• 08 Sep

    tim_moby_banner

    Welcome back to school, all our fellow BrainPOPpers and POPettes, old and new.

    We hope your summer break was a proper break. We know the sun only made a few appearances but when it did we hope you got out there and enjoyed it.

    You might have read about some of the stuff that’s coming up from BrainPOP UK this Autumn term? Well, it’s time to draw back the curtains and announce some of them in more detail.

    1. Our new Curriculum browse tool. We’re going back to the drawing board with this one. It will allow all our users to quickly and efficiently find and view a BrainPOP UK movie by a number of different curricula. And it will even be exportable as a Flash widget to plug into a webpage.
    2. POPboxes – we’re very excited about these. Soon you will be able to pick a favourite BrainPOP UK movie and embed it into your very own VLEs and Blog pages. There will be different flavours available depending on whether you have subscribed to BrainPOP UK or not. The official announcement on how to get one is coming soon.
    3. POP Press! - Our new termly email newsletter  – keep up to date with all things BrainPOP UK as the year progresses.
    4. Complete tagging for the new Curriulum for Excellence for Scotland - every single one of our movies, old and new, will very soon be browsable by this curriculum AND the old 5-14 curriculum. We’ll be at the Scottish Learning Festival and the Teachmeet if anyone wants to chat about it.
    5. We love BrainPOP UK…stuff. BrainPOP UK Tshirts, Moby and Tim cut out masks, Moby badges, BrainPOP UK posters, stickers…there’s going to be lots of fun resources to use as creatively as you like in your class or win in competitions. All we’re interested in is hearing about how you used them.
    6. New and exclusive UK only movies on UK specific subjects - we’re keeping these hush-hush for now but we will be announcing them when we’re ready.
    7. We’ll be on the look out for BrainPOP UK schools to do case studies, provide testimonials, write blog posts and help us test new technology in the classroom. If this is something you want to do you know how to contact us.
    8. More fun on our Facebook group, our Twitter feed, our Youtube channel.
    9. 160+ new movies are coming! Quick! Get your lesson plans ready, ladies and gentlemen, because you are soon going to be treated to movies such as:
    • Rise of the Roman Empire
    • Isotopes
    • Galaxies
    • Ants
    • Graphs
    • Adding and subtracting integers
    • The computer mouse
    • The Cold War
    • Punctuation
    • Sun protection
    • Roald Dahl
    • The Lord of the Flies
    • Mahatma Gandhi
    • Did I say there’s going to be a movie on Bogies? I didn’t? Well, there is.
    • And Pirates! Garr!

    We’ll be blogging the full list at a later date so keep an eye out.

    So there’s lots of BrainPOPpy awesomeness coming your way. We are bursting with ideas on how to help you use technology to engage your students.

    Work with us to make the ideas go from theory to classroom practice. And have enormous fun along the way.

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  • 24 Aug

    Moby will fix it!If you visit BrainPOP UK in the next few days it may act a little…freaky.

    You may see a few empty categories or movies that appear or disappear rather randomly and some new and unfamiliar sub-categories.

    This blog post is to let you know that you’re not going barmy; it’s us making some long over due enhancements to the website. We’ve spent the last few months completely reviewing all our curriculum tagging on BrainPOP UK.

    The most immediate change is to improve the findability of movies via the homepage using language the classroom teacher is comfortable and happy with. So we’re changing or adding brand new sub categories.

    For example:

    • “Cell Structure” will be changed to “Cells” and placed into a new sub category called “Life Processes”.
    • “Weather and Climate” will be added to the sub category “Geography” under the main category “Humanities
    • “Using and Applying” is a brand new sub category.

    Instead of taking the whole site down we thought we’d do them one by one over the next week or so. We hope it won’t effect your experience but if you can’t find a movie or quiz in that time then come back later and it will probably have returned. You can always use the keyword search at the top of the screen as the movies themselves are not going anywhere. Also if you link to any categories you may need to change the URL after it’s moved.

    PS: We’re also re-vamping our Curriculum Planning tool (which we’re simply calling the FIND tool for now) and adding lots of new movies. LOTS of new movies. There’s a whole separate blog post coming soon about them.

    PPS: You are going to be blown away with all the BrainPOPpy goodness that’s on the way.

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  • 01 Jun

    Teachers use BrainPOP UK in lots of different ways – but almost all find BrainPOP UK an invaluable resource to deliver their plans for teaching and learning.

    Most of our teachers find the movies they need by starting with the 6 topics shown on our lovely home page and exploring from there.

    But some teachers want a more targeted search or browse, perhaps to compliment a lesson plan or react to a world event.

    We are looking for Primary and Secondary teachers in the UK to help us build version 2 of our planning support tool for later this year.

    You can find version 1 right here: http://www.brainpop.co.uk/support/standards_correlations.weml

    brainpop-uk-planning-tool

    We’re still very new and our first attempt is just about OK. And just OK isn’t OK for us. We think it can be much better. We have some ideas, but…

    We are looking for a handful of teachers who are already BrainPOP UK subscribers or on the free trial to tell us how they’d improve this important bit of the site.  If you don’t have current access to BrainPOP UK then you can sign up for a 30 day trial here .

    We’re not big fans of focus groups (they tend to tell you what you want to hear). We essentially want to hear honest feedback that starts with: “As a teacher using BrainPOP UK I would love to be able to…“.

    It’s the that’s the important bit.

    These points may help spark your feedback neurons:

    • Is it easy to find what you need? Or do you ever fail to find something of use?
    • Is the tagging clear and appropriate? What words do you use?
    • Is the user experience a good one? How would you like it to work?
    • Are working to a curriculum we haven’t tagged against? Would you like us to?
    • Can you link us to another planning tool that you use, or describe elements of other tools that you particularly liked? Who does it best in your opinion?
    • Is there any functionality that you WISH it did and you tear your hair out because it doesn’t? Examples might be “Let me build a playlist of movies” or “Print out the whole Science list” button. Perhaps you want to filter by movie length?
    • Is “Curriculum planning tool” even the right name – what would you call it?

    We don’t promise to implement every idea but every idea is hugely valuable.

    You can feedback or simply let us know you’d be up for helping when the time comes in a number of ways:

    info@brainpop.co.uk

    0800 141 2404

    Or simply comment below!

    Which ever way you do it we need to know who you are. Because if you do manage to get round to helping we will treat you to something nice  :-)

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