With students back in the classroom and political types on the campaign trail, Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH), a prestigious private school in Massachusetts, and StudySync (studysync.com), the web-based Common Core curriculum from BookheadEd Learning, LLC, today unveiled the questions that will shape this electoral season’s national VOTES project (Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State).
The only program of its kind in the country, the VOTES Project will ask students nationwide to weigh in on a series of potentially decisive issues, among them the American economy, money in politics, Iran, same-sex marriage, and healthcare. The polls will wrap up just prior to Election Day, when students will choose one of the two candidates. The VOTES project election results will be made available to participating schools, and to local and national news media.
The VOTES 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. StudySync is bringing 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.
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.
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.
About BookheadEd Learning, LLC
BookheadEd Learning connects high school and middle school students to the great ideas of mankind through technology, 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 inspire higher levels of students’ reading, writing, critical thinking, academic discourse and peer-to-peer collaboration. An AEC and SIIA CODiE Awards finalist, StudySync is the recipient of two BESSIE Awards and the EDDIE Award from ComputED Gazette,“Trendsetter” recognition from EdTech Digest, District Administration’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products” award, and inclusion on Edudemic’s list of the Top 50 edtech tools. CEO/co-founder Robert Romano is among EdTech Digest’s “50 Fascinating Entrepreneurs.” Based in Sonoma, Calif. with an office in Cambridge, Mass., BookheadEd is comprised of educators and experts who believe “Together We’re Smarter.”
About Northfield Mount Hermon
Northfield Mount Hermon (nmhschool.org), commonly referred to as NMH, is a co-educational independent boarding school for students in grades 9–12 and postgraduate. The school is located on the banks of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts near Gill, Massachusetts. NMH was founded in 1879. The school provides,“Education of the head, the heart, and the hand.” Our mission is to engage the intellect, compassion, and talents of our students, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose. The school enrolls 650 students who come from more than 45 states and 35 countries. NMH is a member of the Eight Schools Association, which comprises Phillips Academy (known as Andover), Phillips Exeter Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Hotchkiss School, Lawrenceville School, and St. Paul’s School.
Cheri Cross, Director of Communications
Northfield Mount Hermon
P: 413-498-3322 - E: ccross[.]nmhschool.org