.

    Again this idea came from the children not me and proved a hit as one they were all watching, learning and relaxing before their tests. There are numerous ways of using the resource. I tend to use it to introduce the topic, and use the quiz at the end as I find that this equips the children with a good degree of knowledge before we start any topic.

    BrainPOP UK is a subscription service, but the range of subjects that they cover is vast and they are constantly looking at ways of improving and are great at listening and responding to suggestions from both pupils and teachers.

    They also offer free videos each month – a great idea particularly when the Swine flu hit schools and children were worried. We embedded this onto our school blog and children were able to share this with their parents at home.

    It can also be watched on a trial basis, which as a teacher I feel invaluable when trialling out resources with my children. It can look really good and sound really good in a sound bite or blurb on company website but it is when it is used in a real context that, for me, is the real test!

    I and the class thoroughly enjoyed trying out BrainPOP UK during the Summer term – now the only question is – where did I leave that order form?”

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