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Friday, January 8, 2016

Three Neat Features of Buncee - Create Multimedia Stories

Buncee is a great tool for creating multimedia stories. Earlier this week two of Buncee's team members gave me a tour of all of the features available to teachers and students within the Buncee platform. Three features stood out to me during that tour. Those features are animations, integrated image search and citation, and hyperlinked writing.

What is a Buncee?
At its core a Buncee is essentially an online slideshow. But you can save your Buncee offline as an interactive PDF which makes it a great way for students to build ebooks. A Buncee can also be used as an online invitation to an event. When you have completed the creation of your Buncee you can select "RSVP" when you share it and recipients will have an option to register their interest in attending your event.

Three Neat Features of Buncee
Within Buncee there is an integrated image search which pulls images from Bing. The search is filtered for Creative Commons licensed images. Any image that a student chooses to use in his or her Buncee is automatically added to a list of citations.

Buncee has a huge catalog of stock images and animations that students can add to their slides. During the demonstration that I saw, a running dog animation was added to a slide. That animation played on a continuous loop until the slides were advanced.

All images and text added to a Buncee slide can be hyperlinked. Those links can be to webpage or, as I saw earlier this week, they could be to videos and or sound effects.

Check out the Buncee slides embedded below for a complete overview of all of the features available in Buncee.


Disclosure: Buncee is a client of MindRocket Media Group. I am a partner in MindRocket Media Group.

Stride Labs Helps You Keep Track of Updates to Your Google Documents

Stride Labs is a service that helps you keep track of changes to documents in your Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox accounts. Rather than having to open a document and look at the revision history or the comments, Stride will notify you of updates to your documents.

Within your Stride Labs account you can create project folders to help you better track updates to your files. For example, a teacher could create a project folder for each section of a class that he or she teaches. Likewise, students can create project folders for each of their classes.

Stride Labs offers an iOS app through which you can receive notifications. You can also use Stride Labs directly in your web browser.


Applications for Education
Stride Labs could be a great service for teachers and students who are not in a Google Apps for Education domain. Stride Labs supports Dropbox and Box as well as Google Drive. In that sense, it provides something for almost everyone.

FreeConferenceCall.com Now Offers Free Video Conference Calls

Last summer I wrote about how pleased I was with the performance of FreeConferenceCall.com. We continue to use it at MindRocket Media Group for all of our conference call needs. This morning I learned that FreeConferenceCall.com now offers free video conference calls.

The video conference call feature of FreeConferenceCall.com allows you to have up to 25 people in your call. You can use your computer's audio or your phone to connect to the call. An attendee list shows you who is in the call and allows you to instantly chat by text with anyone in the call.


As you might have noticed in the video above, you do have to install the FreeConferenceCall.com desktop client in order to use the video conference calling feature. The desktop client is available for Mac and Windows users.

Applications for Education
Whether it is to collaborate with colleagues or to talk with parents about their children, from time to time you could find yourself in need of a free conference call service. The new video calling feature in FreeConferenceCall.com could be a good tool to use for those calls.

And if you just need voice for your conference calls, FreeConferenceCall.com is easy for everyone to use. Dialing a phone number and entering an access code when prompted is all it takes to get people to join a voice-only conference call on FreeConferenceCall.com

82 Google Tools Tutorial Videos

I offer online and in-person workshops on Google Apps for Education, but I'm aware that sometimes all a person needs is just a two or three minute demonstration on a particular tool in order to get understand it. That's why a few years ago I started to create short tutorials on a variety of tools that Google makes available to students and teachers. Those tutorials are available in my Google tools playlist on YouTube. The playlist includes tutorials on features in Google Maps, Blogger, Google Sites, Google Classroom, Google Forms, Google Sheets, and Google Docs. My entire Google Tools Tutorials playlist is embedded below.