SyncUp With StudySync
The results are in! Thank you to all the students and teachers who participated in StudySync’s Blast Out Your Vote! Student Writing Contest. StudySync received responses from across the country. Entries were reviewed by the StudySync Curriculum team and contest judges considered adherence to the rubric, overall writing skills, and creativity when evaluating each submission.
It's time to get started preparing students for the 2017 MyStudySyncTV contest. Students will work collaboratively to produce their own episode for any text or skill in the StudySync library that does not already have a StudySync® TV or SkillsTV episode. Teachers will then submit student-created videos, which mimic StudySync’s proprietary StudySync® TV and SkillsTV episodes by May 3, 2017. Video submissions are then screened by StudySync’s Curriculum and Production team and prizes are awarded to the top Middle and High School submission. Recognition is also given to Best Actor/Actress and Best Direction.
For this year’s 2015-2016 MyStudySyncTV contest we received close to 100 video submissions with over 450 students participating from across the country. Our third annual contest asked students to produce their own version of our signature StudySync®TV or SkillsTV videos, modeling student-led literary discussion groups on texts and skills within StudySync. The StudySync reviewer team was once again floored by the intelligent and creatively crafted submissions, and are very proud to honor these efforts!
The results are in and we are excited to announce the winners of the 2015 MySyncTV Contest! Our second annual contest called for students from across the country to produce their own version of our signature StudySync®TV videos, modeling student-led literary discussion groups around a text within StudySync. Our team was blown away by the thoughtful and creative submissions, and we are proud to honor that hard work here. This year’s submissions are top notch!
April marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. So, what has carried Shakespeare’s countless plays into the 21st century with as much reverence as when they were introduced?
This past November marked the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, and StudySync believes Lincoln’s words are as important today as they were in 1863. On April 15, PBS will honor this landmark speech by airing a new documentary film by Ken Burns entitled, The Address.
The 2014 MySyncTV Contest is officially underway!
Teachers- Have you ever watched SyncTV and thought, “My students could do that.”? Well, now here’s their chance!
You can set your clock by most graduation ceremonies. Dutifully (and, yes, predictably) the late spring ritual serves as both an end and a beginning. But not all commencement ceremonies are alike, and some are especially laden with meaning. Consider that the scenario for the first undergraduate commencement ceremony at the American University of Iraq (AUIS), a private, non-profit university located in the city of Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region, offering a liberal arts education based on the American model. On June 16, AUIS will award 37 undergraduate degrees, including the university’s first cohort of ten students.
Clarissa Romano is the Lead Writer for StudySync.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, I wrote screenplays before heading south to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Mississippi. I spent four years in the classroom at Ole Miss, teaching Freshman writing and English Literature, and then, after receiving my degree, as a creative writing instructor to upperclassmen. I’ve returned home to LA, but I still miss standing before a class of open, curious, sleepy faces. I’m not going to pretend my students hung on my every word. Far from it. But the challenge of engaging teenage minds fired my imagination.
Just as good fiction rides on conflict, the best academic discussions sparkle with opposing viewpoints. In this era of bloated classrooms and test-driven curricula, students often miss out on hearty academic debates. SyncTV models the drama of a lively classroom discussion in a condensed and casual format. We strive to present students as they are—full of questions, doubts, and humor. The actors and writers collaborate to create characters that feel and sound real. In each episode, our characters demonstrate both a willingness to be swayed as well as steadfast convictions. Our goal is to impress on viewers that an academic debate is a safe space: here we are allowed to disagree. Here, our contrasting viewpoints aren’t personal, but intellectual. Here, we can influence and change our resolve without compromising our identity or integrity.
It’s hard to argue against the unique and special brilliance of inventor, author, and futurist, Ray Kurzweil. He has been labeled by many highly respected sources as, “revolutionary,” a “genius,” and the “heir to Thomas Edison.” Bill Gates said that “Kurzweil is the best person I know at predicting the future of artificial intelligence.”
In his highly successful 2005 book, The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Kurzweil predicts how our bodies will eventually merge with technology. He points out that technology in general, and artificial intelligence specifically, has been and is continuing to grow at an exponential rate. Human intelligence is not. Hence, according to Kurzweil, machine intelligence will someday surpass human intelligence, and he thinks that this will happen by the year 2045. He calls that moment in time the Singularity, and he believes that it will fundamentally change life on Earth. The implications of his theory are numerous, fundamental, and controversial.
This is precisely why this groundbreaking work was perfect for StudySync. Kurzweil’s writing exists simultaneously in the worlds of science, science fiction, philosophy, and history, and raises fundamental questions of what it means to be a human in a human-dominated world. How better to model vital critical reading and thinking skills in our student users than by introducing them to such cutting edge content?