BrainPOP is cross-curricular digital content including animated movies, learning games, quizzes, and concept mapping

App of the Week
Formats: Mobile-ready website, iOS, Android, Windows

Website: brainpop.com

What does it help with?
BrainPOP® is a class tool to explain complex concepts, introduce new topics, review after a lesson, implement game-based learning, or dive into concept mapping. The range of its features makes it appealing and effective for students with different learning styles, giving them multiple ways to build skills, demonstrate comprehension, and express themselves. Highlights of these features include Make-a-Map®, for concept mapping; GameUp®, a collection of quality learning games and tools for integrating them; SnapThought®, a written reflection tool available on select games; and primary source activities, which prompt critical thinking. "My BrainPOP®" makes it easier to keep track of learning: students can submit their work, while teachers can provide feedback, see class-wide performance analysis, and even create custom assessment with the Quiz Mixer. BrainPOP Educators® further supports teachers with professional development and training opportunities, lesson plans, best practices, standards alignment, and classroom tools like graphic organizers and curricular tie-ins.

What grade and age range?  
Primarily grades 3-8+, but may be appropriate for younger and older students depending on their needs. BrainPOP Jr. ® (for K-3) and BrainPOP ESL (for English language learners) are also available.

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?
BrainPOP serves as an enhancement to elementary and middle school curriculum, and offers a range of professional development opportunities for educators. Our resources can be used outside of school in a "flipped" environment, or as a safe and trusted extracurricular activity for kids who want to delve further into what they're learning at school or other subjects that interest them. 

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?
We are mapped to the Common Core and aligned to other state and academic standards. BrainPOP covers hundreds of topics within Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Tech, Health, and Arts & Music.

What lesson time does it use?
Variable due to flexibility of resources.

What is the pricing model?
Subscription-based, with a number of options for schools and districts.

Are there services around it?
On-site training is available; pricing upon request. Virtual training materials and getting-started guides can be found on BrainPOP Educators, our free professional hub.

What makes BrainPOP unique?
Its unparalleled number of topics and diverse selection of supporting features stand out among digital learning resources, along with clever writing, humorous characters like Moby® the robot, and a voice that reaches kids without talking down to them.

How is it designed, what is the user interface? What instructional design principles are at work here?
BrainPOP is designed to be big, fun, and above all, easy to use. We focus on helping teachers pinpoint what they need quickly and without hassle, and on giving kids a variety of ways to convey what they've learned. We work closely with teachers and students to continually improve the BrainPOP experience, and pride ourselves on regularly incorporating user feedback.

 

Teacher Reviews

Steve Isaacs
Teacher, Video Game Design & Development

William Annin Middle School
Basking Ridge, NJ

“I am a huge fan of BrainPOP's organizational structure, particularly how each movie and game is presented with related resources and additional activities. This makes it so easy for an educator to see how they can tie the content together and extend the learning opportunities for their students - through game-based learning, concept mapping, primary sources, and much more!”

Cathie Gillner
Teacher
Dorseyville Middle School
Pittsburgh, PA

“BrainPOP is a great way to enhance your classroom. I love the activities, games, and extension activities offered to students. My favorite feature is Make-a-Map, for concept mapping. It teaches students to organize their thoughts in a way that works for their ability and learning style, and will ultimately help with brainstorming and writing as well.”