Thursday, July 12, 2007

BrainPOP: Serious Games For Animated Education

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education


Via: BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr

BrainPOP is an educational program, providing content spanning 7 main subjects including: Science, Math, English, Social Studies, Health, Arts and Music, and Technology.


With educational content that correlates to national standards for grades three through eight, BrainPOP is not only information-rich, it’s charming, engaging, understandable and fun. And, it’s not just for children.

The (pay-for-content) site is an educational, enjoyable journey through a vast range of academic lessons. Each is presented through an animated Flash movie in which the site mascot Tim—and his robot pal Moby—explains difficult concepts using clear visuals in an easy-to-understand style.


Teachers can use the site to introduce new topics, supplement their lesson plans and provide overviews of otherwise difficult subjects; for parents, it offers a wealth of homework help and educational entertainment.

The system offers multiple ways to navigate: a simple menu for instant subject access and categories, subcategories and a “related topics” map for users in more of a browsing mood. In addition, there’s an outline of the national education standards, indicating how BrainPOP subjects can fit into the curriculum, and linking to those subjects. The approach ensures that visitors will find what they’re looking for.

The interface is delightfully appropriate and thoughtful. Knowing that the number of subjects would grow considerably, the in-house team planned for an encyclopedic amount of content and took great care in organizing the topics. In addition, since the content is aimed at a varied audience, the visual design is cleverly colorful and animated without being childish, and yet the learning modules are clearly divided, visually separate and easily accessible.

Color plays a major role throughout the site by indicating site location; while each page design remains consistent, the overall color scheme changes to reflect the section that’s being viewed. The current design took four months to implement; the process of adding new subjects is ongoing.

BrainPop Jr

BrainPOP Jr. builds on BrainPOP's popular format, but it is tailored to a younger audience. Designed specifically for K-3 learners, BrainPOP Jr. is easy to navigate and all the content is read aloud so young students can browse the site on their own.

BrainPOPJr.com went live on September 4th 2006. It features videos, quizzes and other activities like it’s older brother, but, it offers much, much more. There are educational cartoons, games, a word wall, and a bulletin board for students to submit their work - and for teachers to submit lesson plans! Best of all, it’s completely FREE!


The web sites for BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. welcome more than one million new viewers each month. BrainPOP has won multiple education and media awards including Forbes Best of the Web.