BrainPOP in Shanghai

Guest Blogpost: BrainPOP in Shanghai

Posted by Andrew Gardner on

Guest Blogger Michael Lambert currently teaches middle school in Shanghai and previously taught at Hong Kong International School. He is an ADE, serves on the 2011 K12 Horizon Report Advisory Board and teaches workshops on media literacy throughout Asia. Michael has written several articles related to visual literacy. Along with his passion for teaching, he brings a background in cognitive science and project-based learning. Even after 25 years of teaching in Asia, Michael still maintains a childlike wonder and curiosity. Today Michael joins us to share about his use of BrainPOP at the international setting.

Ni hao.

As an international school in Shanghai, our student body of 1200 (K-12) from 40 countries, uses BrainPOP almost daily around the school.  The topic pages allow students to replay content, hear a condensed message (as opposed to a teacher’s long explanation) and see a short video as opposed to overly verbose and lengthy lecture!

The BrainPOP topics as well as the content are “Spot-on,” says Liam, a grade 3 student from Australia.  “The video clips help me focus.”

Students love using BrainPOP for research purposes. For example, in our China unit we are currently exploring pressures and developments in China’s new economy. The answers vary from solar panels (60% are produced here), how to tackle an aging population (30% of Shanghai’s population in 2020 will be over the age of 60) and the use of electromagnets (China’s new railroad system).

As the class explores these topics through databases and various websites, students quickly seek out BrainPOP as a resource.  Jun-Hei, a grade 8 student from Korea, says, “BrainPOP gives me quick information and helps me understand the concept quickly.  Sometimes I just need a place to go and gather a few ideas….and BrainPOP does that.”

Alison, a grade 7 student from Hong Kong, uses BrainPOP in school when her teacher introduces a new topic.  For example, when Alison’s humanities teacher asked, “What are the new revolutions today?”  Alison participated in the class discussion and then popped in earphones, logged in to BrainPOP, and searched the word: revolution.  “I learned more about the word ‘revolution’ in 20 minutes, than reading several articles.  The videos give me a brain pop,” laughs middle-school student, Alison.

Our hope is that BrainPOP will not be blocked like YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo and others. We just love the site and our use of it is an exemplar of our best practices.


Michael Lambert