Enjoy “iMercy” over the Holidays!

iTunes page for iMercy

After several months of effort (and waiting!) we published iMercy, our high school’s Multi-Touch Book which describes our school’s innovative educational technology program.

The book was inspired by our Apple Distinguished School application.  Last spring we informally learned that in order to apply we would need to present a book about our program and complete a study showing the impact of our iPad 1:1 on our school

Consequently we formed two task forces

The Book Team

Susan Smith, Carol Shea, Angela Harris, Lisa Schrimscher, and Ann Lusch began gathering multimedia content for a book.  Susan started teaching herself iBooks Author and laying out the design of the book. She authored the critical Design Foundations section as well. Angela Harris began authoring sections of text.  Soon the rest of us began contributing book sections throughout the summer of ’13.

Our iPad 1:1 Study

In the spring of 2013 Dr. Cheryl Kreger, Ann Lusch, Cindy Richter, Chris Blitz, Tom James, and Chris Janusch devised a survey for all ninth graders and staff which attempted to measure the iPad’s impact using ISTE’s standards. Chris Blitz deployed the survey on SurveyMonkey and it was administered to all ninth graders and teachers.

In September ’14 when we received our invitation to apply for ADS we formally learned that our book needed to follow tight parameters. (Our first iMercy could only at best serve as a rough draft for some of the application) We also learned that our study would need to be integrated into the book. Most startling, we learned that any person with a recognizable image in a book chock full of them would need to sign a model release (students would need a parent to sign).

Several key persons stepped into the breach.  Dr. Kreger scrutinized the data from our study and began writing up our results for the book.  Chris Blitz,took these findings and created charts for our book.  Cindy Richter and Alison Kline-Kator turned some of these findings into video productions.  Furthermore, Tom James created content for the Flexible Learning Environment section of the application.  Our principal, Carolyn Witte vowed to get the entire school to sign off on the Apple-required model releases.  Office staff personnel, Pat Scheid and Mary Harkness collated all of the releases.

Gary Bank had shot hours of video for us over the summer.  In September he and Julie Earle devoted a full day to interviewing subjects for our application. Maureen Weiss and Marlene Wojcik assisted Julie in “dressing the set, and of course Julie helped review the hours of footage we captured.

Julie was enlisted to help me pull together the application, and her layout and editorial talents were invaluable.  But we also greatly depended upon the proof reading talents of Ann Lusch, Lisa Schrimscher, Carolyn Witte, Angela Harris, Barbara Baker, and Carol Shea.

I am very pleased with the product created.  But the process of collaborating successfully with so many great persons was the real reward.

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