The following is a guest post by Marie Arturi, the CEO/Founder Buncee and a creative communication evangelist. Her nephew is one of my teachers at New Milford HS.
Consider for a moment how we, as adults, consume content today. We’re constantly immersed in media. We look for inspiration on Pinterest, use video tutorials, watch live news footage, get statistics from infographics, skim blogs for 'how to' videos, browse social media for trends and articles, and check social photo streams to catch up on our friends’ and family’s latest endeavors. We are learning about our world through these media, and we are drawn to them because of their quality, color, and creativity. It only makes sense, then, that our students are attracted to the same things. As Eric has mentioned before, you can’t teach in black and white, when they’re learning in color.
Buncee was born from a similar desire to create and share engaging, personal, and colorful content. In fact, it was not originally envisioned for educational purposes, but to design personalized and unique thank you cards to share with doctors and scientists from our Foundation! However, it was one educator and one student who initially lit the spark when they encouraged us to bring buncee to the educational community. They felt that the ease of use dovetailed perfectly with teaching requirements they had at school. So over time, we have worked very closely with education experts at all levels to build edu.buncee.com.
Today buncee has matured into an innovative presentational tool that makes it easy to both create engaging content for students and having them enjoy creating content themselves, practices we believe ought to be present in every classroom. It's important to recognize that the teachers, professors, classes, and topics that shape us the most while growing up are the ones that ignite our curiosities. Consuming interesting content, though, is just the start; it’s creating original content that really gets students involved in learning. Although students are drawn to certain subjects over others, sharing interesting videos, adding audio, well-designed infographics, and awe-inspiring photos can greatly increase the likelihood of student engagement. We believe using Buncee for Education and teaching students the same way they learn outside the classroom is how they will become active learners.
We saw first hand how buncee’ing positively affected students during our last Google Hangout demo. The young scholars from Shannon Miller's class went above and beyond active participation and took the initiative to suggest new ideas for product features and animated stickers, like dancing candies! The same thing happened while we were visiting one of our local Long Island schools. Having just finished their digital media stories, students were teeming with ideas for stickers and animations. These young creators inspired us through their boundless energy and enthusiasm, and we honored as many of their requests as we could! It’s moments like these that validate the use of creative tools in the classroom and at home.
Today more than ever it is important that students not only expand their knowledge of the world, but exercise their creative skills. In a society where digital production is prevalent, we believe those students who are actively creating and sharing their thoughts will gain a richer educational experience. We have been honored to have met so many marvelous educators and through them, their students. Whether at schools, over tweets, or at events like SXSWedu and ISTE 2014, what a privilege it has been to share our tool in this way, at this time.