My children often want to know more about a variety of topics and I don’t always have the knowledge or the time to help them. I spoke to teachers and friends with children to get ideas on how to overcome my problem. Most of them recommended the BrainPOP solution.
I’ve done some online research regarding the BrainPOP series of sites and apps and all my kids now have the “BrainPOP: Featured Movie” app on their mobile devices.
I’ve discovered many interesting facts regarding BrainPOP and gladly share what I’ve found with you. I’m convinced that your kids will also benefit from this app.
- The Origin of BrainPOP
- In-App Subscription Options
- The Way the Content Is Presented
- Main Features of the App
- How to Access the Content
The Origin of BrainPOP
I assume you are reading this article because you are interested in finding well-designed education apps for your kids. BrainPOP’s apps have been designed to display animated, curriculum-based content for students as help for teachers to explain difficult concepts.
It is amazing how many subjects are covered on the site. They have escalated over the years and now the movies are covering the subjects of science, social studies, arts, music, English, technology, mathematics, engineering, and health.
According to some stats I’ve found, the BrainPOP system is used in more than 25% of U.S. schools. Many parents, homeschoolers, and others are also using it.
There are also two other apps where content can be found. They are “BrainPOP Jr. Movie Of The Week,” and “BrainPOP ELL.” The ELL version is specifically designed for students learning English as a second language, while BrainPOP Jr. is specifically for K to third-grade learners.
Nowadays BrainPOP content is available in more than one app. The app I’ve downloaded for my kids and discussed here is the “BrainPOP: Featured Movie” app. I’ve downloaded it from the Google Play Store, but it is also available on the Apple App Store, the Amazon App Store, and the Windows Store.
When you download it, you will need 15.10MB of space and if you are using an Apple product, the minimum software requirements are iOS 8.0 or later.
Originally, I’ve downloaded BrainPOP for free and received some free content, such as a movie of the day, movies from each topic area, lesson plans, educational games, and much more. But there is also subscription content available in the app.
In-App Subscription Options
The BrainPOP Explorer Subscription provides my kids with a free featured movie and a quiz. And then we also receive four additional related movies and quizzes. These movies and quizzes are rotated every day.
With the BrainPOP Full Access Subscription, my kids receive the free featured movie and its quiz and also unlimited access to all of BrainPOP’s 800-plus movies and quizzes.
I can guarantee you this is enough new content every day to keep us all busy for a long time. And it is all educational stuff, being enjoyed more than ever before.
For a free app to offer all this information is unthinkable, but this app has been doing it since it was released in September 2011.
The Basic Use of the App
For me, one of the great pros of the app is that the content is well organized and easily available. It is grouped in content for grades 3 and up, and for grades K to 3.
I find that my kids use the BrainPOP movies as an introduction to a new topic they are going to discuss at school. By being prepared for a new topic that will be taught in the classroom, they learn faster and take in a lot more than other kids in the class.
When my kids are reviewing for a test, I also encourage them to use the app’s content and methods. As the app is interactive, I don’t have to assist with revision anymore!
The Way the Content Is Presented
In the short movies, there are recurring characters such as Tim, a teenager, the robot Moby, and a younger girl, Annie. Other characters are Cassie and Rita, two teenage girls who, like Moby, enjoy annoying Tim. Bob is a rat with a broken tail and a patched chest doing experiments.
Gary and gary are a father and son featured in movies on how to do things safely. Here, the capitalized “Gary” is the name of the father, and the lowercase “gary” is that of the son.
Almost all the movies begin with the characters responding to correspondence. Generally, the movies end humorously, with Tim and Moby annoyed at each other.
Apart from the movies, the site offers quizzes, educational games, experiments, and other related content that my kids use interactively to reinforce what has been learned in the movies.
If you are a teacher you have to provide deeper, and more collaborative, learning opportunities to the students, but this app is a very useful supplement.
BrainPOP can help teachers introduce new topics into the classroom. The app allows teachers to print out materials like quizzes to use in the class. Students can submit their work online for feedback as well.
BrainPOP Help Service offers professional development (PD) and training opportunities for the teacher. It also provides lesson ideas to help teachers integrating BrainPOP into the classroom.
Main Features of the App
I can assure you that parents and teachers don’t have to be afraid that the content is not suitable for children. This is one of the main features of this app.
I, for instance, am not afraid to leave my kids alone with the app. I know that the content in BrainPOP is chosen and produced by a well-respected educational organization.
The app also doesn’t put pressure on my kids to use it every day. The content changes daily and all the content is archived. My kids can have a look at a skipped day’s content at a later stage if they want to.
Film topics include the planet Mars, dogs, asthma, and the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo – all topics in the U.S. schools’ curriculum and interesting for my kids. The kids choose which topics they want to explore in more detail and search for the appropriate movies and quizzes.
BrainPOP: Featured Movie provides a large amount of well-researched content for a free app. My kids get a new animated documentary every single day. And they have to listen and view with full attention as the movie is followed by a quiz to see how much they’ve understood.
But the main principle is still that the kids must enjoy the teaching process – actually they must not experience it as education. And I can assure you that my kids are enjoying every minute with the app.
The wide range of subjects, including science, art, history, technology, art, etc. is mind-blowing. I can tell you that there are not many topics that are not included in the app. At least my kids always find something relevant when they search for a topic.
How to Access the Content
When I had downloaded the app for my kids I played around with it myself to determine how my kids would cope using it. I was very impressed with how kid-friendly it is.
To watch the featured movie I just press “Play the Movie.” The day’s featured movie starts showing on my mobile device in a ready-to-watch format. I don’t need any other app or software to view the movie.
After the movie, there is a quiz to determine whether the kids have retained the content. I’ve been very surprised by how educationally correct the quizzes are composed.
I’ve found that they entice my kids to view the movies with full attention and that they enhance my kids’ vocabulary and reasoning skills.
Subjects and Skills
The subjects covered include language and reading (vocabulary); math (algebra, geometry, arithmetic, measurement, ratio, and probability); science (from animals to astronomy); social studies (including history and economy); and the arts (music and visual arts).
Skills like thinking and reasoning, memorization, and critical thinking are also included. What I appreciate a lot is that the app also helps my kids to identify strengths and weaknesses, through self-assessment. Even aspects regarding diets, fitness, and exercise are included.
According to my experience, this is an app that kids enjoy working with. The movies and interactives are enticing and engaging. As the content is prepared by education and subject specialists, the app makes tough subjects easy to understand.
The cartoon-like movies break down ideas in clever and thoughtful ways. Whether you are a parent or a teacher I recommend that you have a look at the BrainPOP: Featured Movie app. Download it now and test it yourself.