I recently used a new website with my students called edu.buncee.com. Not only do the students become the teachers with their presentations and drive their own learning, but it is an outlet for creativity- incorporating graphic design and other tech applications. Forget the mess and supply money required for markers and paper, the unreadable handwriting, and the clutter of posters waiting to be graded! This website is perfect for making students’ thinking visible and synthesizing information. Students can create a diagram, show steps in a process, create a storyboard, and more.
My particular lesson goal was to have the students create a diagram showing heat transfer in a system they had previously researched. They were assigned the task of creating a picture background showing their system, arrows showing hot and cold heat transfer, and labels for the type of heat transfer involved (conduction, convection, radiation).
Edu.buncee.com is like a mash-up of google slides and a draw app, plus extra features. There are the options of something called “stickers” which are cartoonish pictures students can add to their buncee. The most popular feature was the animation options. The animations enabled students to add lightning striking, rain falling, and tornadoes spinning in their weather systems. (Several also added fun additions like figures dabbing in their backgrounds.) There are also options allowing for free-hand drawing, copying and pasting from the internet, etc. It was basically every thing you could imagine putting together on one slide.
The interface was extremely easy to use. My regular freshmen IPC class had no problems using the features. Presentation day was a lot of fun; they enjoyed viewing eachother’s and showing off their own creations.
1. When my students were signing up for their account several of them weren’t paying attention and signed up as teachers. This is an easy mistake to make with the log in page and caused issues the next day when they were trying to log back in. Make sure to remind them when they are signing up to make sure they first click on “student”. If they are having trouble logging in later suggest they try logging in as a teacher in case they accidentally did that while signing up. Another common mistake was going to the buncee.com site (which is for businesses) rather than edu.buncee.com (which is specifically for education). If they are on the wrong website it won’t let them log in.
2. Have them sign in with their google account (if your school is using that system) and suggest when they are prompted with the “remember your password” to click that option. This will save you headaches of forgotten passwords the next day. If they do forget their password the “forgot my password” email option is an easy fix.
3. The main thing my students needed help with while using the buncee software was how to copy and paste from the internet. They won’t be able to simply copy and paste. Instead, have them save the image from the internet to their google drive or computer, then in the buncee choose upload (green icon with an up arrow, bottom right) and click on the image they just saved.
4. Students can share their buncee in several ways. At first I had them email the link. The second day their was a connection issue with the website and I was unable to access the email links when they were ready to present. To remedy this, I had them go back in and share via google classroom (green button under the share option, far right). This was a more teacher friendly option because the student’s submissions were automatically organized and easier to access. * In order to use the google classroom share option you must create a google classroom assignment and assign a due date for that option to appear when the students share through google classroom.
5. I would highly recommend creating a rubric with a specific learning goal and clear expectations for what the students need to include on their buncee. Otherwise, they will end up playing with the features and it will not serve a clear educational purpose.
I had the students sign up for a 30 day free trial, which took a little extra time to fill out forms, but it was definitely worth it to have all the included features, as well as throw something novel into our lesson. For a school my size (4a high school) it would be about $375 per year for everyone on my campus to have access, which seems reasonable for what it offers.
Overall, this is a great website with high educational value and high engagement from the students. It worked well with science systems and diagrams. I could see it being highly effective in an English class to help students visualize parts of a story. In history this would be a great tool to visualize sequences of events or annotate maps. Check out some examples from my class, (one more example), and try it for yourself!