• 22 Apr
    News and Views Comments Off on BrainPOP’s free for schools in Dundee!
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    We’re excited to be working with Dundee City Council to provide their schools with free access to BrainPOP UK until June 17th 2016.

    BrainPOP on Dundee GLOW dashboard

    To access BrainPOP all you need to do is login to your Dundee GLOW dashboard and find the BrainPOP tiles.

    Each tile is matched to a different subject area for the Curriculum for Excellence. Clicking a tile takes you to a page about BrainPOP’s resources with an button to launch the BrainPOP site.

    What do teachers in Dundee think about BrainPOP?

    “Most of our upper school classes access Brainpop regularly throughout the year. It is often used as an introduction to new topics and concepts, particularly in IDL and health. The young people really enjoy the short videos and the quizzes afterwards. We play the quizzes individual, in groups or as a class. The information is always accurate and often challenging. We use it as part of homework tasks and the children can access BrainPOP from home.

    BrainPOP works well alongside our BYOD, groups can work independently and can take notes to feedback to the class. It provides a ‘string to our teaching bow’, and is always a highlight in the class. The follow up activities are often challenging and open up opportunities for discussion.‎”

    Mrs Mathers, P7 teacher, Craigowl primary school, Dundee

    ‎”We absolutely love BrainPOP at Rosebank…the children have learned a great deal from it, have watched many of the videos and the teachers have used several lesson plans with great success and engagement. It is so comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics, so we nearly always find a video to enhance lessons.‎”

    Dawn Stanfield, Headteacher, Rosebank primary school, Dundee

    “I love BrainPOP – I find the videos are very interesting for the children, covering a wide range of topics and we also used the quizzes and activities that accompanied the films.”

    Mrs Young, P7 teacher, Dens Road primary school, Dundee

    “BrainPOP has been used at St John’s High School in Dundee for over 4 years. All teachers and students at St John’s access BrainPOP via GLOW, giving instant access for everyone in school and at home. Our pupils enjoy BrainPOP and we have even used it with our senior students. ”

    Dave Keenan, Principal teacher of modern studies, St John’s Rc High School, Dundee

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  • 01 Jul
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    Carluke high school logo

    Carluke High School, Carluke, South Lanarkshire

    • Local authority: South Lanarkshire
    • Pupil and teacher numbers as at September 2012: No. on roll: 1,098/Teacher numbers (FTE): 81.9
    • Secondary/State Funded/Integrated community school

    “Our school is a secondary, co-educational, non denominational, comprehensive, community school serving the town of Carluke and the neighbouring villages of Braidwood, Forth, Law, Kilncadzow and Yieldshields in rural South Lanarkshire. We have approximately 1,200 pupils ranging in age from 12 to 18 and a teaching staff of just over 100 teachers. We offer a broad, balanced curriculum delivered by 5 faculties and 6 teaching departments, a well equipped Library Resource Centre and 3 ICT Rooms.”


    This case study was conducted and produced independently by Carluke High school between August 2013 and April 2014, under guidance of the South Lanarkshire ICT Development Officer. BrainPOP web and app access was provided gratis. The outcomes of the project are reproduced in full below with kind permission of Carluke High school.


    2013-2014 saw Carluke High School be one of the first Support for Learning departments in Scotland to roll out the BrainPOP programme, in conjunction with mobile devices.

    The pupils expressed, both practically and verbally, a great deal of ownership in the work they did under BrainPOP. Feedback from the group was highly positive. The use of movies, texts illustrated with animated pictures and interactive group projects made learning fun and appeal to a wide range of learning styles.


    Carluke High School Session: 2013-14 Planning for Improvement

    Department: Support for Learning

    “The Support for Learning Department is an intensely practical area of school life. It is directly concerned with enabling and empowering learners to access the curriculum in all subjects.

    “The aim of the Support for Learning Department is to recognise the needs of learners, both in enhancing the curriculum for the more able and elaboration of the curriculum for the less able. In addition, to develop strategies to empower learners, support teaching colleagues and deliver practical help in and outwith the classroom by a variety of methodologies and resources, and deliver a pupil centered curriculum.”


    School Priority: Improving achievement and attainment

    Action (What are you going to do?)

    To enable ASN pupils within S2 Fast Tracking[1] to participate in literacy across the curriculum, through the BrainPOP UK app. This is a cross-curricular resource mapped to four stages of CfE, the purpose of which is to engage pupils, so that they understand concepts in a fun and stimulating way, making it a more memorable learning experience.

    Outcomes (What will be different?)

    • As this resource appeals to all learning styles, pupils will be enthused and motivated to learn in the class through the characters Tim and Moby, new skills and to reinforce existing skills.
    • The use of animation in learning should assist retention of information.
    • Reinforcement also comes in the form of typeable and printable activities which can be carried out during a lesson as they interact with the movie or at the end.
    • Parents will be able to participate in supporting their son/daughters learning by gaining access to the App at home.

    Carluke table of tasks


    Monitoring and evaluating evidence

    1. How will you evidence progress?
    2. What will progress look like?
    • Use Deep Beep[2] – Curriculum for Excellence matching tool to select area ASN[3] pupils require support
    • Pupils to experience the movies for each topic and then use the quiz to assess their understanding
    • Use the resource in different ways and evaluate the way they like using it best – individually on laptops, iPads or projected from iPad onto HD projector as a group resource
    • Evaluations carried out by pupils
    • Video Diary
    • GL Assessment[4]; YARC Assessment[5]; final assessment to be carried out to monitor progress
    • Liaise with subjects re BrainPOP being used across the curriculum


    Evaluation of progress & Impact for Learners

    August – October 2013 

    • Pupils introduced to BrainPOP and the main characters Tim and Moby, the movies, quiz and worksheets to support topics. The pupils were enthused by the two characters animatedly asking questions as a result of the colourful fun way of learning. Learning is further enhanced for the pupils by using iPads as they love learning from apps.
    • As BrainPOP is a cross curricular resource, log on details and details about how it is linked to Curriculum for Excellence were emailed to staff, thus providing all pupils access to this incredible resource, to support their learning.
    • PT Computing at South Lanarkshire Council was very impressed with the resource and created a link on the Intranet to make access easy for staff.
    • ASN pupils were issued with a handout to take home to parents with log on details so that they can access BrainPOP at home.
    • Deep Beep Curricular Matching tool used to identify topics linked to CfE, which allows staff to plan lessons.


    • Prewriting Topic – this looked at organising thoughts & sequencing, followed by a quiz to consolidate learning. This helped ASN pupils (Dyslexic) to plan their written work. This was further reinforced by a worksheet with ‘keywords’, which were discussed as a group.Pupils commented: “this is a different way of learning” and “it will make you remember better because of how funny Tim and Moby are and also the colours and pictures”.
    • The Writing Process Topic – Pupils benefited from this lesson not only for literacy but also across curricular subjects. Through the movie, worksheets, and keywords, pupils learned about writing drafts, checking over writing and submitting final drafts. One pupil commented: “This is the most fun period yet in school and I have learned lots”.
    • Writing an Essay Topic – Tim and Moby reinforced the skills required for writing an essay. Pupils looked forward to the quiz and had a competition to see how many questions they could get correct on the topic. They also used the accompanying worksheet to define the keywords used in the movie. As a result of the above, pupils were able to confidently plan their own essays, write their essays in an organised way and follow this up with a PowerPoint presentation.

    All of the above was documented on a VLog. This was filmed on the iPad, showing the pupils participating in BrainPOP within the class. This VLog was forward to BrainPOP and to South Lanarkshire ICT Dev. Officer.

    The feedback from BrainPOP was that they thought it was “amazing” and that it was great footage of our pupils animatedly engaged in learning. They were encouraged by BrainPOP’s comments.

    The pupils could not wait to see the VLog and loved watching themselves asking/answering questions. Pupils want to do more and we are planning an Animoto over the next few months.

    Seasonal Activity 1

    • Daylight Saving Time – Why we change the clocks in Spring and Autumn. Pupils are now developing their oral reading skills by reading out the quiz and also enhancing their vocabulary by learning the keywords.
    • Halloween– Pupils were excited to learn about Halloween through Tim and Moby. This time they practised their oral reading by taking turns in reading out the quiz and answering questions. Also the ‘FYI – Read More’ section, which allows pupils to read more on the topic. Again, they read this out from the iPad (projected), providing practise for their oral reading.

    November – December 2013

    • Staff were reminded again about BrainPOP and all the resources available. Some departments are going to look at it during the Inservice Day.

    Seasonal Activity 2

    • Bonfire Night – This movie triggered animated discussion on ‘bonfires’ and the safe use of fireworks. All pupils joined in. These discussions, within the small group situation, provides confidence for ASN pupils to join in discussions within larger classes across the curriculum.
    • Season’s Greetings (Winter Holidays) – Pupils were keen to improve their Literacy and ICT skills learning about how others celebrate Christmas. They used the laptops on this occasion and the activity enabled the pupils to choose and send an email to each other. They were all eager to carry out this activity and commented that “This is a fun way to send a Christmas message to our friends”. They were improving their literacy skills and developing their ICT skills.

    January – March 2014

    Year group S4 – Support for Prelim Examination using BrainPOP

    The group later stated that they found the way that Tim and Moby presented ‘Study Skills’ very entertaining and thought provoking, and provided guidance on how to approach different types of questions. This was a result of it appealing to different learning styles. They said that the “movies were great”.

    The topics covered were:


    Review of topics across the curriculum

    • The Fast Tracking group asked to go over topics that they had done in Physics and Biology. They said it is a great way to understand the topics as it is explained clearly.
    • The class requested that they use BrainPOP to revise topics before sitting assessments. The movies and quizzes are a fun way to revise and enjoyed revising for their Democracy Assessment for Modern Studies[6]. The class reported that they were more relaxed and confident going into the test and could answer most of the questions whereas their friends had difficulty. This resulted in them obtaining very good results and others asked how they did so well and they were able to tell them that they had used BrainPOP for revision using the keywords, movies and quizzes. Others had an assessment on the Slave Trade and the pupils said that the movie was “cool” and helped to remember the information.
    • Other assessments then followed in Chemistry, Acids and Alkalis and Biology, Tendons and Joints.The pupils watched the movie and took the quiz before they sat their assessments. The pupils scored very well in the quiz and were competing with the other Fast Tracking group, so they were able to compare scores making it a competitive learning experience. As a result of this extra support with their Chemistry and Biology they said that they had achieved a higher mark than they had expected.
    • Pupils were also encouraged to take notes from the movies within each of the topics they were revising. The movies are the correct length for note-taking practice. This introduced a new skill to the pupils, which would be particularly helpful across the curriculum as they move up the school. Pupils also took control of the BrainPOP movie, which was (this time) being projected and they stopped and started it to enable their peers to take notes. They took turns sitting at the teacher’s desk doing this and asking questions, feeling important and confident carrying this out.
    • Pupils were assessed before starting in the group in Nov 2012 using the YARC Assessment (York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension).Various strategies to improve their basic literacy skills were put in place, including BrainPOP, to support their learning. It was part of their course for the last 5 months up to their reassessment in December 2013. Results indicate that the oral reading age of the group increased on average by 3 years and their reading comprehension on average by 3 years 6 months. BrainPOP has certainly been one of the contributory factors in improving literacy within the group, providing greater access to the curriculum for these young people. They have continued to use it since then, as indicated above.
    • As well as producing a VLog showing the pupils participating in BrainPOP we also produced an Animoto. Pictures were taken for it using the iPad. The pupils were eager to watch themselves learning with BrainPOP on the Animoto. They have got a lot out of BrainPOP as it appeals to many of their learning styles. They have also provided feedback on their Evaluation forms, which also feature in the Animoto.


    • Pupils used BrainPOP for reinforcement of topics they had carried out in their Maths classes. They requested that they use BrainPOP to revise for their assessments as they had success using it to reinforce work in other subjects across the curriculum.The pupils commented that the movies and the quiz taken at the end helped them to retain information. Almost all pupils have benefited from using BrainPOP in this way.


    [1] “There are always a few pupils in S1 who experience difficulty with basic literacy and who need individual support throughout their secondary school careers.  An attempt to address this crucial problem with language has been made by the Support for Learning Department and is known as fast-tracking.  It has been running for many years now and the results from this intensive course are very encouraging”. http://www.carluke-highschool.org.uk/learning-teaching/support-for-learning

    [2] http://www.brainpop.co.uk/curriculum_matching_tool/

    [3] Additional Support Needs

    [4] http://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/

    [5] York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension

    [6] “The National 5 Modern Studies Course gives learners a detailed understanding of the democratic process and of social and economic issues at local, Scottish, national and international levels” http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/47448.html

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  • 25 Mar
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    Following pre-test consultation in 2013 we pleased to announce that BrainPOP has been selected to be part of the online reading materials in 2014’s Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy.


    Gordon Brown, Assessment Manager at Scottish Qualifications Authority, explains why they chose BrainPOP materials:

    “SQA are constantly searching for a wide range of texts that will engage and interest learners. BrainPOP materials do just that and we are happy to use one of their clips as one piece of a large assessment jigsaw”

    We’re excited and honoured to have been selected to be part of Scotland’s national schools standards survey. If you are a Scottish school and want to evaluate BrainPOP please contact us.  BrainPOP UK is mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence and available through GLOW.

    Moby with bagpipes

    What is the SSLN?

    “The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) is an annual sample survey which monitors national performance in literacy and numeracy in alternate years, for school children at P4, P7 and S2. 

    The SSLN was developed to support assessment approaches for Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). It provides a snapshot of Scotland’s achievement in literacy and numeracy at a specific point in time and allows for comparisons over time to be made. 

    The SSLN is a joint venture. The Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority work together to design and deliver the survey.

    The survey consists of a set of written and practical assessments and questionnaires for both pupils and teachers. All schools in Scotland (except special schools) are invited to take part, and almost all do. Approximately 11,000 pupils and 5,000 teachers participate in the SSLN from across the 3 stages being assessed. 

    The SSLN is intended to provide relevant information about pupil achievement, assessing numeracy and literacy in alternate years which local authorities, schools and ministers can use for purposes of quality assurance, evaluation and improvement. 

    The SSLN will be published as Official (or National) Statistics.”

    Extracts reproduced with with kind permission from http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/SSLN

    More information on the SSLN can be found on the Scottish goverment website , SQA’s page about the SSLN, and the SSLN website.

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  • 30 Oct
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    We were invited by Probationer Teacher Scotland, (part of GTC Scotland), a national support service provided to newly qualified Scottish teachers, to feature in their very popular “BlogSpot” section. This is a space where teachers in their probation year are asked to review products they love to use in class.

    We turned to Jenny Harvey (@relativism), a class teacher from Kirkcaldy, Fife who presented  a fantastic overview of BrainPOP. You can read the whole review below. Many, many thanks to Jenny for taking the time to provide this article. We hope you all enjoy it 🙂

    Jenny meets Moby

    BrainPOP UK – What is it?

    BrainPOP UK (http://www.brainpop.co.uk/) is a library of animated movies featuring the characters of Tim and Moby who explain a range of different topics in a clear and accessible way.

    Movies are available across all curricular areas and the content is added to and updated all the time.

    BrainPOP is something I discovered during my training and I have been using it for three years with a range of stages across the primary school.  The children respond well to the characters and are always very impressed to hear that I have met Moby in real life.

    Although it is a subscription resource, there are featured movies and free content available to everyone plus there is a mobile app which has a free featured movie every day.  It is also possible to sign up for a free trial, which is how I first used the site.

    Why do I use it?

    In a nutshell: it is easy to access and use, the information is presented clearly and it is linked to Curriculum for Excellence.

    The format of the BrainPOP UK site is extremely easy to navigate and clearly set out in curricular areas.  The home page is bright and visual rather than having screeds of text and the search function does exactly what it should.

    Curricular mapping tools, which are linked to Curriculum for Excellence, make planning an easier task and the interactive multiple choice quiz feature can be a useful formative assessment tool.

    How do I use it in class?

    I have used BrainPOP UK during teaching time, as an activity for a group and also as a research tool for directed research tasks.  When used during teaching time I vary the order of the movie and quiz; sometimes I use both but at other times I use one or the other.

    As I mentioned, the curricular mapping tool, which is called Deep Beep, makes planning easier as you choose the subject area and the Curriculum for Excellence level to match to your Experiences and Outcomes and then the topic of the movie based on the matching results.   Movies can be paused, rewound or fast forwarded as required.  This allows time for questions, reflections and checking understanding at any stage of the movie.  I like to keep a notebook book file open to record any notes or observations during the movie.

    The quiz can be very useful at the beginning of a topic and at the end to assess knowledge gaps and progress and inform future planning.  I have also used the quizzes as an example for question creation lessons during which groups of pupils create their own quiz on a particular topic and these are then peer assessed.  The quizzes can also be used with response units if you have these in school.

    Quizzes and movies are not the only resources available on BrainPOP UK. There are associated activities, related topics and an FYI section providing additional stories and facts related to the chosen movie topic.  The FYI sections are a particular favourite of mine as they often help to answer further questions and can help to generate other questions for investigation by pupils.

    And there’s more…

    Free CPD! BrainPOP UK provide free webinars which you can access online and from the comfort of your own home.  If you need evidence of these CPD sessions they can also provide certificates of completion.

    The BrainPOP UK staff, or BrainPOPpers, have always been outstanding in terms of customer service.  They answer any questions promptly and they have even created a movie for me in the past.

    I hope that this brief introduction has helped give you an overview of how BrainPOP UK can be used in your classroom.  Remember it is free to try, the only software needed is a browser with Flash Player and if you need any support the BrainPOP UK team are just an email away.

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  • 29 Feb
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    You probably won’t be surprised to hear we’ve got a rather lengthy movie to-do list so when it comes to deciding what to produce next it can be a tough decision. And when it comes to producing exclusive UK movies, we find it especially hard.

    So far we’ve made Bonfire Night, The Troubles, and Emergency 999 so when we got an email from Gail we saw it as a golden opportunity to create another of our fantastic exclusive UK movies.

    Ever wondered how the United Kingdom became, well, united? Wonder no longer!

    In a brand new UK exclusive topic we cover the entire History of the UK…in just six minutes.

    Yes, we’re that good.

    You’ll find out how the British Isles moved from being populated by independent tribes to becoming the UK. Tim & Moby talk about invasions by Vikings, Romans, and Normans as well as key historical figures such as William the Conqueror, Edward I, and James I.

    William the Conquerer

    Finally, find out how Wales, Scotland and Ireland came to be under English rule and what the UK looks like today! 4 Nations, 4 Histories, 4 Cultures – 1 National Government.

    Flags of the UK

    Have a read of our fact-packed FYI to learn about devolution, myths and legends, bizarre laws and customs, and did you know that there are 6 times as many people per sq km in England as there are in Scotland?

    We’ve also worked hard to produce an outstanding set of activities for this topic too.

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  • 27 Sep
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    After scoping out the festival in 2010 we decided to bite the bullet and book a stand at Scottish Learning Festival 2011. Aside from the prospect of haggis for breakfast and generally enjoying a jaunt north of the border, we had plenty of reasons to attend.

    Moby salutes!

    Let's get started!

    1. Putting faces to names

    We have a lot of friends and customers in Scotland and it’s always nice to put a face to a name. Cathy from St. Thomas’ R.C. Primary School made a big impression in her kilt attire so we made sure she took away a tartan badge or two to match 😉

    It’s also always nice to meet tweeps like @digitalkatie and @kirstyforbes. Always a pleasure, ladies! Kirsty was the lucky winner of 3 months free access to BrainPOP and a goodie bag. We hope you enjoy having Moby in your school, Kirsty!

    Kirsty Forbes wins free access

    Kirsty sports her winning certificate

    2. Mapped to Curriculum for Excellence

    We got to meet lots of Scottish teachers and show them Deep Beep, our curriculum matching tool. Deep Beep means you can drill down to the experiences and outcomes you wish to follow and find appropriate topics for your lesson in just a couple of clicks. All BrainPOP topics are mapped to Curriculum for Excellence and Deep Beep should help make lesson planning easy.

    BrainPOP stand at SLF 2011

    Moby loves to see a busy stand

    3. Help with your evaluation

    We know what it’s like to be bombarded with promotional literature and suffer information overload at these events so we wanted to create something to assist you. Proper evaluation of BrainPOP should involve your class if possible. The more colleagues and students helping with the evaluation the better. That’s why we created evaluation booklets – have your class help out.

    With our evaluation sheet you let the kids check out the site, give you their honest feedback and you can use it to convince your Head Teacher or PT that BrainPOP’s worth an investment. Download the Evaluation Sheet here:

    Evaluation booklet download

    Click to download

    4. Exceptional keynotes

    We heard some truly inspirational keynotes and speaker sessions. Sir John Jones’ keynote, The Future Is Not What It Was, was a particular highlight. He received a standing ovation and even had some of the audience in tears. If you didn’t manage to catch him last week, we recommend you take the time to watch him now: Sir John Jones and other keynotes. Exceptional.

    5. VIBs in the house

    We know that it’s a thousand times more useful for you to talk to a fellow teacher so special mention has to go to our VIB (Very Important BrainPOPper), Mhairi Healy from Calderglen High School. Mhairi made sure that visitors to our stand heard first hand about how she uses BrainPOP with her class. Her unyielding enthusiasm and passion for teaching (and BrainPOP!) got straight to the heart of what really matters in the classroom!

    Mhairi, our Scottish VIB

    Very Important BrainPOPper

    We know there were lots of people posing for photos with Moby. If you took any pics please send them to info@brainpop.co.uk or post them to our Facebook page. We’d love to see some more and we’ll make sure you get some goodies for your trouble.

    We’ll see you next year folks!

    Now, where can we find a kilt maker used to working with robots?

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  • 31 Aug
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    We’re going to be at the Scottish Learning Festival from 21st to 22nd September at the SECC in Glasgow. If you’re heading along you can find us on…

    STAND E7

    Do not forget this important piece of information. It will be the highlight of your show experience, we guarantee. Just ask these guys:

    Moby with @amweston and @relativism

    Moby with new BFFs @amweston and @relativism

    We’ll be showing off our new Graphic Organisers and brand new movies all tagged to Curriculum for Excellence.

    We’re also giving away handy evaluation booklets you can use with your class to get student feedback about BrainPOP. This way, the kids can let rip and tell you what they really think.

    Also, did anyone miss this last year?

    Well, if you did, make sure you catch the rematch this year. Moby says it’s going to be a beaut of a highland fling.

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  • 15 Aug
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    We’re heading up to the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow next month (21-22 September) and we’ll be building a mini version of the stand we had at BETT this year.

    For us this entails wielding our handy pneumatic drill and feeling like the stars of DIY SOS for a day. For a lucky Scottish school*, it means free Ikea furniture. We’d like to donate them to your school once we’re done with them (they’re brand new for the show, by the way). All your school needs to do is come and collect them or pay for collection/delivery from the SECC to your school.

    2 x Small Expedit bookcases

    Width: 79 cm
    Depth: 39 cm
    Height: 79 cm
    Max. load/shelf: 13 kg

    1 x 16 square Expedit bookcase

    Width: 149 cm
    Depth: 39 cm
    Height: 149 cm
    Max. load/shelf: 13 kg

    What do I need to do?

    We understand you’re not going to be able to just pick up 5 bookcases, strap them to your back, and walk out the door of the SECC. (See the measurements detailed above if you were contemplating this!) We’ll need to come to an arrangement about delivery dates and times which we can discuss when you get in touch.

    We want to make this as straightforward as possible:

    Step 1 – Email us at info@brainpop.co.uk or call 0800 141 2404

    Step 2 – We discuss pick-up and delivery dates and times.

    Step 3 – We have a grand old time at SLF for a couple of days.

    Step 4 – We pack up.

    Step 5 – Your school gets free bookcases.

    If you remain unconvinced, here are some shots of our bookcases working it at BETT 2011:

    16 square Expedit bookcase

    16 squares of bookshelf goodness!

    Expedit bookcases

    Handy, don't you think?

    Ann and Hope are proud of their bookcases

    Look how much joy our bookcases could bring you!

    If you’re interested, please get in touch and we can work out the logistics.

    Otherwise, we hope to see you on Stand E7 at SLF 2011. Make sure to swing by and say hello!

    *Scottish schools only.

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  • 07 Mar
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    They seek him here, they seek him there…

    In November last year, Jen Deyenberg guest blogged about Geocaching, and how she incorporated BrainPOP into her geocaching lessons.

    For those of you unfamiliar with geocaching it’s a “high-tech treasure hunting game“. You hide a trackable “travel bug” somewhere and record it’s whereabouts on the geocaching website.

    Other people hunt down these “geocaches” using GPS, record their finding, and then move the travel bug to another cache. Thus the cycle continues. Some geocaches work their way around the globe!

    We’re very excited as Jen told us yesterday that she has made a special “Scottish Moby” geocache! This is her ambition with the Moby cache:

    “Moby is off on his adventures. As he is a Scottish Moby his first stop is Hailes Castle – a beautiful little place on the edge of the Tyne. If you find Moby keep him moving – to any cache you like! Moby loves adventures and is always keen for a photo, so post your adventures and photos with your logs!”

    You can learn all about the Moby geocache on it’s dedicated page “Scottish Moby Travel Bug“.

    Do you accept the challenge? Can you find Scottish Moby? If you do take pictures and send them to us and we’ll blog them and send you some goodies as a thank you. Look after him and treat him well though.

    Remember he may not be at Hailes Castle for long! Who knows how far he can go?

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  • 18 Feb
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    “Great opportunity for staff to review the resources. A fresh approach to using video within the curriculum. All the responses were very positive.”

    Rhona MacKenzie, West Dunbartonshire Authority

    What a lovely thing to say. But what’s Rhona talking about? One of our new POPteach workshops.

    BrainPOP itself is so simple to grasp there’s not much call for conventional “training”. So we don’t offer it.

    The key challenge is to raise awareness of what BrainPOP UK can do in context – for YOU in YOUR lessons. A workshop where the focus is “BrainPOP plus CPD”.

    A POPteach workshop is an opportunity to gather a group of educators together to talk Tim & Moby. They may be subscribers or they may be total newbies to BrainPOP resources – all are welcome. It may be facilitated by a BrainPOPper or a VIB. Or both!

    Our pilot POPteach workshops have been held in Scotland. At the most recent our Scottish Ambassador, Kim Conway, worked with the West Dunbartonshire Authority to hold a twilight CPD workshop. Ten teachers from seven different schools attended. As is the BrainPOP way they got showered with cool BrainPOP merchandise including badges, pens and chocolates. We offered fruit too, but curiously that didn’t turn out to be as popular.

    Kim ran through the site, highlighting gems such Deep Beep, Spotlights and POPboxes and offered practical examples of how BrainPOP can be employed in the classroom.

    Participation is a key part of a POPteach workshop. Kim likes attendees to join in with the POPquiz, and it wasn’t long before teachers were leaping up to the whiteboard to select answers.

    These are only tentative baby steps with POPteach – we’re still polishing the format and always looking for feedback.

    Each attendee is asked to give the experience a mark out of 10. We’re proud to say we received a 10/10 across the board. Did the chocolate sway people? Who knows. A good result either way. These are some of the workable ideas the teachers took away with them (everyone at this workshop had not used BrainPOP before, though some were aware of us):

    • Use movies within classroom as discussion starters.
    • Tell the staff. Log in and try it out.
    • BrainPOP will tie in with my current topic. I intend to share BrainPOP with my colleagues – it is a useful resource.
    • Using movies with class related to current movies being sponsored.
    • Would like to use the videos for science.
    • Share with staff.  Use  free trial period in lessons with my class (P6) particularly in relation to e-safety.
    • Make use of the free trial in cross curricular areas and across stages.
    • I intend to use BrainPOP in line with Es and Os within the classroom if the video enhances the concepts we are covering.
    • Share with the rest of the staff and try out during the trial period.
    • To enhance my lessons. To incorporate into topics using ACfE links.
    • All useful. This was excellent. Great for pupils (+staff).

    It’s only fair to mention what was noted we could do better:

    • Could have had more ‘hands on’.

    In particular it was great to hear how useful Deep Beep, our Curriculum Matching Tool, could be. Some teachers mentioned how easy it would be to incorporate BrainPOP links into topics they are currently teaching.

    One thing that was said to us was “Good to see site, often ended up on it through Google but didn’t know what it was”, which is a lesson for us and a good reason why we might be holding more POPteach events round the country soon.

    And finally, as is our wont, we couldn’t help but offer some lovely BrainPOP UK prizes! Congratulations to Kate Watson from Levenvale Primary who won a BrainPOP UK T-shirt, Carolann McVey from Levenvale Primary who won a goodie bag, and Marion Henry from St Mary’s Primary School in Alexandria who walked away with a class set of badges.

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