By Leigh Horner
As Alaskans, we’re pretty lucky to have the State of Alaska Library pay for us to have access to Brain Pop. Brain Bop is just one of the high quality databases that the State of Alaska purchases through SLED for all Alaskan Libraries. I’ve had teachers ask for our district to purchase Brain Pop and I would jump up waving the login and password and information that we already have it for FREE! However this year at ASTE it was revealed to me that Brain Pop is more than movies and quizzes. Currently when you login to Brain Pop with the state-wide login you can play games, take quizzes, build concept maps...but then you hit a wall. Unfortunately, you can’t save anything and there are many other tools and features that are not available through the single-user state login. To have full-access you need an individual Brain Pop account. Don’t be disappointed, your school district can get your own account for FREE. That’s right it’s still free for Alaskans! There are just a few steps that you need to go through. Have your IT admin or district administrator contact Cassandra Fostick firstname.lastname@example.org (Cassandra is our Alaskan rep). Your IT admin simply needs to ask to shut off the school IP authentication for Brain Pop. Brain Pop can then set up My BrainPop accounts for all the teachers and students in your school. They will be using Canvas or Google Classroom that’s why it’s important that they have permission from your admin.
Once BrainPOP has been activated in your school, you and your teachers can start using all of the features available. Teachers can track students’ work, provide feedback, create custom assignments. Using the full features available, teachers can provide game-based learning for their students and teachers can have playful assessment of their students learning. One example is Make-a-movie. Students and teachers can produce their own Brain Pop style movies using scenes, images and animations from Brain Pop. This easy-to-use movie-making tool (https://www.brainpop.com/make-a-movie/landing/?refer=/make-a-movie/) also allows you to add your own narration and drawings. Finished movies can be submitted to their teachers for feedback. All of this is available to you for free through the State of Alaska’s paid subscription.
Brain Pop is so much more than movies, games and quizzes. Educators have access to lesson plans, classroom aids, creative teaching ideas, and resources (https://educators.brainpop.com/). There are interactive games and informative movies that can be used with smartboards. Complete lesson plans and flipcharts are available for educators. Take advantage of this opportunity to have full access to this terrific database. Did I mention that it’s paid for through the State Library and won’t cost your district anything?