What do Frida Kahlo, Roald Dahl, Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Homer and Queen Elizabeth I all have in common?
They all star in movies coming soon to BrainPOP UK this year.
There are 100’s more on their way (the most recent were Extinction and Fish – you will need to subscribe or take out a free trial to see them). Soon enough we will be delivering extension and supporting material to complement the movies. We are also able to react quickly to world events such as the recent Swine Flu outbreak.
Any website worth its salt has to remain vital. By definition we cannot solve every classroom resource need (and we don’t want to, that would be a Sisyphean ordeal). On the other hand, we do aim to make BrainPOP UK as close to an “everyday application” as possible for educators.
An everyday app is something that, well, you turn to (nearly) everyday. Facebook is a perfect example of an everyday app. Or Twitter. Or any service that, almost unconsciously, you find yourself auto loading when you fire up your browser. Websites you simply have to know what’s happening with as much as possible.
The inimitable Josh Porter, who inspired this post, says:
“An everyday app is one that is used every day (or most days) by its users. This means that each and every day they do something with the app. Maybe they’re communicating with coworkers, or creating wireframes, or sharing what they ate for breakfast. Everyday apps in theory are as plentiful as bees in a blossoming apple tree. In practice, however, everyday apps are exceedingly rare.”
He quotes a study that suggests the number of “everyday apps” used by UK teens is 9. It’s likely less for the average adult. And maybe even less for the average classroom?
If you subscribe (or even if you don’t) to BrainPOP UK we want to make it so useful, so interesting, so engaging that you bring Tim and Moby into your teaching whenever you can, no matter how small or large and for whatever reason.
I’ll extrapolate on Josh’s theory even further by saying that defining what makes an everyday app might lie in how you form “connections” to it too. It might not be just through the website. BrainPOP UK could become “everyday” for you in a number of ways:
- Special offers, competitions or breaking news via our BrainPOP UK Twitter feed.
- Free movies you can embed or comment on from our Youtube channel.
- Making a classroom display out of the Tim and Moby images on our Flickr page.
- Spark ideas for lessons from our new movies section that’s updated every Thursday.
- Check out what links we’re saving in Delicious.
- Sending us your BrainPOP UK classroom photos, videos and stories that we can then upload for others to see.
- And, of course, reading this blog (hello!) or subscribing to the RSS feed.
For a classroom resource to become truly useful, in the sense of “daily use”, it could, and should, be useful from many different angles and places. Our movies are a big part of that but we hope we can help you in lots of other ways too – the above are just the start…