Trust I seek and I find in you
As a high school English and Spanish teacher, I am always on the lookout for tools that will help my students be creative, demonstrate knowledge and learning, and then also result in products that can be shared. The latest tool that I have explored for students is Buncee. Like with any tool I explore with students, I am always looking for versatility. Here are 4 uses for Buncee that you can use immediately and will help you think beyond the traditional uses of the tool.
1. Introduce Content
This is a great way to use the animations within Buncee. Instead of your standard method of introducing a topic or new content with students, try creating a multi-slide Buncee presentation and use animations and/or video to help engage students. Once you have their attention, then the learning can begin. Switching it up will automatically buy you some of that engagement currency (turn of phrase learned from Toney Jackson via the Ditch that Textbook Digital Summit 2019) that we need. This also works well if you create a model from which students should start their creations. I don’t like to lock students into a “formula” for creation, per se, but I do like to give them an idea of how to do the project, then give them the freedom to take it in different directions as they see fit.
Every day for us something new
2. Student Self Assessment
As my districts works to create students who are assessment capable learners, I save the exemplars of projects for when students have completed their own works. Then they can view the exemplars and look for strengths and weaknesses in their own creations. This is a compromise for me, allowing students to see work that has value in our learning process without locking them out of the creativity to explore different ways to present and demonstrate their learning. I place a high value on creativity, so this is the way I can give my students a target to hit and the creativity to make that target look, feel, and sound the way they want, while still being the target (or on target). Toward this end, you can also create templates for students to use as exit tickets and self evaluations for different activities. Self reflection is a powerful way for all of us to learn and grow, so if you work with adults instead of students, the same principle still applies. Providing a format for self reflection helps all learners focus where you want them to and gets them started. No more starting at a blank screen, wondering how to begin the mysterious thing called reflection. Fill them with wonder and energy by creating a reflection template that celebrates the journey, the exploration, and the hardships.
Open mind for a different view
3. Club Announcements/School Graphic Content
While this one certainly isn’t very far outside the realm of what we normally use graphic creation programs for, consider using it not just with students (who should be creating graphics for their club/school events), but also for yourself or school. There are plenty of templates to get those creative juices flowing. I teach students to start with a template and then adjust and change it to fit their needs and own creative design, but the template gives them a starting place. Templates are also great for getting ideas. I don’t always start with a template, personally, but I do peruse the templates for inspiration. Buncee provides plenty of these, and with all the options from text, your own uploads, video, animations, stickers, urls, and more, you can truly create magic for students, your school, your district, and for yourself. Before we returned from Christmas break this year, I needed to create a district post to remind parents of our second semester start date. Even though it is in the school calendar embedded on the website, and it is on the printable calendar on the website, parents still asked via Facebook when school would be back in session. So as I skimmed through the templates, I found myself drawn toward the New Year ones and an idea struck. Here’s the before and after that I created and shared via the district’s social media platforms.
And nothing else matters
4. Public Service Announcements
When I started my students using Buncee this fall, we participated in the international #DigCitSummit. I had students prepare Public Service Announcements based on their choice of the five areas from DigCitCommit:
I can then use these throughout the year on the school’s social media platform, providing an authentic audience for my students and an opportunity to make a difference beyond the classroom walls. I encouraged them to engage their peers, community, and reflect on their own practices. They created some really amazing Buncees from the digital citizenship templates provided.
All these words, I don’t just say
I also encouraged my students to use some of Buncees amazing stickers that can represent students that do not look like themselves. I love the variety of stickers/clipart that Buncee provides. We have a student in a wheelchair in our small rural district, and it isn’t often that we find clipart built into a program we use to represent that student. The variety that Buncee provides is refreshing and I was pleased to see that several of my students took my advice and incorporated student stickers that did not look just like them.
And nothing else matters
While I am new to using Buncee, I am completely thrilled about how easy it is for all students to use and quickly create beautiful and impactful graphics, flyers, certificates, presentations, and more. This tool levels the playing field for all students, regardless of their technology competency. Students in all five of my classes jumped right in and figured out how to create with Buncee. Those students who aren’t comfortable with technology were not left behind. They didn’t feel humiliated because they couldn’t keep up with the class. That, if nothing else, makes using this tool worth it. I can’t wait to see what else we can create with Buncee.