• 09 Feb
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    Mark Anderson (a.k.a. ICT Evangelist) and teachers at Clevedon School in North Somerset have been trying out the BrainPOP featured movie and app in various different classes throughout the school. He’s kindly provided a mini case study on how they’ve integrated BrainPOP into their vertical tutor groups.

    “Clevedon School is a large 11-18 Outstanding School in North Somerset, just south west of Bristol. We operate a vertical tutor system where students from years 7 to 11 are mixed up in each tutor group.

    So in any tutor group you normally have a few students from every year group. In our tutor times students regularly complete vertical activities, one of which is the use of BrainPOP.

    We use BrainPOP because it is so easy to use, it really engages students of all ages (we complete the activities in vertical pairs) and the content is really clear and easy to understand.

    “I really like it because it is fun and I always learn something” one student said to me from Year 9.

    The BrainPOP free daily Featured Movie is a often a calendar aligned event. This is particularly good because it always means that whatever activity you are doing, there’s likely to be a relevant topic to the day.

    More recently, Clevedon School have been trialling the use of iPads in education and I’m one of the trial leaders and have been using the BrainPOP iPad app in my tutor times.

    The best thing here is that the content is right at the students’ fingertips – it’s right in front of them. Here, the content is brought alive and students can easily share and look at progress on each other’s activities as they move through. It certainly gets the students motivated and focused at the beginning of the school day.

    We also provide opportunities for 6th form students to go back to their lower school tutor group to mentor students and free up the member of staff to do some small group work and mentoring with selected students. BrainPOP is a favourite resource for the 6th form students to use with the younger students.

    Even with no planning or preparation it affords them the framework to run a session that everyone can engage with. It provides them with a high quality resource that they can rely on to deliver a message, support an area of the curriculum or spark a discussion.

    The fact that BrainPOP uses seasonal themes and makes the most of anniversaries and other important dates means that they are always able to deliver something relevant and interesting to a group of students with diverse interests and educational needs.

    I have seen it used to great effect to build confidence in 6th formers, giving them valuable experience and confidence in front of a class or in terms of public speaking. We all know how good it feels to be able to rely on a resource because we always know the quality is second to none.”

    Mark Anderson, Head of ICT

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  • 26 Jan
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    We are keen supporters of TeachMeet Takeovers at BETT. We actually hosted the very first one by Tom Barrett in 2010 and, frankly, it was such a blast, we couldn’t wait to volunteer our stand for 2012.

    This year we were lucky enough to have three teachers take over our stand, each of whom, in the spirit of TeachMeet, were  more than happy to share their presentations with us so we could share them with you.  What a wonderful world!

    TeachMeet Takeover

    1. Mark Anderson (a.k.a. @ICTevangelist) kicked off with a crowded session on Thursday where he shared the “cornerstones” of his classroom: Web 2.0 tools you can use straight away. He managed to cram an unbelievable amount into just 15 minutes and told us about the following, to name just a few:

    • Popplet, a mindmapping tool that works on the iPad
    • A free online presentation tool, SlideRocket
    • SpicyNodes – a mindmapping tool which teachers can even use to write schemes of work
    • VisuWords – an online graphical dictionary
    • Format Factory – a free tool for converting mediatypes
    • And offered good tips and tricks for using YouTube in school

    2. On Friday, we were delighted to have Julia Skinner (a.k.a. @TheHeadsOffice) “let loose” [her own words] on the stand and tell us all about the 100 word challenge, a creative writing challenge which aims to spark the imagination of potentially reluctant writers. It’s truly awe-inspiring to see what kids have written and shared with a worldwide blogging (and tweeting) community.

    3. And finally on Friday we had Phil Bagge (a.k.a. Baggiepr) take over the stand with an animated and engaging presentation about how easy and effective it is to blog in schools using an iPod Touch and Posterous.

    You can find a full list of other takeovers from the four days here: TeachMeet Takeover BETT 2012

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