BrainPop in the Classroom: An Interactive Science Lab Demonstration
Robert Miller, one of the very talented educators traveling with BrainPop at NECC, presented how he uses BrainPop to make science lessons more interactive, something that Robert seems to be quite good at. My first meeting with Robert gave me a chance to see how his 5th grade students took "interactive" to the next level by making their own BrainPop videos. Link.
During the presentation, Robert walked through a typical science lesson that incorporates the BrainPop videos and activities. He started right off using the added activities included with each BrainPop movie by utilizing the printable quizzes as a pretest.
Quizzes have been used with the BrainPop videos for a while, but as new videos are debuted there are also new types of activities. Those of you that have been BrainPopping for a while will be noticing that even the old videos are starting to get the same extra features that are coming with the newer movies.
Robert’s presentation continued with a Lab that followed the video. This lab lead participants through a scientific exploration of candy. And while his lab was great, the thing that really stood out to me was how the new educator page is going to shine because of users like Robert. The new Educator page on BrainPop features a lesson upload section where teachers can share the lessons and handouts that they create. Since he custom made his lesson including some very cool worksheets, many teachers will be able to download, customize and take advantage of the hard work that he has put in.
Another interesting strategy used in his presentation was his use of screen shots(still frames) from the videos. Visual reminders of the videos that they watch will help them to recall the information. Grabbing screen shots can be easily done by hitting the print screen button while holding the ctrl and alt buttons. This takes a picture of everything that is currently on your screen and places it on your clipboard. You can view and edit it by opening your favorite graphics editor and pasting(CTRL V).