August 9, 2012 3:47PM News as reported by the company:
StudySync Teams with Northfield Mount Hermon To Spearhead National VOTES Project -- Via Its Innovative Blast Tool, Collaborative Online Learning Platform Will Host Election-Focused Conversation Among Students Nationwide
SONOMA, Calif. -- August 8, 2012 -- StudySync, the web-based collaborative curriculum from BookheadEd Learning, LLC, will join with Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), a prestigious private school in Massachusetts, to add a dynamic technology component to NMH's national VOTES project. The VOTES (Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State) project brings together more than 100 public and private schools nationwide, as well as schools internationally, to give students a voice in the 2012 election.
A coed independent boarding school for grades 9-12, Northfield Mount Hermon is a member of the Eight Schools Association, along with Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Lawrenceville School, Phillips Academy Andover, Phillips Exeter Academy and St. Paul's School.
NMH created VOTES 1988 and has run the program for all six presidential elections since then. In 2008, 60,000 students from every state in the nation cast ballots of their own and sent them to Northfield Mount Hermon a week before Election Day. The VOTES project is the only program of its kind in the country.
StudySync will bring a compelling new electronic component to the long-standing VOTES project. Participating VOTES schools will use StudySync's exclusive Blast feature to enlist students in a national conversation about election issues. "Blasts" are short reading and writing assignments based on timely, high-interest topics of cultural significance. Students respond in short answer format, engaging in a thoughtful discussion with students within the wider StudySync community.
Election-related Blasts will be sent to students weekly, leading up to the November election. At the time of the election, high school students will be asked to vote for the candidate of their choice. The VOTES project election results will be made available to participating schools, and to local and national news media.
"The VOTES project has proven to be a remarkably effective and fun way of teaching our high school students about the electoral process in the United States," said Jim Shea, NMH history teacher and VOTES co-founder. "The hands-on mock election experience allows teenagers to be active participants in the political process, rather than merely passive observers."
"The VOTES project is an exciting extension of our product offering for the fall," said Robert Romano, StudySync CEO. "We are pleased to join NMH in its mission to encourage thoughtful discourse around the upcoming election, giving voice to the opinions of young people at this pivotal moment in American politics. We are looking forward to documenting the nationwide discussion that students will be having through StudySync Blasts, and anxious to share the election results as they come in through VOTES."
In addition to counting the popular vote, NMH's mock election simulates the Electoral College process. According to NMH, teen voters have correctly predicted the results of the national presidential election in every race since 1988, with the exception of the 2004 contest. Turnout in participating schools approaches 80 percent- twice the average turnout in national elections. The project teaches students about the democratic process, tests their political savvy, and reveals the age group's political leanings through an issues poll.
An innovative, web-delivered academic tool, StudySync was created by leading national educators with the goal of inspiring higher levels of critical thinking and academic collaboration. Aligned to the Common Core State Standards, StudySync targets middle and high school students, enlisting broadcast-quality video, digital media, mobile platforms and social learning to advance students' reading, writing and critical thinking abilities.
Flexible and easy-to-navigate, StudySync places control fully in the hands of the educator, enabling teachers to integrate the product into their current classroom curriculum any way they see fit. Teachers can, for example, customize the experience by using StudySync lessons in sequence as a complete unit or assigning individual components to supplement existing lesson plans; the teacher can track progress and make assessments at any time. StudySync is also intended to be used across disciplines-for language arts classrooms and for science, social studies, history and other subject areas as well.
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