Materials for learning continue to gravitate to children’s fingertips. Online education service BrainPop UK has just launched a free, downloadable UK version of its ‘app’ for Apple mobile devices. Apps for other mobile platforms like Android are following.
“BrainPOP is committed to enabling children to embrace and engage with learning, whenever, and however they chose to do so,” says Eylan Ezekiel, head of BrainPOP UK. “21st education is not restricted to a desk in a classroom, and the new BrainPOP UK Featured Movie app allows kids, parents and teachers to learn something new every day.
“Kids are curious and our app is a fun, safe and high-quality way to support this. And it’s free. Our involvement and support in the Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) of thousands of teachers and parents across the UK has shown us that what educators want is technology that ‘just works’. The BrainPOP UK Featured Movie app is the first big step towards a broader mobile learning experience. Learning should be ‘open’, ‘mobile’ and ‘fresh’."
The new app is freeliy downloadable from the iTunes App Stores in Ireland and the UK where is has been labelled “New and noteworthy” in the Education category. It brings BrainPOP's popular animated educational resources directly to kids’ fingertips for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Users get a new topic every day with a related animated movie and quiz every day – 21 free topics a taster of the thousands of resources that are unlocked with a subscription to full BrainPOP UK website. BrainPOP topics are contextual, and link to current events, historical figures and milestones, holidays, and more. At the heart of the video sdervice are two animated characters, Tim and Moby.
The UK topics include science, humanities, English, maths, art, PSHE and citizenship, design and technology, and English as a foreign language. They are tagged to and searchable for the curriculum in England (key stages 2 and 3) and Scotland. And the service are supported by BrainPOP Educators, a free professional community with more than 125,000 members.
Eylan Ezekiel adds: "BrainPOP will continue to lead the way to bring our highly engaging, animated learning resource to children, wherever they want to learn, through Global partnerships with the biggest names in technology. After all, we believe that BrainPOP is only reflecting back the needs of educators and learners and we look forward to developing new ways to say ‘Thank You’ to all the fans of Tim and Moby, and the rest of the BrainPOP family.”
Manic Monkey starts apps too – with 'Digipals'
The trend to migrate educational content and services directly to the digital devices used by learners is gathering pace. UK company Manic Monkey will also be at BETT 2011 showing its first Digipals Apple app (£2.39 from the iTunes store) alongside the launch of its new littlebridge.com website (register for free three-month log-in), based on its acclaimed Little Bridge software.
The problem with Apple apps, however, is that Apple's mobile devices are far more popular outside, rather than inside, schools. The locked-down nature of the iPad and the iPod Touch (which is possibly the best PDA so far available for education) means that they are not easy to use with other ICT investments in UK schools. And Apple's shunning of Adobe Flash in the face of 'customer choice' means that a massive amount of internet content is denied to users, an important factor in education investment decisions.
That's why suppliers will hedge their bets. BrainPOP US already has a new app in the Google Chrome App Store and, in a canny new move, has partnered with T-Mobile to make BrainPOP free to all users of the new Dell Streak (an Android device) in the US and Puerto Rico.
BETT 2011, January 12-15