Community Review for BrainPOP
Overall, I love using brainpop with my students for teacher-led sections of the lesson. It does not work well for group work, independent practice, or assessments.
How I Use It
I primarily use the videos on the website. I find that they have a wide range of topics (historical, scientific, cultural) so that I can often find what I need to supplement info on a topic, provide background knowledge for my ENL students, or as a hook for the entire class prior to reading a difficult text. The videos are all short (about 2-5mins) so they don't take over my entire period. And if I need to play one again for a class, it's not a dealbreaker/time kill. The videos also emphasize key (tier 3) vocabulary that students should know. Now that they are connected with NEWela, I plan to use them even more. It's a great resource to take videos that I have already used and to easily pair them with Common Core aligned texts.
I've tried a few of the games on the website but am not crazy about them. They seem to be lower level, and more focused on route memorization. I have a similar critique of their quizzes - they are mostly direct recall (when was X born) and less analysis of the information that is presented.
The website is paid, so if your school or district doesn't pay for it - it can be pricey. Furthermore, they have a bunch of different verisons (brainpopjr, brainpop esl) and if you want to draw from them at various points throughout the year all it will cost you!