BrainPOP Review for Teachers

BrainPop is a website which teaches students about a lot of challenging topics such as geometry, genetics, and economics. As explained on the Common Sense site, the site is arranged logically with most videos sorted by content. The themes that you are able to find are standard academic fare such as hot tech and engineering topics, math and English to health, and social-emotional learning units based on the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning model.

On the website, there are also monthly features such as a February spotlight on U.S. presidents, keeping things relevant. In each video on the BrainPop site, there are links to quizzes, deeper reading materials, activities, and sometimes games from BrainPop GameUp. Not only that, students are also permitted to demonstrate learning through concept maps with the Make-A-Map feature or they are able to make videos or other content with Make-A-Movie, or through Creative Coding. Every content which is created by students can be shared.

There is MyBrainPop which helps teachers to keep track of learning so that teachers are permitted to see quiz results, do class-wide analysis, and provide feedback on learning. There is also an access to the Quiz Maker. BrainPop Educators is also available where it is a community resource available for lesson ideas, news and training.

How Teachers Can Teach with BrainPop?

According to the Common Sense site, BrainPop can be used by teachers to introduce new topics into the classroom. There are individual logins which are available for teachers and students. Teachers are also permitted to share the content with the entire class.

In BrainPop, teachers are able to print out materials such as quizzes and students can also submit their works for feedback online. As explained earlier, in BrainPop, there is BrainPop Educators where it offers professional development (PD) and training opportunities, lesson ideas, best practices, and other resources to help teachers with integrating BrainPop into the classroom.

In BrainPop, there is also BrainPop Jr. It is a separate space which is aimed for younger students. Not only that, there is also BrainPop ESL which is a space for English-language learners. However, separate accounts are needed for accessing them and these cost more money.

To use BrainPop, first as a teacher, you are able to let your students watch a video as a class and then ask students to create concept maps that specifically discuss the connections between the keywords and images in the content. Alternatively, you are also able to ask them to choose another way to show understanding such as making a movie or taking the quiz.

Teachers are allowed to pick and choose specific topics for students to study or let them explore and follow their interests for some independent study time. However, it depends on the learning goals.

Is BrainPop Good for Learning?

BrainPop is good for learning because videos which are available there are engaging and simplify complex issues in a short amount of time. On the site, students are permitted to take quizzes in Classic mode or Review mode. The questions which are available there are of the standard multiple-choice variety, so the critical thinking which takes place is little.

There is the reading materials section which offers a deeper look about the things which are covered in the intro video. However, it seems that students likely skip this part, but they may not if teachers direct them to read it.

The explanations in BrainPop are clear, straightforward and cover a wide range of sometimes difficult topics, but often they are superficial. An impressive collection of interactive activities is also provided and those can engage students in a variety of ways. Besides, the activities can also encourage deeper learning.

Sortify and Time Zone X are games which permit students to apply some of the knowledge that they learned in the video. How about the Make-A-Map activity? It allows students to create custom concept maps with images, keywords, and their own writing. There are also the two newer features which permit students to make their own BrainPop-style movies and they can also use coding to show what they have learned. This kind of creation material can be powerful. However, students will need guidelines and goals to help them, of course. Teachers also need to provide social, collaborative elements that can enrich learning.

BrainPop Pricing

Teachers are able to access BrainPop with the same functions as a student account, but teachers will have additional features. They can search the library of videos by subject matter, video topic, Common Core or state standard, or by simply browsing through a list of new and trending videos. In each of the videos, there is also a link to a related BrainPop Educators page where it offers user-submitting and Brainpop-created lesson plans, printables, and instructional resources.

Now, how about the price? As explained on the Ed Surge site, on the website of BrainPop, a rotating set of three videos per subject are available for free. However, if you want to get access to the whole library of BrainPop, you must buy the BrainPop subscription first.

The prices for BrainPop vary depending on the products bought, the number of licenses needed, and the duration of the subscription. You are able to buy products for a home, a classroom, a homeschool classroom, a school, or a whole district.

Here is the list of BrainPop pricing plans according to the BrainPop Store

  • Family Plan

    BrainPop Combo: The price is $159.00/ year.
    BrainPop (Grades 3-8+): The Price is $129.00/ year.
    BrainPop Jr. (Grades K-3): The price is $119.00/ year.

  • Homeschool Plan

    BrainPop Combo: The price is $430.00/ year.
    BrainPop (Grades 3-8+): The price is $350.00/ year.
    BrainPop Jr (Grades K-3): The price is $295.00/ year.

  • School and Teacher Plan

    BrainPop (Grades 3-8+): The price is $230.00.
    BrainPop Jr. (Grades K-3): The price is $175.00.
    BrainPop ELL (All ages): The price is $150.00.
    BrainPop Espanol and BrainPop Francais (Grades 3-8+): The price is $170.00.

Well, if you want to buy the subscription of BrainPop products, it is better for you to access the BrainPop site directly because I am afraid that the price may change. For your information, BrainPop also offers a free trial.

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