Get to know a CBE

Professional Development with CBE of the Month Melissa Dills

Posted by cemignano on

We’d like to introduce you to February’s Certified BrainPOP Educator of the Month, Melissa Dills! Melissa became a CBE in summer 2019 and is a technology integration specialist working with K-6 students and teachers and has 18 years of teaching experience.

What inspired you to go into education?
I was blessed to have amazing teachers throughout school. I loved everything about school and still do! My Dad has dyslexia and for him “school” had a bad connotation. I found it so crazy that my Dad didn’t love learning, reading, and school! I grew up seeing how school could be very different depending on your situation. I wanted to make school a wonderful experience for everyone, no matter their exceptionalities. I love all students, but I seem drawn to the ones who don’t fit into a box! I want to ensure they have a great school experience just like I did.

What are you most passionate about when it comes to education, technology, and your approaches to teaching?
As a technology integration specialist I am most passionate about sharing a love of learning for teachers and students. I want students to be inquisitive problem solvers. I aspire to be a resource for teachers to find the most appropriate tools for enhancing their curriculum. 

How does BrainPOP support your educational passions and inspirations?
BrainPOP is amazing because it can help students and teachers be researchers and creators all in one place! For elementary students, it can be overwhelming to have them going to multiple sites and using different tools…students often end up where they don’t belong. With BrainPOP students are staying within the site to learn about a topic, practice skills, and show their learning through mind maps and movies. As a teacher, it is reassuring to know the videos and images are appropriate for students. 

How has BrainPOP supported professional development in your school?
One of my roles as a technology integration specialist is to ensure our staff is aware of and confident in using the resources our school purchases. Our staff was comfortable using BrainPOP for movies and quizzes, but most were not aware of the other features. I had a limited amount of time to present about BrainPOP with our staff at the beginning of the school year. During my presentation I showcased the creation tools within BrainPOP and challenged our staff to complete the BrainPOP 101 course. Over half of our staff has now completed BrainPOP 101! Had BrainPOP not had professional development resources and courses available I don’t believe we’d have as many teachers utilizing all of the awesome features BrainPOP has available. Our teachers are loving all of the new-found options and students often choose to do BrainPOP projects during free time! 

What’s on your BrainPOP wish list?
BrainPOP has so much to offer students and teachers! I love that BrainPOP covers such a plethora of core subjects but also has topics on social emotional learning as well. I’d love to see Moby and crew become even more of a change maker! Perhaps Moby could do a monthly challenge for schools or classrooms based on kindness, responsibility, or citizenship.