Award-winning Platform’s Changes Foster Critical Reading and Writing Skills
SONOMA, Calif. (June 19, 2013) – Today’s students need a repertoire of knowledge and skills that is more diverse, complex and integrated than anything demanded of previous generations. Reading, writing and communicating are essential abilities that they must apply in our rapidly-changing world. For that reason, StudySync (www.studysync.com), the leading-edge standards-based literacy curriculum from BookheadEd Learning, has upgraded several features and added a mobile application. The upgrades improve teachers’ delivery of high-quality reading and writing assignments while embedding sought-after communication skills, important for career and college readiness in the 21st century marketplace.
“There is a glaring deficiency in reading and writing among new entrants into post secondary education institutions and the American workforce, and that is troubling to both college admission counselors and employers who expect individuals to possess these most fundamental skills,” said Jay King, COO, StudySync. “With our product, we strive to help teachers successfully prepare students for the demands of college and the workplace.”
StudySync is a cross-curricular literacy platform for grades 4-12 and provides hundreds of core texts, dynamic video and media that inspire and advance reading, writing, listening and critical thinking skills. The upgrades include the following:
– A greater selection of middle school-level titles in the platform’s online library
– A Lexile® measure for every text in the library
– An in-program annotation tool to aid reading comprehension and text analysis
– A distinction in Blast writing prompt options for middle and high school discussions, plus new topic themes
– A mobile device application for short form writing practice
– A customization option for rubrics
– A more informative home page
In order to better accommodate middle school teachers, the company increased the number of middle school-appropriate selections to over 200, more than a third of the library’s overall 550 fiction and nonfiction titles. StudySync also included Lexile® measures as an aid to teachers, librarians and parents who are looking for books, articles and other resources within a student’s recommended Lexile® range. The Lexile® measures also help teachers to create on-level assignments and scaffold reading and writing instruction for individual students or entire classes.
The annotation tool allows readers to highlight words or sections of text, mark important points, write down definitions, identify passages requiring more study, and make critical thinking notes such as questions or arguments. Saved annotations are collected in a toolbar and can be accessed by clicking on the highlighted text. All saved annotations are visible to the teacher.
The weekly writing prompt Blasts deliver a wide variety of current event topics to engage students in short-form research and analysis as well as writing practice. Classes receive Blasts with themes of science and technology, worldwide current events, youth issues, and arts and culture. A few topics on the 2013 schedule included Syria entering its third year of war, the true purpose of Valentine’s Day, and why American students do not pursue STEM coursework aggressively.
The StudySync mobile device application offers an optimized view for students accessing StudySync via mobile devices. Teachers can have students practice short form writing such as Blast assignments on their smartphones, tablets and other personal devices, saving computer lab time for longer form assignments.
Teachers can now customize StudySync’s assessment rubrics to address students’ differing ability levels and personal learning objectives, facilitating differentiated instruction.
Users can find details about these changes as well as the basics of using StudySync via the platform’s improved home page. Individuals who are new to StudySync or who need a refresher about the basics can view the Getting Started tutorial videos..
“At StudySync, our goal is to provide a highly engaging, fully integrated set of easy-to-use features for literacy instruction and assessment,” said King. “We’ll keep improving and adding to our offering of literacy tools as we identify opportunities and possibilities for instruction.”
About BookheadEd Learning, LLC
BookheadEd Learning, based in Sonoma, Calif. connects students in grades 4 through 12 to the great ideas of mankind through technology, video, multimedia, and a rich library of classic and modern texts. StudySync, its award-winning flagship product, uses web-delivered educational tools – including broadcast-quality video, digital media, mobile platforms and social networking —to help teachers meet the demands of the Common Core Standards and inspire higher levels of reading, writing, critical thinking, academic discourse and peer-to-peer collaboration. For more information about BookheadEd Learning and its StudySync educational platform, visit http://www.studysync.com.
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