Lots of Learning at 2017 Mercy Tech Talk

Mercy just finished hosting its fourth annual Tech Talk, hosting K-12 Educators throughout Southeastern MI. The conference featured:

– An inspirational Keynote by Theresa Stager on Innovative Spaces and Strategies

– Multiple 2-hour workshops and 1-hour presentations from some of the top speakers in the area.

– Streamed interactive presentations from presenters from Dubai, Korea, Canada, and Massachusetts.

Ann Lusch and I coordinated the event with terrific support from Mercy I.T., staff volunteers, and Mercy iWizards.

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iWizard Workshop 2017

The Mercy iWizards spent a busy day on Friday, February 17. They . . . .

  1. Planned the New Student iPad Orientation
  2. Spent an hour coding
  3. Conducted five Google Hangouts / Skypes 

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    Photos by Cheryl Corte and Larry Baker

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iWizards Making Global Connections

This year the iWizards have invited student tech teams from around the world to join them at the International Student Tech Team Hub. On Friday, February 17 they are going sit down for Google Hangouts with several of them. But the team in Israel presented a time zone challenge. Consequently, the iWizards reached out to them with a video. Soon this was followed with a reply.  Let the tech team collaboration begin!





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Skyping around the World

This is the fourth in a series of blog “snapshots” of how Mercy students benefit from using iPad technology (and other tools) throughout the school day.

During National French Week, Madame Joyce Campbell’s French 1, French 2 and French 3 students Skyped with Mercy alumna, Kiara McCalvin (’10), and practiced their French speaking skills with her on current topics that they were studying in class.

Ms. McCalvin majored in French at Howard has recently completed her Masters in French Language and Culture from Kent University in England. Madame Campbell and her students caught up with Ms. McCalvin via Skye in La Rochelle, France where she has been teaching English to French children.

Each French 1 student practiced introducing  herself  in French (including name, age, and what they liked to do) and Ms. McCalvin asked them questions in French about they and their families. The French 2 students asked her about her living situation  She then used her iPad to give them a visual tour of her house  The French 2 students were also able to discuss furniture and items in the house with Ms. McCalvin.


The French 3 students conversed with her in French about her internship and program from Howard University which propelled her to France as an educator in 2 elementary schools teaching English. The French 3 students had been studying careers and educational formation needed to pursue those careers in their class. They enjoyed her insight and recommendations for careers using the French language and culture. The students and Madame Campbell also read excerpts from Ms. McCalvin’s blog after the Skype experience which enriched the cultural comparisons between France and the U.S. Her blog was posted on Schoology for the classes to read and enjoy. The Mercy students enjoyed the experience immensely, greatly benefiting from from this streaming “French connection”!!!

Post co-creators, Madame Campbell and Mr. Baker

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iCreate 2017

The Mercy iWizards work year round planning activities for potential students and incoming students. The iWizards also work together to make technology more accessible and enjoyable for current students and staff. Every member has a voice and plays a role in each event and idea.


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The  iCreate event is aimed towards 7th and 8th grade girls who have an interest in using an iPad creatively. Girls may bring their own iPad or borrow one from Mercy. At this event the girls attend two one-hour hands-on workshops.

One team of  of iWizards presents some concepts of photo design, allows the students to take photos and then edit them in Photogene. They then make an iMovie using the photos.

The second group is guided through the process of drawing with ArtRage. They then animate their drawings with , Animation Creator HD

Both workshops allow sharing through Air Drop and Apple TV projection.  After an hour the groups switch. 21 students attended this year.

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The Power of Photos in Health Class

This is the third in a series of blog “snapshots” of how Mercy students benefit from using iPad technology (and other tools) throughout the school day.

In Health class the students had to narrow down the entire topic of Suicide and put the most important information on a business card. They researched pictures that could enhance their project and made sure they had the rights to use them. Some students chose to create their own picture. All students had to create the business card, print it double sided and distribute them to their class. In addition, they also had to submit a rationale on Schoology about why they chose the specific information that they did, understanding that a business card is very small and could only fit a few pieces of information.

— Ann Jamieson and Brandi Lavely, Health/P.E. teachers

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Digital Drawing in MHS Fine Arts

This is the second in a series of blog “snapshots” of how Mercy students benefit from using iPad technology (and other tools) throughout the school day.

Our 9th grade Design Foundations class students create compositions using the principles of good design such as filling the frame, creating unity, developing a focal point and balancing the composition, all accomplished with Adobe Illustrator. Adobe Illustrator is a digital drawing application which is available in both of Mercy’s computers labs. Because I am always looking for ways students can use technology to enhance other mediums, it occurred to me that these designs would make interesting surface embellishment on a slab wall piece students we’re working on in Ceramics 2.

Part of the Ceramics 2 curriculum is surface design. Some people may think that the only way to enhance the surface of a clay piece is with glaze alone. I had planned to have students use a variety of techniques using colored slip to add color and texture to the clay as opposed to glaze. We used Adobe Illustrator to create the stencil by using the text tool and a variety of fonts. Most of the students chose to incorporate their initials to personalize the design. The resulting print was then cut to create a stencil that would mask sections of the background previously embellished with Mishima and Sgraffito. This is what the stencil looks like after the negative space was cut out and masked onto the clay with water.

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After we covered the stencil with colored slip, we removed the paper and cleaned the edges. It was then bisque fired. The bisque piece was removed from the kiln, and finished with clear glaze.


The use of Adobe Illustrator allowed students to manipulate, position, and size the letters and fonts which resulted in a strong design and allowed students to use and reinforce design and technology skills previously learned in their 9th grade Design Foundations technology class.  — Guest Blogger:  Carol Rife, MHS Fine Arts teacher

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