SyncUp With StudySync
The new StudySync Google Docs integration creates a seamless process for students to complete written assignments within Google Docs, as an alternative to using the default StudySync web editor. By leveraging the power of Google Docs, students receive a host of benefits such as:
-Powerful editing functions
-More advanced formatting capabilities
-Unlimited revision history
-Ability to work anywhere Google Docs is available (including Google Docs apps)
-Multimedia upload and submission
StudySync has introduced StudySync Mobile Apps for Students including: iOS for Apple iPads and iPhones, Android for phones and tablets, and Chrome. These new student mobile apps can be downloaded by visiting the appropriate provider’s app store.
When visiting StudySync’s website and exploring StudySync’s digital Blast library, you will quickly come across the logo for Listen Edition. Are you wondering, “What is Listen Edition?” Or, “What is special about these co-branded StudySync - Listen Edition resources?” Continue reading for the answers to these questions and to learn more about this great resource for your classroom!
NEW YEAR! NEW TOPICS!
Kick off 2014 with StudySync’s new Science, History, and Social Science Blast topics for Elementary, Middle School, and High School students. Plus, look for the Listen Edition logo for more audio-enhanced Blasts that engage students in close reading, listening, and critical thinking skills.
On March 10th, StudySync participated in The New England 1:1 Summit, a conference right in my backyard, at Burlington High School, in Burlington, MA. Walk through the doors and Burlington looks like your typical suburban public high school, with familiar cement facade, huge double-entry doors, wide hallways, and Formica floors. But this is no typical high school. Burlington High is a 1:1 computing school, a term that means every student has or is issued some technical device, such as a netbook, a laptop, or, as in Burlington's case, an iPad.
$37,000 according to the University of Iowa. Students interested in receiving the Tippie scholarship are prompted to tweet “What makes you an exceptional Tippie MBA candidate and full-time MBA hire? Creativity encouraged!" Wow! $264 dollars per character? Having been a starving college student some years back, it’s hard for me to imagine receiving that amount of money for 140 characters, no matter how well-chosen. But if you think about it, there is artistic beauty in being able to convey ideas succinctly, effectively, and creatively. And we can all appreciate the qualities of brevity, right?
For me, John Steinbeck comes to mind when thinking about simple, powerful language. In fact, I distinctly remember my high school English teacher wanting us to understand how what often appears to be simple in the art of writing can often be the most memorable, powerful storytelling. A lesson plan on TeacherVision describes Steinbeck’s The Pearl in the following way. “The story is simple but exciting. However, within its simplicity is the great complexity of a tale filled with imagery, symbolism, and thematic significance.”
Students can experience – and practice – this same to-the-point powerful approach to writing with StudySync, whether through student essays or StudySync Blast responses on current events. While the perfect 140-character Blast response may not garner students a $37,000 reward, it does allow them to express themselves quickly, concisely, and thoughtfully – from any device, anytime, anywhere. And that can be an even greater reward than the money – well, almost.
Excerpts from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, and Travels with Charley can also be found in the StudySync Digital Library.
The countdown clock to ISTE 2011 ticking, 11 days and counting. If you'll be attending, please be sure to stop by Booth #3036 and sync-up with us. During the conference, StudySync will be conducting one-on-one demos at the booth, as well as scheduled presentations throughout the day (more to come on that).
On Monday, June 27th from 8am-10am, StudySync will be leading a session entitled, Engaging Students with Social Media, Mobile Devices, and Other Technologies.
Here's a brief overview:
While some schools ban the use of cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, and tablet devices, others are encouraging teachers and students to use all available technology to conduct research, explore new ideas, and connect thoughtfully with peers. This session will explore the potential these devices hold for increasing student engagement and will highlight how new technologies can be used effectively in language arts and other curricular areas.
Specifically, the session will address the question of how to leverage technologies and modes of communication that are already attractive and important to students into a rich learning experience.
In a report from CNN's Dan Simon yesterday, we learn how one Los Angeles teacher has transformed his classroom by encouraging his students to Tweet.
Enrique Legaspi once faced a scenario that many of his peers struggle with every day: a classroom full of distracted students constantly connected to their mobile devices — texting, Tweeting or IMing.
Legaspi wasn't against technology, and like many teachers, he wondered if there might be a way to turn the reality of those technological distractions into a learning opportunity. After attending a seminar in San Francisco on incorporating Twitter into the classroom, he had an epiphany:
I had an 'Aha! moment' then. I said to myself, 'Wow. This is what's going to really engage my students.'
Rather than telling his students to turn their devices off, he set a BYOT, or Bring Your Own Technology, policy. If the students were not equipped, they were able to use one of the classroom computers. Either way, they would be Tweeting. But not just to their friends. They would be Tweeting about World War I, then watching the responses in real-time as Legaspi highlights some of the answers.
On my way to a meeting in San Francisco, I'm driving south on Highway 121, the Sonoma vineyards racing by on both sides - nice place to live. Being the stimulus junky that I am, I scrolled through the iTunes playlist on my dash. Nothing. So I hit the radio, clicked off the rap station my teenage son had set, and tapped into 88.5 catching mid-conversation the CEO of a major book retailer, an executive from a large publishing company, and an NPR interviewer. Articulate, thoughtful, FM voices. The topic if the day - books going digital and how all the new devices are affecting the experience of reading.
Am I wrong or was this the same conversation from, oh I don't know, maybe a dozen years ago? Ink on a page vs. pixels on a screen. That's news? Really?
The audience called in with comments, like:
One of the cornerstones of StudySync is SyncTV. We define SyncTV as broadcast quality videos that capture the experience of college-level students interacting as they construct meaning from a short text or excerpt.
The students model excellence in critical thinking by exchanging ideas, examining premises and assumptions, and reading the author's words closely for meaning.
In his white paper (pdf), New Rules For A New Game, Dr. Lawrence Baines, Chair of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum at the University of Oklahoma, notes:
Recent analyses of classroom discussions have found that students are engaging in few in-depth conversations about reading during the school day. Indeed, the liveliest discussions in the best classrooms were found to be superficial and fleeting—lasting, on average, less than a minute. Students today may not know how to participate in a good discussion because they have seldom participated in one.