Please welcome March’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month Aimee Bloom, who hails from West Seneca, NY! Aimee’s 10 years of teaching has prepared her to use some of BrainPOP newer concept mapping and movie-making tools to their best potential, and we are excited to share her expertise with you all.
What grade(s) do you teach? Subject area?
I currently teach preschool-8th grade computer technology and am my school’s student services and technology coordinator. I am able to work with every single student and teacher in my school. It is sincerely a win-win!
How long have you been teaching?
I am in my 10th year of teaching and began my journey as an art teacher! My love for technology and art often collide in my computer technology curriculum- I guess you can say it’s a place where the right side of my brain handshakes the left!
What inspired you to go into education?
I have had some very inspirational teachers in my life! They not only showed me a love for learning, but they also were very compassionate as they taught me that anything in life is achievable. Honestly, I still think about them to this day. Thank you Mrs. K and Mrs. J!
Which CBE class were you a part of? What do you like about being a CBE?
I was a part of the CBE graduating class of NYSCATE 2015. It was great. I learned so much about BrainPOP that I never knew about! I immediately went back to my school and gave a professional development on what I had learned. The CBE group is a great community of educators – I love when everyone shares ideas and inspires me.
What is one of the most memorable projects you’ve done with your class using BrainPOP resources?
In the beginning of my teaching career, I would use BrainPOP to show videos of the topics that I would teach. After being introduced more formally to BrainPOP at the CBE class, I began using the features of BrainPOP including assigning movies, coupled with the quizzes, games, and activities to flip lessons with my classes. But what excited me, as well as my students, was the ability to use the information that we learned from the BrainPOP videos and turn them into mind maps with Make-a-Map.
Part of my curriculum is teaching my students how to be safe while online. It is a tough concept to grasp as well as to explain to younger students who are only at the brink of their technological lives. BrainPOP Jr.’s movie does this exceptionally well. In the past I would have my students create posters reiterating to me what they have learned. Now, with BrainPOP Make-a-Map, I can see their thought process come to life as they paint this empty canvas before them with keywords, concepts from the BrainPOP movie, as well as intertwine their own thoughts and dispositions about being safe online. It’s great to see it come to light using a completely different medium!
How has BrainPOP impacted a specific student (or group of students)
Being my school’s technology coordinator, I have the distinct please of coaching my teachers on the use of educational in the classroom. Do you know how powerful that can be? For example, I only see my students for forty minutes once in a six-day rotation. That is hardly enough time. What I can do however, is spread my love for technology into the classrooms at my school. My teachers have embraced BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. into their classes and in some cases, like in our middle school science classes, used it to flip their lessons as well. Knowledge is contagious. Once my teachers learned that there is more to BrainPOP than movies, they were excited to bring this into their curriculum and assign students games and activities. BrainPOP has thus far greatly impacted our entire school.
How has becoming a CBE impacted you?
Being a CBE has greatly impacted me professionally. I love sharing my insights and ideas with others, and having a community of like-minded individuals is awesome! I also like being able to get the “sneak peeks” about new and upcoming products. It makes me feel like I am part of a team!
What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
I am most passionate about ensuring that my students become effective communicators and efficient collaborators while enduring the 21st century skills that are required of them to succeed. I want my students to learn to take educational risks, understand what trial and error is, and to know what failure feels like; but more importantly shatter the ceiling when they celebrate a success. I will often learn about new technology products as I teach. I am known to exclaim “Mrs. Bloom found this great tool – let’s try it out!” By taking this approach it teaches me about the process of the product; more importantly it allows my students to see my learning process, my first time failures at learning something new and that they can teach me. We work together as a community when we “test” out a new technological product. It’s a real-world situation as they become consumers. Honestly, I love the subject that I teach because there is always something new to learn and teach.
What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
Can I say that I am in LOVE with the new Make-A-Movie tool in BrainPOP. My students have requested several times to have the ability to share their finished movies outside of BrainPOP. I told them what would be really cool is if BrainPOP had a featured student movie once a month. (No pressure!)
Thanks again to Aimee for being our CBE of the Month … come back in a couple of weeks to read Part 2 of her blog post and learn more about how her students are using BrainPOP content and MyBrainPOP features to show even more of what they know.