How I Use It
It is great to introduce a topic for discussion. The animation made it appealing to students and the simple and clear language made it easy for students to understand. Before showing a video on what we will be studying, I usually do a chalk talk to gauge prior knowledge. This could take a whole class period as we discuss the topic. Once I feel the students have shared all that they know, I can show a video related to the topic. Afterwards we will reflect on what they have learned. Of course the plan is to continue reinforcing what they learned in the video and to go further into the topic.
It is meant to only open a topic for discussion. The real lesson I believe is done after watching. The discussions ignited from watching the movie is how it is used as a teaching tool. One thing I do like about Brainpop is how appealing it is for the kids. I believe the banter with Moby engages certain visual learners who normally would not be interested. It would be nice if there were some followup lessons or activities included with the videos. Currently all they have a multiple choice quiz. Another huge positive about this app is the large number of subject related videos. Brainpop covers a very wide spectrum of topics, including digital citizenship.