Want to see how Windows 8 apps can support Blooms Taxonomy in the classroom? Then look no further.
In light of it being the new year and with a whole many more exciting Windows 8 apps on the scene, it is about time that there was something which clearly organised them into how they can be used in the classroom, depending on what you want your children or students to be learning. I am not claiming to be inventing the wheel here, instead I have taken a great diagram that illustrates Blooms Taxonomy and adapted it for Windows 8. It is a work in progress so take a look, see what you think and send me feedback on @CharBeckhurst There’s plenty more apps to be had.
Educator Spotlight: Charlotte Beckhurst
This week was a busy one what with Windows in the Classroom training as well as a trip to Havering HSIS (Hsis) with Rob Cox, from Toshiba, to promote CPD courses on Windows 8 and Office 365 in the classroom.
Staff at Hartsbrook School learnt how to navigate their way around the Windows 8 platform effectively picking up some new shortcuts along the way. Sharing ideas for practise, exploring the effective use of ICT in teaching and learning, as well as having a discussion on teaching with technology versus teaching through technology, staff were then able to research the range of Windows 8 apps available and come up with innovative and creative ways to use them in the classroom. In a week’s time, the staff will be submitting their plans fully trialled and evaluated to share with everyone at Hartsbrook E-ACT Free School. In addition these plans will be available to educators locally, nationally and globally on the Partners in Learning network. I look forward to cross-promoting some of their ideas on my blog too so keep your eye out for future posts.
Check out Charlotte’s interview on Anthony Salcito’s Daily Edventures
Case Study submitted by Scott Carrington, Head of Technology Faculty, Redden Court School
Redden Court School is a forward thinking and progressive secondary school. We seek to achieve the very best for all our students through the use of advanced technology and a rich variety of educational approaches. As a Specialist Academy for Mathematics and Computing, we continue to use our strengths in these areas to enhance the learning opportunities for all students and raise standards across the curriculum.
As an innovative school, we are venturing into the use of tablets, wireless technology and cloud computing to enhance teaching and learning within school and provide further opportunities for students to extend their knowledge outside of school. Our journey has started with the use of Microsoft Surface RT tablets but we plan to progress further by offering 1:1 and BYOD services in the near future. Please read our initial findings in the case study below.
Students are embracing the Surface RTs at Redden Court School. Below are some photos of a Key Stage 4 class working on their GCSE controlled assessment:
Some are starting to make use of some of the Surface’s features, such as the kick stand, on screen keyboard, USB drive and the split screen, which is particularly useful when working on the spreadsheet task.
Teachers are also becoming more familiar with the tablets and starting to use them as a visualizer for sharing good work on the screen and as a camera, which some of the more confident students particularly enjoy!
The use of tablets is certainly promoting collaborative learning, particularly through the touch screen functionality. The size and portability of the Surface tablets also allows for a more personal learning environment where students feel confident to share their work with each other and combine their strengths to complete tasks.
With most classes we have tried to give them 1 lesson a week on the tablets and 1 lesson on the PCs. This is to ensure that they develop the skills to adapt to a range of tools and it allows them to experience the benefits of both scenarios. It took a while for students (and staff) to get used to not being able to access the school’s network drive and their documents locally when on the tablets. However, they are gradually becoming more experience in saving work to their memory sticks or SkyDrive accounts through LGFL and Office 365. This is providing the students with a first-hand experience of cloud computing, which is a theory topic for the GCSE ICT. Office365 is also allowing teachers to set more challenging tasks for home learning as all students now have access to the Office suite at home.
Another benefit of Office 365 through LGFL SkyDrive is the ability for students and staff to share and follow documents which provides opportunities for full collaboration, such as adding, editing and commenting on each other’s work in the same document in real time. This is perfect for group work and class forums.
At Redden Court we firmly believe that as tablets continue to become more multi-functional, they will replace the need to spend/waste money on a range of equipment such as cameras, video recorders, microphones, smart boards, etc.
One of our favourite unique features of the Microsoft Surface tablets is the panoramic photo stitching facility. Not only do they provide a wider view of whole class learning but they also have a range of benefits. One of these benefits is highlighting key points of health and safety, which is a great starter for new students to the school. Another is from business perspective as we are able to upload interactive panoramic photos/videos of our specialist suites and rooms that can be hired during out of school hours.(see images below)
There are other features of the tablet that we have only scratched the ‘Surface’ with so far but we plan to embed them more into our lessons on a regular basis. This includes researching and experimenting with the app store and using the vast range of apps available.
Students are enjoying using the tablets and on the whole they have been a success. We certainly see the potential in the project and once we get through some of the technical issues, we will be able to fully embrace the use of tablets to enhance teaching and learning throughout the school.
Head of Technology Faculty
Redden Court School
Further to our post on Friday where we posted the 1st batch of slides from the Microsoft Theatre at BETT 2014, I just wanted to share the remainder of the slides as promised.
Theatre Session 4: Kodu Kup
Theatre Session 5: How IT has helped transform teaching and learning and supports a new culture of learning excellence at Twickenham Academy
Theatre Session 5: Flipped Learning: How Wymondham High Academy Trust is using Office 365 Education, Yammer and Surface to transform teaching and learning
Theatre Session 6: Using Skype to create the global classroom
As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch via the comments below if you have any questions.
Now the planning for BETT 2015 begins…
Surface and similar Windows RT 8.1 devices are great for students and educators: They are ultraportable, sturdy, and inexpensive. Students can use Windows RT devices to watch videos, write reports, and collaborate on group projects. Surface even has a built-in kickstand and integrated keyboard, allowing users to learn and teach the way they want.
The deployment guide that can be viewed/downloaded below, describes how schools can effectively deploy Windows RT devices.
It can help institutions choose the right type of user account and to automate much of the configuration process. It also provides a selection of sample Windows PowerShell scripts for both shared and one-to-one scenarios that schools can then customise and extend to automate their device configuration.
At the BETT Show last week, we had a few people ask about deploying Windows RT 8.1 so, in addition to this guide, we will look to post some additional content around this topic over the coming weeks and months.
Let us know if there is anything specific you need us to address for you.
This year, the Microsoft stand at BETT Show brought a vibrant array of devices in education and exciting and zingy Windows Education apps to the itchy fingertips of delegates. From cloud-based planning app My Study Life, ideal for educators and students alike, to the queen of visual mind-dumping and brainstorming apps NovaMind Mind Mapping, visitors to the Microsoft stand were presented with fantastic tools (many free!) to engage in 'Flipped Learning' in the classroom.
However, the app I want to focus on today isn't a productivity tool or even a teaching management tool. This space is dedicated to creativity, and what more impressive a way for primary students, GCSE and A-Level students and even university students to bring to life a replication or perhaps a surreal representation of their artiste imaginations, than through devices in education with Fresh Paint.
What is Fresh Paint?
So for those of you whose first thoughts are, what is Fresh Paint, I will illustrate.
Quite simply, Fresh Paint provides canvas, paper, paint and brushes to create works of art with a sweep of your finger or, my personal favourite, with the stylus pen paint brush!
For those of you whose pallets may be absorbing the hints of green scepticism, I want to reassure you that as a painter and drawer myself, used to slathering oil paints onto a thick canvas with a pallet knife, I was utterly wowed by the genuine authenticity of the experience.
10 reasons to use Fresh Paint in Education
Fresh Paint for me is a strong contestant in the creativity category of the Windows apps store for a number of good reasons:
1. Touch Optimisation - Firstly, the 0-time lag in response for every stroke and swipe of a finger or brush on the touch screen is second-to-none, thus providing a seamless and realistic painting or drawing experience.
2. Art Tools & Mediums - The range of tools and art resources is fantastic! From water colours, to crayons, oil pastels, oil paints and charcoal, art students can choose whatever medium they fancy, in as wide or thin a stroke as they wish. Additionally there is a broad variety of pencils, brushes and tools to choose from which really do bring the expectations of that tool's effects to life. Of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention that some of the most effective and professional tools of all are fingers! Primary teachers, watch this space.
3. Canvas - You can also select many types of paper and canvas, from heavy-weight card for water colours, to bumpy textured canvas or smoother canvas. This further adds authenticity to the experience.
4. Mixing Pallet - I must admit that my heart fluttered a little when I discovered the accuracy of the mixing pallet. Observing a young child at the Microsoft stand at BETT Show effortlessly mixing (slapping) a cobalt blue and green together on the pallet to bring about a stormy turquoise sea colour was fantastic evidence of the app’s beautiful ability to transcend technological limitations in art.
5. Layering- You get a wonderful effect with layering on Fresh Paint. With oil paints, the motion of layering colours on top of each other is uncanny - a slight smudgy blend of colour yet with a clear textured layering would bring to life even the most 3d Fauvist style of painting.
As for water colours, colours bleed into one another, as an art student or teacher would expect and you can even 'dab' the colours as if with a piece of towel, to lighten and give water or lighting effects.
6. Drying Feature - perhaps the bane of many students’/teachers' lives is waiting for paint to dry in order to apply other mediums or textures when doing collages of mixed-mediums. Well this will never be the case again thanks to Fresh Paint's handy 'Drying' tool which instantly dries your work, with a tap of an icon, ready to layer onto.
7. Device Compatibility – Fresh Paint eadily works on all Windows 8 touch devices, from an 8" Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, to a Surface, to the exquisite 27" Lenovo Horizon 27 all-in-one.
8. Bing and Photo Integration - A funky feature is the ability to choose a picture from Bing or a photo already taken, and use that as either a tracing image to 'fill in' for the younger students, or to integrate as a main feature of a work of art for more developed young artists.
9. Save budget - as I explored this app for the first time, I was brought back to summers when I would paint outside or messy school sessions when I would create projects for exams and course work. Both these experiences, fond in my memory, unfortunately required a good amount of money to finance them. Paper, paint brushes and paints do not come cheaply! A set of 10 small tubes of oil paint on Amazon cost £19.99 alone, while a large canvas (120cm x 150cm) can stack up to roughly £40. Just think of the budget schools and colleges could save with a device and Fresh Paint! No more chucking out of finite resources or paint brushes that have been ruined from terms of not being properly cleaned.
I want to point out here that I am not suggesting that Fresh Paint should render art resources obsolete in education. At the end of the day, there is a reason we visit and enjoy Monet’s finished works or even young artists’ works in a gallery, and not in the cloud. However, for certain projects and work such as collages, digital submissions, final project mock-ups, thumb nails, or work that students want to share through social streams, Fresh Paint is ideal!
10. Free App! - and the best news is that you don't even have to pay for the Fresh Paint app! So this is a really accessible app for all students and teachers to use, in Primary Schools, Colleges, Schools and Universities.
I want to leave you today with a challenge. Introduce Fresh Paint to the budding artist enthusiasts at your school and see how they take to the paints! Also, as it’s Friday, I want to leave you with a little perk for the weekend that was floating across my imagination last Saturday while demoing the Fresh Paint app at BETT Show.
As the weekend fast approaches, we just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you again to those who visited us on our stand at BETT 2014. It was great to meet you. We hope you had a great visit!
We had a number of requests, both at the show and via Twitter, to share the slides from the presentations covered within the Microsoft Theatre at the show.
With this in mind, here are the first three decks from the event. We will post the remaining slides to the blog next week.
Theatre Session 1: My Digital BFF
Theatre Session 2: The Future of Collaboration: How Windows 8, Lync and SharePoint is helping to transform learning within Broadclyst Primary School
Theatre Session 3: Inspiring the developers of the future: Everything you need to light up the imaginations of young developers
The rest of the slides from the event will be posted early next week. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions.
Have a great weekend!
If you joined us at the BETT show at ExCel this year you'll agree that it was a device extravaganza. Showcasing the very best Windows 8 devices on offer. Our interactive classroom combined with an array of device stations allowed educators from all over the world, to get up close and personal with the latest technology. We know one size definitely doesn't fit all, and Microsoft partners will never create devices under that assumption. That's why our stand this year was all about variety and engagement and with over 150 devices at the disposal of 36,000 delegates over 4 days, it was a valuable opportunity for educators to fall in love with the possibilities surrounding touch technology.
Whether you made it to BETT this year or not, this blog should help familiarise yourself with a selection of Windows devices and demonstrate how they really can impact Education for both students and educators. I'll run through a selection of our devices broken down by their area on the BETT stand.
Interactive Classroom /Surface Area Our interactive classroom had to be one of the biggest successes of our BETT stand. Ran by the Tablet Academy and always packed with educators keen to learn how to navigate their way around a Windows 8 device, Including Michael Gove, Liz Truss and their families.
Here are some of my favourite Surface 2 and Pro 2 features:
Slightly biased but here at Microsoft Edu, we do love Surface. It's certainly a smart and sleek device that any professional would be proud to show off. Here are some of it's top features:
Front Camera & Back Camera, ideal for when using as a tablet to take pictures in and out of the classroom
Microphone, combined with video makes it easy to makes video calls.
Windows Button, easy access back to the desktop from the device itself
The Touchscreen, with its 16:9 aspect ratio and full-HD display, perfect for watching videos and interacting with apps (click here to see our educational apps available in the Windows store,
Typing Covers, unique keyboards that double as a protective cover. This way you’ll always have a keyboard with you (sold separately). See Accessories for info on the full range of accessories available.
Pro Pen, Take notes, draw and mark up documents using the digital pen. Great for edit PDF documents, saves on printing
Wifi & Blootooth, Surface supports standard Wi-Fi protocols (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0. This means you can connect to a wireless network and use Bluetooth devices such as mice, printers and headsets.
Red Device Bar Area This area was mainly to highlight some of the accessories available for purchase with devices, but we did display a variety of devices to interact with, these included the Sony Vaio Flip 11a, Toshiba Satellite NB10T and Lenovo Thinkpad Helix, but one of my favourite displayed was the new 8" Toshiba Encore:
The Toshiba Encore is small enough to take everywhere with you without having the burden of a heavy or large device to pack into a small bag. The 20.32cm Tablet offers everything you need whether it's keeping up to date on emails, reviewing student work or taking some downtime enjoying all that Xbox has to offer. With the latest Windows operating system, 8.1 is compact with Office 365 so sync all of your work and play tiles, and your world is accessible in the palm of your hand.
Here are some of the top features:
Wide viewing angle, The wide view screen makes it easy to view content as it was meant to, perfect to use as an e-reader, but this device really excels when used for Skype video calls.
Vast performance, built with the latest intel atom core processor and Internet Explorer 11, this device brings to life graphics for work and play.
Expandable Storage, with up to 96GB with a microSD card combined with free SkyDrive means you should never get caught out with a lack of storage space.
Office Home & Student, The Encore includes Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, with complete access to Word/Excel/PowerPoint/OneNote, with the ability to sync your Microsoft account to any other device you've been working on, you'll be free to be as productive wherever you choose to work.
Optimised for Skype, Whether you use Skype for meetings, class projects, connecting with students or calling your mum, Encore has been designed and optimised for a crystal clear video and audio experience, including dual microphones for noise reduction and even a months free skype premium calls to phones worldwide.
-Plenty of Ports, For when you want something other than the cloud for transferring files, the Encore offers a number of connectivity options including a micro-USB, micro HDMI to sync your content to the TV and a microSD card slot for photos or to increase storage capacity.
Green Device Bar Area Another interactive zone for BETT jam packed with devices including the Asus Aspire S7, Samsung Ativ Smart PC and the Ergo AS4 to name just a few. But one of my personal favourites that I've had the pleasure of trying out for previous events is the Sony Vaio Duo 13. For anyone who might consider themselves a device fashionista, you'll struggle to find anything more stylish and sexy than this. Designed to move as you do, the Duo Transforms from tablet to laptop in seconds using the SurfSlider hybrid mechanism.
Here are some of my favourite features:
Hybrid mechanism, I've mentioned it already but it's so sleek it's worth mentioning twice.
Touch Enabled, Tap and scroll through your device with ease
Full Keyboard, The expanded keyboard makes it more comfortable to use when you're working for some time and need the full functionality of a laptop.
Stylus holder, Something so small but really designed with you in mind, never lose the stylus with the pencil pot style holder.
Clip and save feature, similar to snipping tool found on windows 8, use the stylus along with the VAIO Clip app to get creative and colourful with your clippings and drop them into your documents. (as pictured left)
Device for life, This device I know from experience, is strong, the hybrid mechanism isn't flimsy as with some devices, and with 256GB of storage and 8GB of memory, combined with a free SkyDrive account for cloud storage, it really has everything you need.
Yellow Device Bar Area Finally onto our last interactive devices area. Again with some fantastic pieces of kit, including the Omnino 5, Ergo Microlite Touch and the Dell XPS 12 and many more, the standout for me was the Lenovo Yoga 11s. Reminding me of an old school notebook (the paper style) you just turn the page (keyboard) when you want to get creative and fully immerse yourself into the tablet. To convert back to laptop for full working functionalities, simply flip the keyboard back over. But it gets better, with two in-between modes 'tent' and 'stand' offerings the device is made for watching videos in the classroom to adjustable angles.
here are some of my favourite features:
360- Flip and Fold, (as pictured) flips from unltrabook to tablet in seconds.
Mot-ion Control, Use your webcam to flip pages, rewind/forward music, change volume and gesture other simple commands with the flick of your hand.
IPS technology, Never lose sight of your video/images from different angles, In-plane switching technology delivers clear graphics, no matter the viewing angle.
Voice Control, Set up your device with voice operated commands to perform tasks automatically for you.
Nokia Area As we are running through some of our top devices from BETT it would be wrong not to include an offering from our friends at Nokia, and trialling this particular device for the week, my top choice from the selection will have to be the Nokia 1020.
You've all heard everyone boast about the incredible spec (if not check it out in full here) so here are the reasons why I love this Windows phone:
It's Yellow, Okay that's not why I love it, but it's so bright and colourful makes a delightful change to standard black devices, Microsoft is all about bright and bold colours so we are big fans.
1MP Camera, When I compared some of the pictures I took with those taken by other people at the event, there was no competition. There are tons of editing options and you really can get creative and take some fantastic shots without having to lug an SLR about with you.(see image below taken with a Lumia 1020)
HD Video with Zoom, Anyone who makes videos with their smartphones will know how frustrating it can be if you have a video that won't zoom or that looses it's quality, the 1020 creates sharp professional looking videos, if you're keen, why not try out using a mini tripod (retailing for about £8 on ebay) – also check out the new Ellie Goulding video. How Long will I love you, was shot entirely from a 1020. Devices that pack so much power into something so small make it easy to get out and shoot so much more, class projects and learning materials are a doddle.
Windows Phone, Biased here of course, but having this incredible smartphone AND all the functionalities of a working tablet/laptop with all my documents to hand via SkyDrive made such a difference being out on site all week. Your professional and social life is all there at the tough of your fingertips. You'll never be caught out without an important document again
So there you have it, a selection of our top devices from last weeks BETT show. From this small sample combined with what we know about current trends, It's clear that Technology is constantly evolving to synchronise with our lifestyles, we no longer have to choose between a laptop or tablet, a one stop device for everyone is fast becoming thing of the past. Devices are being built, streamlined and finessed to tailor our every need, often before those needs even arise. Thank you to the Microsoft partners who dare to design differently and help shape the Windows 8 platform.
Microsoft’s focus at this year’s Bett show was helping primary schools teachers prepare for the new computing curriculum.
The tech giant unveiled a brand new suite of materials aimed specifically at primary school teachers, at the ExCel last week.
Launched in partnership with educational publisher Rising Stars, the free Switched On Computing resource has been developed as part of Microsoft’s wider effort to ensure primary school teachers – who have never taught this kind of computer science before – have the skills, confidence and tools to deliver the new curriculum within the next nine months. Read more about Switched On Computing here.
Guest post by education writer Gerald Haigh
Writing or talking about the BETT show inevitably means describing software, devices and systems. That’s why we go there, after all, whether as visitor or exhibitors. All technology, though, is made, sold, enthused over and looked after by people, and in this blog, I propose to mention some of the great Microsoft-connected folk I encountered on my BETT visits. So, quite early on on the first day I bumped into Adrian Edgar and Chris McKinley of SharePoint Edu Tech, whose speciality lies in helping schools to make the most of SharePoint in a branded and bespoke way. They were visiting the Microsoft stand before flying off to the Microsoft Global Education Partners Summit.
‘We focus on adding value to SharePoint and Office 365,’ said Adrian. ‘And we’re here meeting existing clients and seeking new ones.’ Their emphasis, he says, is on working with client schools over time to develop their SharePoint solution. ‘We don’t just put it in and say goodbye.’
Adrian’s track record in schools as a teacher, senior leader and IT director is a considerable help in that. School experience, counts, too, for Civica, whose own ‘Cloudbase’ learning environment is Office 365 based.
‘Our e-learning team, made up of teachers from all sectors – primary, secondary, subject specialists -- adds real value,’ said Marketing Manager Nicola Herd. There were lots of enquiries at BETT, says Nicola.
‘Once people realise the power of it, and we show its capabilities, they become interested.’ Making the most of what you have is also a mission of the Tablet Academy, who were running an Interactive Classroom on the Microsoft Stand.
Led by their CEO Professor Steve Molyneux, a team from the Academy were intent on their core purpose, which is to help teachers to use mobile devices innovatively to support learning. When I captured trainer David Fuller between sessions, he pointed out to me how important it is for schools not only to make the right choice of tablet for now, but to realise that children, learning needs, and devices themselves all change over time.
‘A tablet’s life might be three years, but a child is in school for thirteen years and go through perhaps five generations of tablet. Schools need to wake up to that.’
Underlining the need to make good choices, Microsoft were showing a wide range of mobile devices on the stand. Surface, unsurprisingly, was strongly featured, and Surfaces in Education Marketing Manager Jacqueline Russell was in from Seattle to help spread the message. She was struck by the number of teachers at the Show who had been individually using other devices, such as iPads, but were looking at alternatives as they considered ‘one-to-one’ devices for students.
‘I’ve been showing them how great Surface is for working with Office 365, and ‘One Note’. For example I’ve shown history teachers how they can import video into PowerPoint, and I met some maths teachers and shown them the various maths tools in One Note and they’ve been very excited by that.’
Windows 8, though, is hugely flexible, and appears on the widest possible range of devices, many of which were to be seen on the Microsoft Stand which was where, for example, I met Jay Pitchford from Nokia. Jay was showing how their Windows 8 range goes seamlessly from a range of Lumia smartphones, through the six inch Lumia 1520 ‘phablet’, to their Lumia 2520 ten-inch tablet. ‘There’s been fantastic interest,’ Jay told me. ‘And it’s not just been the number of conversations, but their depth – teachers discussing the convenience of a six-inch device for their everyday work for example.’
Toshiba’s eight-inch ‘Encore’ Windows 8 tablet, filling a gap between six inch ‘phablets’ and ten-inch Surface-type tablets, was also part of Microsoft’s display. I was impressed by it, and walked to the Toshiba stand for a closer look. It really is a great little device, full Windows 8, handbag size, and with a blue-tooth folding keyboard, what else would you need on the 0739 to Waterloo?
Or, on second thoughts, perhaps you really need a small laptop. In which case, said Toshiba’s Dave Howson (clearly not a Sales Account Manager for nothing) why not treat yourself to both?
‘You could get probably find both an Encore tablet and a Satellite Pro NB10 Windows 8 laptop for around £500.’ Now there’s a thought.
I wandered off to the Lenovo stand, too, to check out some of their beefed up laptops for schools. To use their word, they’re ‘Ruggedised’ , with strong hinges, and tight lids that you can’t slip a biscuit into. It’s a reminder that you need to think carefully about hardware that’s going to be used in the classroom.
I have to say, though, that I was distracted on the Lenovo stand by Lenovo’s Client Technologist Mertens Flemming, who showed me their Idea Centre Horizon ‘Table PC’ – an all-in-one 27inch Windows 8 touchscreen device that can be lowered down horizontally so that users can sit around it – like sitting round a table -- and work, or play, together.
‘It’s very popular in the Nordic countries for collaborative work in pre-school,’ said Mertens, and it’s not difficult to see the same thing happening in UK.
Really, that’s just a taste of my BETT 2014 experience, I haven’t even touched on the teenage app wizard, or the Olympic torch-bearing global Skype enthusiast, or Microsoft’s primary computing curriculum materials, or…..well, you get the drift. Some of those call for blogs all to themselves, and we’ll get to them, no fear.
Teachers are always searching for better ways to engage students, but may have trouble pinpointing quality resources. One such resource, however, is the BrainPOP Featured Movie app for Windows 8. It should be an integral part of every teacher’s toolbox.
The app provides a different animated movie each day, with themes relating to current events, holidays, or curricular topics. Featured Movies provide a quick and easy way for students to learn more about a relevant topic. The app is free, and those with a BrainPOP username through their school can log in to the site directly from the app at no additional cost. This gives curious kids the ability to explore an unprecedented breadth of movies on more than 750 topics within Science, Math, Social Studies, English, Engineering & Tech, Arts & Music, and Health – all from the palm of their hands.
BrainPOP movies are an ideal way to introduce a new topic at the start of a lesson, or for review before a quiz. New content and features are added regularly, so there’s always fresh content.
The app dovetails perfectly with BrainPOP’s web site (www.brainpop.com), and is perfect in learning environments from Bring-Your-Own-Device to 1:1 and beyond.
My 6th- grade students responded so well to the lesson I did on the scientific method, incorporating the BrainPOP app.
As a whole class, we kicked things off by watching BrainPOP’s movie on the scientific method. Students took notes while watching, and then created their own mock experiments. The experiments had to relate to environmental science and had to be solvable through the scientific method. The class leveraged the same steps Tim and Moby followed in the movie. In partners, they used the BrainPOP app to watch the movie a second time, and then revised their experiments as needed.
Students shared the experiments and environmental issues they’d come across and discussed the importance of each Scientific Method step. To wind things down, I had them log on to individual tablets and take the BrainPOP quiz. As a teacher, BrainPOP was a highly valuable component of the lesson.
Students at Roosevelt Middle School (West Palm Beach, FL), loved the app and its quizzes, which add an air of competition to the classroom. Among the comments I heard from them?
Faris, told me he likes the videos because they are “short, to the point and don’t waste time.” Another student, Kyra, said she likes BrainPOP because they “always have something new for us to watch and I like learning new things.”
Faris, told me he likes the videos because they are “short, to the point and don’t waste time.” Another student, Kyra, said she likes BrainPOP because they “always have something new for us to watch and I like learning new things.”
BrainPOP’s second Windows 8 app is due later this month. Designed for learners in grades K-3 (ages 5-9), the upcoming BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week app will make age-appropriate educational content available to a larger audience – at school, at home, and on the go.
For a good overview of what BrainPOP has to offer, check out the “snackable” video you’ll see right here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awaaD0Mt5dg
About the Author: Todd LaVogue is the STEM Programs Coordinator and an Environmental Science Teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is a Microsoft Teacher Trainer and a member of Team USA, Microsoft in Education 2014 Global Forum, Barcelona, Spain.