Thursday, April 4, 2013

Join the Moby Fan Club

In the title of this post I refer to the orange robot, not the singer songwriter or the great white whale. Moby the singer is cool too but this is about one of the oldest and best technology integration resources in education, BrainPOP. Surely you already know what BrainPOP is but did you know you can become a BrainPop Educator? I would like to encourage you to sign up if you haven't already. It is free even if your district or school does not belong to BrainPOP. One of the reasons BrainPop has remained current and relevant is that it listens to teachers and constantly evolves.

For those folks not in the know BrainPOP and its babies, BrainPOP Jr. (For Grades K-3) and BrainPOP ESL, are standards aligned, entertaining, informational videos on most important topics in the K-12 curriculum. The videos are brief, to the point, and use an Abbott and Costello format with Tim (a sharp young man) explaining things to Moby (a silly and none too bright robot.) They usually start with a question in a fan letter and end with some kind of a joke. Each video has follow up quizzes that can be taken in a variety of ways. There are additional fun features like comics, experiments with Bob the Lab Rat and more. Last year, BrainPop added Game Up. They partnered with some of the best educational game sites on the Internet, like the Jason Learning, to align game based learning with their videos and quizzes.

So why become a BrainPop Educator? Because every month they will email you their newest offerings. They offer free professional development webinars. You have access to free standards based, core curriculum aligned lesson plans. A recent feature added is the Make a Quiz Generator. You get badges and embed codes for your classroom website. They have graphic organizers, activity pages, and Interactive White Board resources for you to use as well. It is a Las Vegas Style learning buffet.

The latest offering from BrainPop is a video on Ethics. It clearly explains what ethics are and why they aren't always so clear. BrainPop Jr. features a terrific video on Chief Joseph. Every month BrainPop has a theme and most relate to your well known classroom themes. April has Earth Day and on BrainPop it is Earth Awareness month. Throughout the month they will highlight the videos that relate to this theme and offer some for free on a rotating basis.

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Finally, if do not have access to a subscription to BrainPop and you would like one, BrainPOP posts funding sources and research they proves its success in the Educator's section. Either you can fund your own classroom or you will have an aresonal of research driven data to present to your administrators to show them what a valuable asset BrainPOP is to any school.

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