My name is Mrs. Iman, and I am an English teacher from Palestine. First I would like to talk about how we as educators normally connect with students after school. Typically, educators connect students while they are in school, but after we finish the school day, there is no contact. However, there is a minority of teachers who do connect with students beyond the classroom via internet and I am one of those teachers.
Before COVID-19, I would contact my students via my facebook group page. I would upload educational material, quizzes, and extra activities. During the winter vacation, we use this time to review school material in a number of ways. Sometimes, we divide students into groups and ask them to discuss a topic with each other via messenger group. Other times, we use electronic exams or other online activities. Many of my students and I are used to keeping in touch outside the classroom. However, these activities were optional, so not all students were involved all the time.
When schools closed due to COVID-19, of course all communities were affected. However, some communities regularly use technology, and could easily transition to remote learning environments. But what about those of us who don’t depend totally on technology? We use traditional ways, and there is little use of technology at school. Typically, technology is used only for IT subjects. Because of this, our students are not confident using technology as a means of contact. Many of my students are just familiar with facebook and messenger.
“I needed to find a way to teach them how they could stay in contact so they could continue to learn remotely.“
I used Skype as a means of contact, so that my students and I could talk, listen, and share tips and ideas. I was able to share my screen, and we could also see and talk to each other. Also, I was able to keep in touch daily with my students using many apps and I was able to send them resources via messenger and Skype.
However, the biggest challenge is not all students have a device or internet connection at home, so not all of them are involved. It was also difficult, because I spent much time teaching them via messenger how to use and create a Skype account, and how to use other apps. It was a strange experience at first, and my students and their families were hesitant in the beginning, as it is not seen as socially acceptable to make video contact at home with others. But gradually, they got used to the new situation, and families understood that we were learning, and not playing or wasting time.
Another challenge is that electricity cuts off at a certain time, and the time of differs from area to area. Because of this, I have to arrange my meeting schedule to adapt to all my students’ circumstances, and that takes a great effort from me.
“My students and I love Buncee so much as it is full of attractive options, and it is easy to use.“
It saves time and effort, and the templates make creating many different projects quick and easy. The first time I used Buncee to create something for my students was when I made appreciation certificates, for them. When they saw the certificates, they said “Wow, how beautiful they are!”
“During the COVID-19 school closures, I used so many apps, but I especially loved Buncee.“
Everything is amazing in Buncee! There are so many options, and I can gather many sources in one place. I created a class, and added my students. This made it easy for me to follow up on my students’ progress. I can easily create the material in attractive design, share it with the whole class, and they can send me their responses. I’ve used the assignment feature, and I was able to grade student responses. I’ve used it to send questions to my students using the FQR and MC functions. Students would get a notification, and could see their grade and feedback. You can share directly from student to teacher, and vice versa, privately, allowing students to avoid embarrassment for sending a wrong answer. Something that I admire about Buncee is the high level of privacy: no one can see my grade and response for my students and the same is for students so they feel safe using Buncee.
Also, after Buncee integrated with Microsoft Teams, it became easy for me to launch Teams Meetings via Buncee, so I no longer needed another way to contact my students.
I have used Buncee in many ways. Buncee makes it easy for me to create attractive designs for any certificates and announcements. I used Buncee to create my templates for the Palestinian Twitter event, which I personally organized.
I use Buncee to do collaborative work with my students and colleagues. One example is this electronic book about my homeland Palestine:
I will do more with Buncee, and want to make Buncee a phenomenon in my school! Many educators asked me to hold training sessions on using Buncee as they see how beneficial it is. I held many training sessions for teachers and students from different areas in Palestine and other Arab countries. I highly recommend Buncee for remote learning, and also for learning inside classroom. When I come back to school, I will spread the word of Buncee more and more in my school and others. I will create a class for colleagues to connect and share ideas and resources. I will show my colleagues how effective Buncee is in remote learning, and how easy it is for teachers to connect and collaborate with students and others directly.
By the way, I have not been using Buncee long, but I am now a master in using it. At first I face difficulties, but I tried creating many times, I trained myself by myself, I watched videos on the Buncee YouTube channel, and I discovered all the details of this amazing platform.
Thanks a lot BUNCEE for the amazing options!
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