How I Use It
I had students, in grades 2 and 3, use this tool in their individual inquiry projects as a research resource. My students love this tool. I taught them how to pause and rewind when watching videos, which are necessary skills when listening for specific information to answer research questions. This enabled them to stop and take notes or listen to/watch the information again that they may have missed. The teachers in my school often use this tool to show videos to a whole class. If you have a projector this works well. I am in a lab, which is 1:1, so my students got to choose the videos they wanted to watch as long as they were related to the subject matter we were studying. This allowed students to work at their own pace. You could have students watch a video together as a small group as well. For this set-up I would advise using a headphone splitter, which is something I have done with students in the past. I has students mostly listening/watching in partnerships, which I think works better than a larger group.
I think that this database is an essential tool for schools to support student driven research. I do feel, however, that there is always room for improvement. Some students loved this tool so much that they decided to watch other videos during class time. It would be really great to customize videos for assignments and research projects so that students have a more limited choice of videos while working in class. The large selection, makes it very tempting for students to go off-task and watch videos that are unrelated to the content area they are supposed to be working on. It would also really like to be able to track which videos individual students are watching. It would be so helpful to have each of the videos at least available in Spanish, then eventually in multiple languages. This would have enabled my ELL students, who don't speak any English, to learn the content with rest of the class, in their own native language. I would love to see more interactive components added. For example, for students to have the capacity to rate videos on criteria such as whether or not the video answered their questions on the topic and offer students the opportunity to offer Brainpop feedback such as if they still have unanswered questions or if any parts of the video were confusing. Finally, I would love to see a way for students to easily cite the video they used to answer their research questions. A "cite this" button or something that easily allows students to copy a proper citation or somehow input it into their digital work.