One of the booths I visited at the massive ISTE expo this week was the Brainpop booth. I got my picture taken with Moby, the famous Brainpop “mascot”, but, trust me, you don’t want to see it. This one is much better (Moby is on your right):
I haven’t shared a lot about Brainpop on this blog because most of its resources are based on purchasing a subscription. There is a free app with featured videos that can be viewed, though, and you can get a free 30-day trial. It also has a fabulous and free “GameUp” section which I have mentioned on this blog, and I still highly recommend it. The games tie very well into school curriculum.
I think the subscription ($1200/yr. for school-wide access) is well worth it, and I rarely say that about subscriptions. If you can convince your school, district, or PTA to fund one, I think you will find that it is money well spent. There is a treasure trove of animated videos that are very engaging for kids, quizzes, accompanying worksheets and activities, and lesson plans for teachers.
The reason I am mentioning all of this today, however, is that Brainpop has an exciting new feature, called My Brainpop, coming down the pipe later this year (in time for the 2013-2014 school year), which will allow you to really utilize it for differentiation. You will be able to add classes, track your students’ progress on quizzes and games, and even personalize your own quizzes. This is a huge benefit. Although it does not sound like they will be offering the ability to assign specific videos to different students, I am hoping this feature will be added in the future.
If you have never tried Brainpop, I urge you to check out the free trial. And, if your school does have a full subscription, you might want to think about how you can use this new feature to your advantage during this upcoming school year!