Game Based Learning from BrainPOP

Kari Stubbs, PhD
Posted on our original Blog site by Kari Stubbs, PhD

How will YOU use games in YOUR classroom this school year?

Game-Based Learning

BrainPOP’s approach to the use of use of games as teaching, learning, and assessment tools is one way we’re working to rewrite “the laws of learning.” Last summer, we launched GameUp™, featuring top online game titles that tie right in to your curriculum. Our GameUp partners include:

  • American Public Media/The Wilson Center
  • E-Line Media
  • Filament Games
  • Global Kids
  • iCivics
  • JASON Project
  • Learning Games Network
  • MangaHigh
  • MIT Education Arcade/Maryland Public Television
  • NCTM Illuminations
  • Space Science Institute

Through these partnerships, we’ve been able to bring quality educational games to teachers for FREE, pair them with related BrainPOP content, and wrap them with a layer of teacher support like lesson plans and community conversations.

We feature games around math,science,social studies, and health, and the collection is continually growing. Plus, we’ve highlighted both games for play and game creation. We even feature some student created games on our site.

Among the titles featured on GameUp is a civics-themed game called “Budget Hero,” which was developed by American Public Media and the Wilson Center. This simulation puts the player in the shoes of top U.S. policy-makers as they try to balance the budget by weighing priorities including the environment, school funding, and energy without going bust.

Also featured is “Cell Command” by Filament Games, a game in which players are inducted into a fleet that traverses cell walls, completing missions such as encoding amino acids in ribosomes or supervising digestive enzymes in mitochondria. Even adults with a few minutes to spare could play “The Blood Typing Game” by®. It challenges players to figure out how lab technicians identify blood types and how blood transfusions are carried out. No matter the subject area, each game exemplifies the overwhelming potential game developers have to help people grasp complex topics in a way that is interactive and lends itself to organic learning.

Check it out.

Research: Teacher Attitudes About Digital Games in the Classroom

BrainPOP recently partnered with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop to lead a research project, Teacher Attitudes about Digital Games in the Classroom . Five hundred teachers from around the country were surveyed for the study. More than 60 percent of them feel that games helped increase engagement with subject area content among lower-performing students. 62 percent report that games make it easier for them to level lessons and effectively teach the range of learners in their classrooms.

The project’s final report includes a series of video case studies. Each video case study shows an individual teacher who integrates digital games into his or her curriculum in exciting and innovative ways. I want to give you the opportunity to hear from one of these educators: Lisa Parisi, a 4th-grade teacher in New Hyde Park, NY. This particular subject in the case study makes excellent use of freely available games from BrainPOP and MangaHigh to engage her students in challenging math and science content, as well as promote self-directed and project-based learning.

To play these free games, simply visit BrainPOP ( and click the GameUp icon. Be sure to check out one of our own newest releases – Guts and Bolts (

Teaching is Fun. Learning is Fun. Take time to play. Games. Seriously.

About BrainPOP

How much do you know about BrainPOP? We’re best-known for our digital content – movies, quizzes, games, and other interactive features – trusted since 1999! But we’ve also been involved in some pretty amazing projects since we first came onto the scene, and our collection of teacher- and student-loved tools is always growing. In addition to our core resource, BrainPOP we now also offer:

  • BrainPOP Jr. (K-3)
  • BrainPOP in major world languages including Spanish, French, and Chinese
  • BrainPOP ESL , for English language learners
  • Free mobile educational apps for iOS, Android, and Chrome, including the BrainPOP Featured Movie app; the BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week app; and the BrainPOP Español Película del Día app
  • GameUp™ , a collection of carefully vetted educational game titles from leading game creators, all tied in to our content
  • BrainPOP Educators, a free professional community of more than 200,000 members and countless offerings like lesson plans, webinars, video tutorials, graphic organizers, and a rich curriculum calendar

Our resources have become so popular both inside and outside of the classroom that BrainPOP’s global sites host more than 11 million visits each month. We support individual, team, and whole-class learning in traditional, blended, and “flipped” settings. Additionally, our content is mapped to Common Core, aligned to academic standards, and easily searchable with our Standards Tool.

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