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.
“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?”