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Think you'll have 5 or 10 minutes left in class? Need an engaging way to start a lesson while you take attendance, grade a few papers, or call a parent? Looking for something simple to drive home the core idea of a lesson? Want to find a place to have formal assessment with students at the board or individually in front of their seats? Want to have that at your fingertips? How about your students?
Then you need to learn a bit more about BrainPOP.
BrainPOP is not a new technology tool - in fact, it began in 1999, back when you had Windows 32 - but it's adapted along the way while remaining true to its core message: can we provide fun, short, engaging videos for students to learn about, regardless of their age or ability level?
Enter Tim and his friend Moby. Tim is an everyday teen who drives the plot of any video by answering a letter from a student so they (all) can learn more about the topic. His pal Moby is a robot droid of some sort, and he speaks in incomprehensible ticks and beeps, a la R2-D2, and only Tim can understand him. There's always a laugh - cheesy mostly - in every video, but there's also a whole depth of understanding.
Let's take a look at a free lesson that's great for any age - comparing prices - https://www.brainpop.com/math/dataanalysis/comparingprices/
As one can see, there are plenty of nice things about each video: They're no more than 5 minutes long. They're simple. They strike the core of the idea. Moby is funny. They have vocab that pops up throughout. The teacher can pause the video at any time and post it for students (absent, self-guided, or repeat) to watch on their own. There are printables to download and print ahead of time or interactive games and quizzes, and there are additional readings. To the right are also additional videos one can watch related to the subject.
For the teacher, all the videos are tied to the Common Core standards, and they even provide lesson plans for you to use on or adapt on your own.
In addition to regular BrainPOP, there are Jr. editions, for our K-3 learners, as well as ESL and Game-Up options.
Feel free to Download the App as well.
There are some free videos, but to have access to the entire library of 1,000s - and growing - one must pay for a subscription. The costs of each (basic package, not including Jr. or ESL adaptations) are, as follows:
- Home school - $115
- Classroom - $220 (up to 3 computers)
- School - $1695 (complete, unfettered access, including mobile devices)
- District - cost of at least 5 schools, plus 10+% discount
- Virtual school - by negotiation
BrainPOP might not certainly be for everyone, but, seeing as it's reached its Sweet 16 birthday and we at The Educator's Room have yet to write about it, we're inviting you to the BrainPOP party.