I attended a BrainPop session today at #ISTE2014 out of curiosity. The teachers at our school that use BrainPop (all 1 of them) mostly use it for the videos. Now I don’t know about you but any video I need I can probably find it on YouTube so I needed to know what else did BrainPop offer? Upon entering the session, we sat at a table with our devices and were given demo userids/passwords to login to BrainPop. We were then told to go into GameUp which is right off the main page.
GameUp offered interactive Games for Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, English, Engineering & Tech. Since I’m a math geek, I tried several of the math games! They were awesome and I could certainly see the students playing them and having fun while learning. Also really helpful on the website was a link entitled “Teaching with Games” describing the benefit of teaching with quality games. Quality is key as we learned in the session, because BrainPop accepts maybe 1 out of 100 games submitted to them. That’s impressive. According to the website, quality games…
- Motivate and provide goals
- Encourage participation
- Foster creative, interactive problem-solving
- Strengthen critical and systems thinking
- Pose adaptive challenges
- Spark inquiry
- Require very little prep by busy teachers
So needless to say I was impressed with BrainPop and will definitely add this tool to the professional development arsenal for teachers. I can see BrainPop being a part of student diagnostic and formative assessment. For those familiar with this tool from the video perspective only, it will be a new twist on challenging and motivating their students while having fun at the same time.