In the mind of a CBE

Using BrainPOP to Help Educators Stretch their EdTech Practice

Posted by cemignano on

We’re back with December’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Julianne Ross-Kleinmann. Julianne has been busy leading BrainPOP-focused professional development and we’re excited for her to share some of her tips and tricks for leading a successful PD session. Read on to learn more about Julianne’s approach to professional development and how she weaves BrainPOP in to her practice.

I am honored being highlighted as this month’s CBE. The timing is fortuitous; tailored to elementary and middle school educators, I just completed three professional development sessions titled, ‘Creating and Learning are Fun with BrainPOP.’ The hardest part about creating and presenting BrainPOP workshops is finding enough time to share all the wonderful resources BrainPOP has to offer. On the flip side, the most fun part about three PD sessions in a row is that each day I can wear a different BrainPOP shirt to work!

But seriously folks, as the Technology Integration Specialist in the Educational Resources Department of Dutchess (NY) BOCES, as an ISTE leader, and as a CBE, I feel it is my responsibility to remain a connected learner and to help others stretch their edtech practices. [Connected Learner is described in the draft revision of the ISTE Administration Standards. Stretch Your Edtech Practice is the title of a poster that introduces the ISTE Standards for Educators.] Preparing for the three sessions, I reflected on what was most important for my audience at this time; it was experiencing My BrainPOP as students in my class. To show them there is more to BrainPOP than movies and quizzes, which they were already using, I selected Make-a-Map, Make-a-Movie, and GameUp using SnapThought as the tools I wanted them to learn more about and bring back to their students. I use the ISTE Standards to help frame all of my trainings. My goal is to help teachers feel comfortable so they can be the facilitators of learning for their students and for other teachers. My premise that they were not aware of all that BrainPOP has to offer was justified.  The Make-a-Movie tool was the biggest hit. Teachers were fully engaged, enjoyed creating their own movie, and saw this as an excellent tool for students to creatively document their learning and for teachers to assess students’ comprehension. The first of the ISTE Standards For Educators relates to being a Learner, “Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.”  

In keeping with the standard, in every training I provide teachers with an online-shared folder of resources. To help them extend their learning beyond our workshop I introduce them to the BrainPOP Educators Page so they can learn from and collaborate with other educators. Collaborator is the title of the fourth ISTE Standards for Educators.  At the end of a training I offer to help teachers create their own MY BrainPOP classes and model, plan, or co-teach a lesson As an Technology Integration Specialist, I use the ISTE Standards to asses the needs of educators so I can help them to move forward in selecting and integrating technology into their practice. I enjoy my new job, I meet amazing educators who welcome me into their schools, and we have fun learning from each other.

ISTE Standards are one of the tools I use to inform my work. I’m curious…what standards, frameworks, or models do you use? Please share in the comments below.

BTW, ISTE is currently refreshing the ISTE Standards for Administrators. We would love your feedback. Please visit to provide your comments.