Guest blogger and Technology Integration Specialist for the Madison School District (Phoenix, AZ), Kim Thomas, shares her experience using BrainPOP Educators for professional development.
In the Madison School District (Phoenix, AZ) we are all huge BrainPOP fans, from preschool to 8th grade. Sadly, I must admit, over the last couple of years we have become a bit lax in exploring all the resources available. In my role as the Technology Integration Specialist for the District I had a tendency to look over the BrainPOP newsletter and not really think much about it. Not sure what made me take the time to really read the newsletter, just glad I did. WOW! I promptly shared the link so that other teachers could sign-up for it as well. The MICE teachers (Madison Integrating Computer Education, 3-4 teachers at each site who help their peers with integrating technology)at each school now receive the BrainPOP newsletter and have shared the information (and link for signing up for the newsletter) with their fellow teachers.
The newsletter was only the first step. (Ok, actually reading it was the true first step!) Then I explored the BrainPOP Educators site. Another WOW! Love the webinars! This summer we are using 4 of the webinars for PD.
In Madison teachers take technology integration classes to earn technology for their classroom. This is done through CATNIP; Classroom Application of Technology, New Incentive Program. This consists of both face-to-face classes and online. Generally the teacher watches a video (generally a web show or an archived webinar) and completes an exit ticket. With the great new GameUp section I was able to take that one step further for one of the online classes, having them explore and find games they could use in their classroom. Then they share these games with their grade or content peers. Great way to get the word out about GameUp.
We are now including PD for BrainPOP during each session (Fall, Spring, Summer) so that we can all stay up to date on what is happening with all the BrainPOP characters and new resources.