• 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

    Related Posts:

    Tags: , ,

  • 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.

    Related Posts:

    Tags: , , ,

  • 25 Sep

    You may not know this but BrainPOP UK is popular within home educator networks, as well as schools.

    We wanted to meet some of our home educators so we asked on our Facebook Page if we had any fans who, as home educators, might want to write about how they use BrainPOP UK as part of our Maths Focus Fortnight.

    Sister Janet Icha from London quickly responded: “Yes, I would definitely like to do it – my boys think BrainPOP UK is GREAT!“.

    So over to you Sister Janet, Joseph and Elijah!

    “Whenever I am asked about what tools or methods I use whilst home-educating my children, BrainPOP UK is always at the top of my list of recommended resources. Why? Because it works. During recent BrainPOP time, my son Joseph interrupted:

    “BrainPOP is the best website ever!! I like Moby best because he is silly.”

    The_Icha_Family

    What is BrainPOP UK? It’s a website that has educational videos for primary and secondary age children, teaching about most subjects that our children learn in school – and more!

    BrainPOP UK movies are approximately 5 minutes each and teach the viewer all about the subject in such an engaging, succinct and humorous manner that you can’t help but like the main characters Tim and Moby the Robot.

    Specifically, Maths tends to be a subject for concern with most parents – but not if you use BrainPOP UK it isn’t! For example, as a parent, one of the things that I like most about BrainPOP UK is there are the usual functional videos such as decimals, prime numbers and how to measure circles.

    But there are also movies which teach the theory of mathematics such as What is Calculus? What is it used for and by whom? Euclid or even (I’m showing off now!) the ‘Sieve of Eratosthenes‘ .

    Of course, learning the history and theory helps children (and us adults!) have a much better and stronger understanding of any subject, and builds their confidence, which also strengthens their ability to use the subject matter.

    So how do I use BrainPOP UK on a day to day basis?

    Home-educating means we do not have the same time restrictions that are upheld within schools. We don’t necessarily spend one hour on one subject, then move to the next one, so we have the freedom and luxury of watching the same movie over and over again, or moving onto other movies that are connected to the same topic.

    We have found the children have the time to not only learn about a specific theme or subject, but actually have the time and space to enjoy it and appreciate it without having to rush off to their next lesson or off to do something else.

    My 12 year old son Elijah says:

    Brain POP UK is easy to use, because every thing is set out neatly. If there is a special film you want to watch quickly, you can go to the search box. The only thing I’d change is there should be a few longer movies, like 10 minutes. I want Tim and Moby to elaborate on some things like ‘PI’, and ‘Flight’ “

    Because the movies are presented in such an engaging, light-hearted manner we have found a method which works very well for us:

    1. We watch each video twice. During the viewing, we pause, rewind or stop when we need to in order to discuss what is being said, or even to link it to something else that we have been learning.
    2. Then we try the graded version of the POP Quiz. Sometimes, I may print a quiz and allow the children to complete it later in the day. This is really to test to see not only how much they learned from watching the video, but also how much they remember from it. They usually remember almost everything – particularly the ‘jokes’.
    3. We compete to see who can get the most correct answers - and/or who can say the answer the quickest!

    Of course, school teachers have their resources and information given to them, which are all in line with the National Curriculum.

    With home-educating I decide and plan what the children learn, how we learn it, and when.

    On the Internet there are so many different resources, websites and locations that it can make your head spin and leave you (or me, actually) in confusion about what to do and how to do it.

    BrainPOP UK’s teachers’ tools help greatly with this because everything is in one place. I don’t have to keep changing sites, looking for things or even worse, trying to remember what resource was where – it’s all there.

    It also has Primary and Secondary resources organized according to the National Curriculum guidelines, so I can see year-by-year what school-based children are learning and what the standards are. There’s also a link that can even take me to videos related to the specific subjects we are working on.

    It’s an easy and very efficient way of planning our days, weeks and learning years without having to rely on a vast amount of ‘classroom’ equipment such as books, CDs , whiteboards, blackboards etc.

    We laugh a lot whilst working with BrainPOP UK – which absolutely re-inforces the learning process – particularly at the jokes in the movies and during the POP Quizzes which sometimes have funny comments or remarks within the questions.

    My children are so enthusiastic about ‘going on BrainPOP UK’ that they don’t actually see it as ‘school work’ or ‘work’ – even when we do the quiz.

    During their own free time, they choose to go on BrainPOP UK and watch interesting movies, so I know they find learning with this site fun (it’s also a great and safer alternative to TV/Internet).

    We all find the site easy to navigate, accessible and practical to work with for both me as the adult and the children.

    BrainPOP UK videos are interesting, contemporaneous, humorous and engaging for people of all ages.”

    Many, many thanks Sister Janet Icha. We will be posting you out some lovely new Moby tshirts for your boys.

    If any other home educators out there want to tell us how they use BrainPOP UK we’d be more than happy to hear what you’ve got to say.

    http://www.education-otherwise.org/

    Related Posts:

    Tags: , , ,