As I continue to grow and strive to be an effective 21st century world language teacher, I recognize the importance of providing students with authentic opportunities, choice and personalization. Adding new resources to my "teacher repertoire" is very important to me. I am always looking for new options to offer my students for when we work on research projects and presentations..."
I stumbled upon Buncee at a Google EdTech conference about four years ago. It was one of the products mentioned in the jam at the end of the conference. People had three minutes to share a tool or strategy. I feverishly jotted down all the ideas that were being thrown out. For a few weeks after the conference I took one idea at a time, and checked it out. If I didn't like it, it got crossed off my list. I got to Buncee and thought "Heyyyyy, this is neat! I think I can use this in French and World Cultures!" From that point on, it was pretty much 'learn by doing.' My kiddos would try it, they would ask me a question about how to do something, and most of the time we would figure it out as a team.
In the last year I have come to depend on Buncee as my favorite "go-to" in my teacher tool belt. The more I use it in class, the more I realize how to incorporate in many ways.
Most recently my latest Buncee trick was to design a HyperDoc for my French One class Family Unit. It really became an a-ha moment. I look forward to creating all of my units as HyperDocs on Buncee. That is my summer goal!
Next year I am also planning to begin using Buncee to help track the speaking proficiency of my students for the year. I have always struggled with different apps and ways to have students record themselves, share with me, analyze data, etc, etc, etc. Now I have a plan in motion! I'm going to have them all create a Buncee where they will record themselves at the beginning of the year for a baseline rating, and at three other points throughout the year. I can't wait!
So what's the takeaway?
Definitely student engagement! They are excited to use it and I love how it has helped me to see a whole new side to my students through their unique creativity. I am amazed that even my "too cool for school" 8th graders really enjoy using it! As I've shared Buncee with other teachers, I've seen similar results. I am working with a 5th grade Social Studies teacher. Her class just finished reading the book Blood on the River, and her summative assessment is to create a Buncee. She reached out for guidance, and I have spent time with her during my prep. It has been really exciting to work with her and to see the excitement in her kiddos.
Íde Koulbanis is caring, sarcastic, and curious. She is a lover of all things Harry Potter, lazy, hazy summer days and exciting musical shows. She would like to travel the world and visit many places she has read about. She speaks speak French, Irish and a little Italian, and works to make a difference in her students’ lives. You can follow her on Twitter at @imkoulbanis.