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In the mind of a CBE

From the mind of a CBE: BrainPOP is so much more than a movie and a quiz …

Posted by Jessica Millstone on

Part Two of January’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the month series with Lauren Wade encourages educators to take advantage of all BrainPOP has to offer.

“BrainPOP is so much more than a movie and a quiz…” is what you will hear me saying over and over if you happen to come by the BrainPOP booth at FETC (Future of Education Technology Conference) in Orlando, FL this January. Through my use of BrainPOP over the past ten years, I have come to learn how much more this invaluable resource has to offer. Sometimes, my time spent at FETC leaves me feeling like a TV evangelist, converting the casual BrainPOP user to a full “believer” in Make-a-Map, GameUP, FYI, My BrainPOP, and the newest addition of assignments. How can I not share news this good?!

My journey with BrainPOP began just like many teachers’, our school had a license… and my mentor teacher told me that I could probably find videos that my students would enjoy. As a newbie, I fervently sought out videos to enhance my instruction. Before My BrainPOP was even an idea, I was having students take the video quizzes in small groups… on notebook paper. I eventually began having students use CPS clickers to answer questions whole group, and thus began my use of formative assessments to drive instruction. The clickers definitely helped, but I always knew there could be more to BrainPOP… cue my Certified BrainPOP Educator class in January of 2015!

The CBE class that I attended at FETC was a game changer. I was introduced to My BrainPOP and the suite of resources BrainPOP had been working on to enhance the BrainPOP experience. Listening to the teachings of Andrew Gardner and Carrie Mignano convinced me that BrainPOP would once again become the lifeline of my classroom. I went home from FETC that year, and immediately spread the BrainPOP gospel at a training with two of my fellow CBE colleagues. The fire quickly spread, and my classroom became alive with BrainPOP love.

I have been presenting at FETC on a variety of topics for the past five years… ranging from Web 2.0 tools to robotics. After becoming a CBE, I decided to apply to teach a workshop on game based learning with BrainPOP in 2016, and a workshop on My BrainPOP this January. The CBE network has opened up additional opportunities for me to work with BrainPOP in the FETC exhibition hall as well. When I am not teaching workshops, or attending sessions for my own professional development, you can find me sharing the BrainPOP message in the booth! There is no better feeling than finding teachers that are “over” BrainPOP, and showing them the latest capabilities.

One of the new BrainPOP features that has transformed my classroom is the ability to assign videos, quizzes, and even games through My BrainPOP. This automates my students’ learning, and ensures that students are never unsure of their expectations. With My BrainPOP assignments, homework is no longer a boring task. Teachers can now flip their instruction… having students watch videos and engage with content at home, so that differentiated learning can take place throughout the day.

I could continue to ramble on about my excitement for BrainPOP forever, but that would never put teachers in the driver seat! So, I leave you with this… see what BrainPOP has to offer. Try making a concept map with any video using the Make-a-Map tool. Peruse the vetted games that will support your curriculum on GameUP. Create your class, assign a video, and sit back… knowing that you have been converted to a BrainPOP enthusiast, just like me.