How I Use It
I use these videos to introduce a topic, for review, or for individual learners who are struggling with a concept. If your school has paid for BrainPop, you can have each student create an account, save their scores on the post-video quizzes, and you can use that as an assignment. There are further activities, graphic organizers, and vocabulary sheets for each lesson, which is handy if they have their own accounts. If your students have access to internet at home, this is a good way to introduce a topic before they come to class so that they are have a base of understanding and some basic questions before they come into the classroom. For your higher-level learners, there is an FYI section with additional information and various activities that can help them gain a more in-depth understanding of the topic. The games can be confusing and frustrating and are not really fun for students. It is a good website for general things and for students who are curious about a topic, but not worth the money.
BrainPop is useful and engaging, but the biggest downsides are that there are not many topics covered and that it costs too much money to use. The website is colorful and engaging, and students like being able to watch videos about so many things. They are a little cheesy for students in middle- and high-school, but the students don't typically seem to mind. I like the wide variety of subjects that are addressed on BrainPop, as they have lessons on everything from English and Math to Engineering & Technology, Art, and Health & Fitness. Within each subject, however, there are many concepts that are missing, so you can't expect to have a video about most things that you are teaching. Those subjects that are available are a nice supplement to lessons and are an entertaining way to reiterate lesson concepts. The quizzes and additional activities are useful after watching the videos and students do think they are fun and learn from them.