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In the mind of a CBE

Blended Learning Kick-Off with BrainPOP in the House!

Posted by cemignano on

We welcome back July’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Jesús Morales, to share a bit more about how he’s using BrainPOP in his district. Read on to learn how they’re integrating BrainPOP into their new blended learning curriculum.

As an Instructional Technology Specialist at my district, I have been tasked with ensuring that all our teachers are comfortable with using Blended Learning throughout our entire district. Our team has been working hard for years to accomplish this, but this coming school year our district has officially adopted this fabulous style of learning that is going to reach all of our students learning styles.

With a brand new LMS, new laptops, and portable devices, our district is finally venturing into the 21st century. This upcoming school year we have many new initiatives to include Active Learning and Blended Learning. Blended Learning is not just videos, but continued collaboration between students and teachers both online and offline. We’ve used instructional videos and have even created our own, but the delivery method was crude and based on each teacher’s knowledge and tech abilities. After many years of research and discussion both within the district and the community, we have come to realize that meeting the needs of our students by using the educational media and technology is the best way to prepare them for the 21st Century and beyond.

The majority of our students, no matter what their socioeconomic status may be, have experienced media consumption using various tools including game consoles, desktops, laptops, and portable devices. Media nowadays is easily accessible and everyone is anxious to be followed and shine through various platforms to include YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, to name a few. The biggest problem is that our students have become excellent consumers, but many times they do not have a purpose or a skill to learn and practice after they have viewed their assigned videos. This is where BrainPOP comes into play.

BrainPOP will allow teachers to add cross-curricular digital resources including animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, and concept mapping. Not only will our students be able to watch from a content-rich library of movies, but as part of their assignment they can create their own movie. What a great way for a student to go beyond consumer into the realm of producer/creator! Students are able to provide the information needed for teachers to assess if they understood the concept covered and learned a valuable new skill or lesson that will help them in the future. Teachers have always struggled with finding the right website where students can practice their skills and not worry about inappropriate content popping up. With BrainPOP’s learning games, that worry is washed away and you can keep track of student success by using great tools like SnapThought so that students can explain their reasoning behind their decisions in each game.

Let’s not forget Make-a-Map. This is definitely a great way for students to gather information and make connections that will be vital in their learning. This goes beyond substitution of pen and paper with added features such as audio and video captures that can be added to each map. Plus, maps are shareable and printable. With all of these great tools nothing can stop our students from reaching new levels of success and learning.

So, when it comes to incorporating Blended Learning into our lessons and routines, BrainPOP will definitely continue to be widely used throughout our district.

Happy Blending!

Jesús