Guest Blogger: Angela Kiser Shares Her Experience Using the BrainPOP App

Moby on a cell phone

Angela Nixon Kiser is a National Board Certified Teacher who works tirelessly to provide interactive and meaningful learning in a technology enriched classroom. She provides technology tips, fun, and advice through a collaborative blog called www.techieteachertales.blogspot.com  If you missed her post on BrainPOP Educators last week, be sure to check it out here!

I have one iPad in my classroom. How do you use one iPad with 26 greedy little fingers dying to get their hands on the technology? I think that is one of the biggest mountains to climb in our world of learning. I have researched numerous websites and blogs looking for helpful tips just to keep the growl of “my turn” to a patient whisper. So I endeavored to explore what many sources suggest. Adding the iPad into your center (or stations if the students are older) rotation. Easy enough, right? I would have hoped so, but it had its kinks.

I encountered a kink with the length of time each child, in the group of four, would spend with an app. The first few center rotations became problematic primarily due to the game I featured for the week. Not every student played and not every student even touched the iPad. I found myself managing time more than aiding the students who came to me for their intervention or re-teach.

Apps and tablet devices are revolutionizing the classroom. There are so many apps to use in education, but there are times I fail to find an app that correlates to the skill or is relevant and meaningful. I do have a few tried-and-true apps that the students love to revisit.

One of those tried-and-true apps is the BrainPOP app. I stumbled upon the app through I conversation with one of my students. She and I were casually discussing the latest video when she mentioned how she loved using the app to look at the daily video and watched videos on trips. I was immediately curious about BrainPOP’s app. Why did I not know about the app? So, off I went to the iPad and there it was. Moby’s face smiling back at me as if saying, “We have been waiting for you”. I then spent the evening doing what every techie teacher does when he or she finds software, an interactive website, or apps. I explored and played. More like played, but who doesn’t when they find something cool to use with their kids. I had found another app to place in the rotation of the iPad station.

The BrainPOP app was instantly successful in the iPad station. Students are able to pair up with ear buds as they watched the video together. Students are also able work through the quiz with their partner when I allow partner discussion. My students easily find their assignment on the detailed step by step task card that is provided at the station.

A bonus feature is the app is the quizzing. After the students take the quiz, it is required to save their data so I can analyze their progress. Saving and retrieving their scores has become a viable tool for my progress monitoring. At the end of the day, I simply pull up the scores that had visited the station. I can easily see who I may have to speak to about their score or to “high five” someone who did an amazing job.

Now I have to get my hands on one of those head phones multiport devices, so all four kids that go to that station can watch the video together!