SyncUp With StudySync
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!
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!
New StudySync Featured Teacher Tips Showcase In-Class Innovation
At StudySync, we know that true education innovation takes place in the classroom. We are thrilled when we hear how StudySync teachers are using our resources to customize the curriculum in their classrooms and enhance learning. And that's why we've developed a new StudySync resource: Featured Teacher Tips.
At the end of August, eSchool News featured an article by Pat LaMorte, Assistant Principal at Bishop Moore Catholic High School in Orlando, Florida, focusing on technology solutions to advance learning in the classroom. The article, "Technology-enabled active learning’ spurs achievement," explores how and why Bishop Moore turned to digital content delivery to convert their instructional model from a teacher-focused to a more student-focused learning environment. To facilitate this change, one of the digital content programs that the administration implemented was StudySync.
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.
One of the benefits of visiting the west coast StudySync team (I'm located in our Cambridge, MA office) is the opportunity to attend a SyncTV video shoot. On June 17th, I was able to do so as the production team and actors gathered to shoot episodes 29 and 30, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
The last time I was on set was over six months ago. It's easy is to forget the level of effort, professionalism, and expertise that goes into the making of each episode.
The SyncTV process begins with our team of outstanding screenwriters and academics who produce the scripts that will have students contemplating, questioning, and understanding the texts. Very similar to a Hollywood production set, there's hair and makeup, wardrobe, set design, sound, lighting, camera, production, and direction, all handled by seasoned, accomplished professionals. Add to that an eclectic mix of talented actors and the results speak for themselves.
I'm back in Cambridge now, but look forward to my next journey to California and to the StudySync studios. Check out my behind the scenes footage below:
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.