Teacher Review for BrainPOP: Social Studies

Exactly the shorts kids need

A Suzann D.
Instructional Assistant
Arizona State University
Tempe, United States
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My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Knowledge gain
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
In my teaching, BrainPop would be used to supplement textual material which may be a little too difficult to soak in. By generating a video of a specific topic for the class. For standardized topics that BrainPop offers such as the topic of Civil War, it gave a brief cartoon version introduction. Kids and adults will be more likely to take interest in a video with visual and auditory queues. It combined the civil war with a reference back to a chess board. The tactics presented cover many learning theories and therefore have a strong inclination to reach more students with critical learning details. What doesn't seem to work is the fact that content is the prefabricated and doesn't appear to offer customized lessons, or additional materials to be discussed. Therefore, outside of the core educational areas (Mathematics, Language Arts, etc.) there is no ability to transition into higher learning or professional development environments.
My Take
Overall, secondary educators (and in a limited scope primary educators) can use this as a supplemental resource. It could be given as homework for kids to study these modules prior to lesson discussion or afterward to solidify the factual elements of importance. The cartoon interface, puts learners at ease to receive information whereas a text book chapter of 30 pages can be a daunting task. It needs a bit more flexibility and customization options.