BrainPOP in the University Classroom, Part II

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Yesterday, we shared how Professor of Biology at Middle Tennessee State University, Cindi Smith-Walters PhD, is using BrainPOP with her students. Check out some more of her students’ reflections below on BrainPOP at the college level.

I am a senior pre-service teacher at MTSU. I first came across BrainPOP with my young children. They would come home from school and want to navigate the site.  As I overheard what they were learning from it, I got really excited about them using technology to further explain their topics discussed in class, or learn new things all together.  When I decided to go back to school at middle age, I found that this site also helped me to understand concepts that I had forgotten or seemed really confusing.  BrainPOP has helped me broaden my knowledge in science.  Topics I looked up and used were Characteristics of Life, the Six Kingdoms, Protists, Bacteria, and Fungi.  The movies give great visuals, definitions and statistics, and the quizzes are excellent tools to test knowledge. In the future, I know I can always come back to this site and refresh my own knowledge and certainly recommend it to my future students.

-Diana Degnan

I absolutely love BrainPOP and so do my students! I work in an afterschool program with elementary students and I also am a substitute teacher. When we are doing things that deal with outdoors or any other kinds of activities, I always try and see if there is a video for it. And, most of the time there is! The kids beg me to let them watch and they even love taking the quizzes after each video to see if they understood everything. It is such a pleasure and joy to watch my kids learn in these ways and enjoy every minute of it. Thank you for all the resources you provide with BrainPOP, and I plan to keep on utilizing it in many ways when I start my career as a teacher!

-Krysten Toliver

I have found that BrainPOP has many more uses than I first thought. Two years ago I was introduced to the website by my daughter who was in the second grade. She had many assignments that had to be completed and most were completed at school. Eventually her teacher sent home information on how to access the site from home. My daughter was hooked and she was learning, but it seemed more of a game. I would watch her use it and was pleased with the content, methodology, and the assessments. My daughter, and her school, continue to use BrainPOP today.

Earlier this year I discovered that I too could benefit from using BrainPOP. It all started with a university level biology class. I had to watch the video and take the test. That is when I began to understand that this website was designed for all levels of learning. The content was not harder or more detailed than what my daughter accessed. It focused on the topic, was relevant and fun, provided an assessment, and recommended closely related topics. I did not use BrainPOP by myself; my daughter did it with me. So, as I used this website to study for classes at my university, my fourth grade daughter was right there with me. We were learning together. The instruction provided was well thought out and allowed both of us to gain knowledge. This is not just for kids!

I plan to use BrainPOP in my classroom after I finish my collegiate studies. I have seen it used in the classroom environment at the elementary and middle school level, and the kids are thrilled to use it. I have seen it used as an individual instructional tool, as well as projected on the screen in front of the entire classroom for group learning.

Keep up the great work! Not only will I use it in my future classroom – I will recommend BrainPOP to students (of all ages), fellow educators, and parents.

-Eric Eubanks

I work as an Educational Assistant at an elementary school.  As an EA I am often sent to “cover” classes so teachers can attend meetings, take breaks, or must leave the classroom for any unscheduled event.  It is necessary to be able to pick up where the teacher has stopped in order for the maximum learning to take place. Recently I was sent to a kindergarten classroom to relieve the teacher for  30 minutes.  They were in the process of making a flower glyph.  The shape of the petals, the amount of leaves selected, and the insect chosen signified the student’s answer.  Well, we were doing a pretty good job of coloring and cutting out our choices until… it was time to glue the parts of the flower together.  There were leaves on the stamen and petals on the stem. Some even cut off the stamen! So, I immediately took a time-out and pulled up BrainPOP Jr.’s Parts of a Plant movie on the projector screen.

Annie and Moby were able to show and tell the students the parts of the plant (including the necessary roots, that were left out of the glyph) in a fun way that the students loved.  I was able to add to their knowledge base of plants with a quick 4 minute video.  We were also able to take an easy quiz (which feels like a game to them) to assess their comprehension.  Thanks to a little reinforcement from BrainPOP Jr., the flower glyphs turned out wonderfully.

-Stephanie Ross

I have loved getting to explore BrainPOP in my Life Science for Elementary Teachers course! I think this a wonderful resource for elementary-age kids, and it has even helped me study for some of my tests, too. The videos are very beneficial because they cover important information in an interesting way. I also work for an after-school program with kindergarteners, and once a week they get to spend some time in the computer lab. They have a couple of different websites that they can choose to visit, and BrainPOP is one of them. A majority of the kids love to get on BrainPOP and watch videos of Tim and Moby. They are learning valuable information while also having fun. I also like that the website has many ways to reinforce the information they are learning during the videos, such as quizzes, games, and additional information. As a future teacher (hopefully kindergarten), I will definitely keep BrainPOP in my list of resources, and plan on incorporating the website and videos into many of my lessons!

-Shelby Jones

A big thank you to Cindi for encouraging her students to share their experiences! We’re hoping that their stories will inspire learners of all ages to utilize the BrainPOP resources.