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BrainPOP Featured Movie
Pros: Kid-friendly and entertaining movies address a wide range of topics.
Cons: The daily featured movie is free, but most videos require a subscription.
Bottom Line: These short videos are undeniably valuable as a teaching tool for elementary and middle school kids.
Elementary and middle school classrooms with one or more mobile devices are a good bet for BrainPOP Featured Movie. With one device, kids could rotate to view videos, or certain students could be assigned to watch a video on a particular topic. If each kid has her own device, teachers could easily incorporate the videos into lessons (provided each student has headphones!).
The quiz is a great way for kids to test their understanding of what they've just seen. However, the 10 multiple-choice questions are limited in how far they can extend learning. One neat function is that the app records high quiz scores, so kids can keep track of which videos they've watched and monitor their learning. Also, of course, if kids share a device to take quizzes, this can add an element of healthy competition.
Tim and Moby the robot, in a series of animated videos, break down tons of topics from atoms to the idea of … a main idea! With BrainPOP Featured Movie's extensive collection, students can get a fun, free daily dose of information.
The videos play in a large window, and kids can view them in full screen. They can pause, fast-forward, and rewind, and the videos load quickly and have good sound quality. The featured movie is always free, and each subject area has a number of free movies, although many videos require kids to log in with a paid BrainPOP subscription.
When kids first open the app, they can go to the bottom of the screen to explore an academic subject, or they can watch the featured movie. Related videos sit next to the featured video, so if kids want to keep learning about the same subject, they can immediately go deeper. Navigation is simple, with large and brightly colored buttons and symbols for each subject area, making it easy for kids to find videos on particular topics.
BrainPOP offers Spanish, French, and U.K. English, and each video has subtitles. Overall, BrainPOP Featured Movie delivers a wide variety of content in short, easily digestible videos that kids will enjoy.