Get to know the BrainPOP Educators team!

Andrew Gardner, Vice President • Professional Learning

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? – Media Literacy, Critical Reasoning, 9/11, Fact/Opinion, Ethics

What is your favorite GameUp Game? – I love Ayiti, The Cost of Life as I think it takes full advantage of the affordances of games to illustrate complex systems, teach values and sad truths.

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? – It’s the relationships!  The members of our team are full of clever grit (as you can tell from these descriptions), and we connect with tons of educators around the world and help them get more out of BrainPOP!

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? – I was a teacher for 12 years – Pre-k, 1st grade, 2nd grade home room, and a 3rd – 5th grade tech integrator all here in NYC.  

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? – My favorite teacher was my high school advisor and “computer proficiency” teacher, Steve Bergen.  In high school I struggled terribly with organization and concentration and, as an advisor, Steve helped me build those “soft skills.”  We took a weekly walk around the neighborhood where we would just talk about stuff other than school, he was hilarious and loved Larry Bird and the number 33. After college, I re-connected with Steve as he was teaching technology in NYC, and we became professional colleagues. Steve passed away early in 2016 and I miss him.  


Jackie Glassman, Director of Educator Content

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? – Presidential Election, Theme, Lord of the Flies, Ocean Habitats (BP Jr.), Rosa Parks (BP Jr.)

What is your favorite GameUp Game? – all Time Zone X games, Phet simulations

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? – So many things! Working with super smart, passionate people keeps me on my toes and energized to make our content the very best it can be. And, of course the product itself. I love when people ask me where I work because the reaction is is always “I LOVE BrainPOP!”  

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? – I’ve been working in the educational publishing/technology business my entire career. Before BrainPOP I worked at Scholastic for many years and then as a freelance writer/editor for a broad range of companies and organizations including Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? – My fourth grade teacher Mr. Donnellan. Mr. D thought outside the box and made learning fun. He got rid of the rows of desks and encouraged cooperative learning and flipped classroom long before its time. Oh… and he had a great sense of humor!


 

Robert Miller, Lead Learner

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? Lewis and Clark, Andrew Jackson, Theme, Conservation of Mass, Sharks

What is your favorite GameUp Game? Guts n’ Bolts

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? It is so inspiring and motivating to work with a team of such smart and creative people! What thrill to work in a collaborative environment and to create content for students and tools for teachers to make a classroom engaging and enriching.

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? I taught fourth and fifth grade for twenty-one years (and used BrainPOP for fifteen of those years!) in Volusia County Schools, Florida. My favorite subjects were science and social studies, teaching with loads of inquiry and simulations.

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Ms. Gamble, eleventh grade – advanced biology. This class was all hands-on labs and dissections. There were rarely any answers given by Ms. Gamble, only a shoulder shrug to prompt us to answer our own questions or collaborate with a partner. She was ready with a prompt or question to spark research or connection.


Priya Mathur, Community Manager • BrainPOP Educators

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? – It’s so hard to choose! Here are some of my favorites: Variables (Nat and Moby make understanding variables easy to understand); Conditionals (I love Annie’s dance moves in this one); Theme (The nod to star wars is so fun!); All of the Ancient Cultures movies  ( I love looking at the primary sources for these); All of the Psychology and Behavior movies

What is your favorite GameUp Game?  Guts and Bolts…especially with SnapThought!

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? – I love that I have the opportunity to connect with outstanding educators through the Certified BrainPOP Educator program. Hearing about the creative ways that they integrate BrainPOP into their lessons is so inspiring. I also appreciate that BrainPOP really cares about its users and that as a company we are constantly looking for ways to make their experiences better.

What did you do before joining BrainPOP?  Before joining BrainPOP I was an elementary school teacher. I worked mostly in Canada and then in England for one year. I always had an interest in educational technology, specially how it can be used to accommodate individual learning needs. During my pursuit to learn more about EdTech, I first started working at BrainPOP while I was in grad school at NYU. Upon completion at NYU,  I stayed in the city and stayed at BrainPOP HQ! Having used BrainPOP in the classroom myself, it is eye opening learning about how various departments work together.

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? – When thinking back to all the teachers that I have had, the ones that stand out to me are the ones who both cared about me as a person and encouraged me to grow. One teacher in particular that stands out to me is Ms Brown my 6th grade teacher. I still remember how calming her words of encouragement were during my stressful transition to a new school. She often did circle time activities with us where we would check in with each other.

Looking back, it was the first time a teacher of mine tried to create a sense of community in the classroom. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was able to grow because of her efforts to create a safe space for us. When I had my own classroom, I did many of these circle time activities with my own students with the hopes that they would feel just as safe in my classroom as I did hers.


Dana Burnell, Writer •  BrainPOP Educators

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? – Ethics, Maya Angelou, Alexander Hamilton, Pop Art and Mindfulness.

What is your favorite GameUp Game? – I love Mission US: City of Immigrants. It’s amazing to role-play an early 20th Century immigrant to New York, and learn about the challenges and decisions you’d face. Plus, you can choose your career, your relationships–even what to buy for the family dinner! 

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? – People really care about creating the best movies and surrounding them with strong and truly helpful resources to make them as accessible to students and teachers as possible. 

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? – I was a writer and editor, and also taught at the Columbia University Program for High School Students, where my subjects were Introductory Fiction and Advanced Non-fiction Writing.  

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? – My favorite teacher was my high-school English teacher, Mrs. Jackson. She was genuinely excited by great novels, and led wonderful, wide-ranging discussions in which we learned about the historical and political backgrounds that influenced the authors. Mrs. Jackson could be fierce when it came to getting us up to standard for the big national tests — but also was thrilled if (when!) we did well in the end.

 

Christina Romano, Science Learning Designer 

What are your top 5 BrainPOP movies? Water Safety, Lab Safety, Mindfulness, Critical Reasoning, Sharks 

What is your favorite GameUp Game? Quandary—I really like how each answer you choose has a consequence, and there’s no right or wrong answers. It helps students build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? BrainPOP has some of the most passionate and motivated people I have ever worked with. Each of my coworkers brings a different strength to the team, and I am constantly learning from them. 

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? I am a former middle school science teacher and STEM coordinator from Maryland, specializing in inquiry-based and student-centered learning. Right before coming to BrainPOP, I worked as the science education editor for Scholastic science classroom magazines. 

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Mrs. Gilbert taught my high school AP environmental science class. It was a tough class, with a mix of labs and lectures. She taught me how to balance my workload while still doing my best every day.

 


Barbara Hubert, Director of Professional Learning 

What are your top 5 BrainPOP Movies? Feminism, all of the “Emotions” and “Psychology and Behavior” topics,  60’s Folk and the Fax Machine – what a throwback!

What is your favorite GameUp Game? Sortify – I love that it gives you a glimpse into how students reason and make connections. 

What’s the best thing about working at BrainPOP? I get to work with an incredibly dedicated and brilliant team who bring different perspectives to the table at a company with such a strong culture. I also get to stay connected to and support educators who are some of the most hard-working and creative people on the planet. 

What did you do before joining BrainPOP? I was a special educator (where BrainPOP was central to our class!) and department leader for 10 years before getting my Ph.D. and teaching graduate education courses at Hunter College. These experiences helped solidify and stay grounded in my driver – creating instructional access for diverse learners. I continued this work as the Manager for Curriculum and Professional Development in Accessible Instruction at New Visions for Public Schools, a non-profit New York City school-support network. 

Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Mr. Albano, my high school theater teacher and Ms. Kubik, my high school music teacher, were a dynamic duo. They created a safe and inclusive space to explore, express and create which was a much needed balance to adolescence and something I treasure now.