Technology & Learning
Technology & Learning
To compete successfully for jobs in a global economy, students must develop critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. Yet the state-mandated standardized tests they learn how to take in school typically emphasize factual recall rather than depth of understanding. BookheadEd Learning’s Web-based StudySync seeks to bridge this gap.
StudySync’s electronic course room is modeled on college-level academic discourse. Its standards-based online learning curriculum targets classic and modern literary texts in multimodal ways using a variety of digital media including broadcast quality video, animation, audio readings, and images. Writing and thinking activities framed by social networking tools and collaborative discussions with peers are designed to motivate middle and high school students to higher levels of achievement. Each lesson includes pre-writing exercises, writing prompts, plus opportunities for students to post their work and review the work of others. Students can access content and assignments from any computer with a connection to the Internet. …
StudySync’s research-based, teacher-tested lessons correlate to the Common Core standards and align with NCTE's (National Council of Teachers of English) Position Statement on 21st Century Literacies.The classic and contemporary content it offers includes works by Shakespeare, George Orwell, Mark Twain, Bernard Shaw, Jules Verne, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elie Wiesel, Jean Paul Sartre, and many others. About 325 titles in the StudySync Library give middle and high school teachers a variety of novels, stories, poems, plays, and literary works for students to study. Many of these texts appear in Appendix B of the Common Core standards. Flexible program features enable teachers to deliver assignments as whole lessons or as resources that supplement existing curriculum. Built-in management options allow them to make ongoing assessments and provide timely feedback to guide student work.
An innovative learning tool that connects students to the great ideas of mankind through its extensive library of classic and modern texts, StudySync reminds me a bit of another more established tool, Shmoop, but with a video and multi-platform push-out twist. StudySync’s innovative, video-based lessons model thoughtful academic discourse and support structured peer-to-peer communication. This is a great tool for the texting, smartphone carrying crowd, hitting them at their level with excellent academic content in just the right mode of presentation that will perk them up to going deep on reading and learning. It’s brand-new, hot off its FETC debut (Florida Education Technology Conference, among the largest shows for edtech), though it’s hitting the ground running with a fresh, clean website that’s easily navigable, thoughtfully done, and ready to roll. Have a look for your class or yourself. Plus, the team behind this service is smart as a whip. Look for more from StudySync on Edtech Digest in the near future.
Every now and then, an EDDIES entry comes along that's so stunning, it takes one's breath away. This year that stand-out, winner in the High School Language Arts Website category, is StudySync.
StudySync is, quite simply, flawless - from its extremely high production quality to its pedagogy and professional, highly engaging narrations. A web environment designed to prepare high school students for college-level coursework, StudySync offers exposure to dynamic college-level discourse while promoting critical thinking and writing skills. Students, guided by teachers, read narrated excerpts from over 300 classic and modern texts, e.g., Pygmalion, Classifying the Stars, All Creatures Great and Small, 1776; observe videos of college-age students' discussions; and submit essays of their own work. The program is designed to improve active collaboration, increase comprehension, and add depth of literary expression, allowing students to read reviews written by peers, and submit their own written dialogues in the Blast blog area.
StudySync is an impressive example of 21st Century innovation, and should be made available to all high school students. It is a must-have for home school and AP courses. Whole-hearted congratulations to the team at StudySync. (Free 60 day trial is offered - see website for more information.)