Rigorous Academics

Innovation

Mercy is committed to the growth of our teachers, investing significant time, energy, and financial resources in order to stay closely connected to educational best practices. From assessment techniques to technology use, our faculty are challenged to continuously learn, improve, and develop innovative ways to engage our students!

Though teachers do employ exciting new tools such as apps and multimedia, technology itself is not the focus of innovation. The objective is to understand the benefits that technology can provide, so that students can lead and own their learning. Mercy’s innovation goals coincide with a larger education trend permeating the industry of reimagining what teaching looks like -- where learning and classrooms are student-centered, and teachers leverage strategies and digital tools to further engage students and deepen their learning. Mercy faculty are actively experimenting and innovating, paving the way in the EdTech space to redesign the learning experience.

Through partnership with EdTech consultants Knowing Technologies (KT), faculty work one-on-one to improve their comfort, confidence, and overall fluency with technology use and integration. In addition to intensive, individualized training, Mercy Administration hosts interdisciplinary faculty sessions and encourages peer teaching to promote a culture of collaboration. This year, Mercy founded an Instructional Innovation Team of 7 faculty members that share their work with colleagues through peer teaching and classroom visits. Ultimately, the goal is to empower teachers to be passionate about their subjects and tools, and to share their passion in a way that elicits dynamic student outcomes. 

Kirsten McKay (English) uses the review platform Writable to break down essay prompts into approachable tasks for students. The exercise makes essay-writing less intimidating, and allows her students to provide feedback to each other. The platform also incorporates self-review which helps improve writing skills. This editing process allows students to reflect on their work in real time, and make adjustments that they might not have caught themselves. 

Image - student view of the assessment dashboard

 
 

Kirk Demlinger (Algebra) ‘pre-loads’ lessons using the video platform EDpuzzle, with his students watching the lecture as homework and then complete the traditional ‘homework’ together in class. EDpuzzle gives him analytics on the students progress on viewing the video lesson, which helps him to hold them accountable for their learning. 

Tom Wootten (Social Studies) is using Touchcast for student videos, integrating green screen technology for multimedia presentations. In his Propaganda project, students learn about communication techniques and employing core tenets of persuasion theory in order to achieve a desired outcome. They analyze how various propaganda techniques are used to influence their behavior, and how social media was used in the 2016 election to influence prospective voters. 

Image - students feature Mr. Wootten in a 'Campaign Ad' using a green screen

Lindsay Stewart (Biology, Anatomy) has created a flexible learning environment in her classroom to provide different spaces for students to engage in the learning process.

In Ms. Oudiz's Study Skills class, freshmen study learning styles and how different sensory inputs benefit learning for everyone. They explore a number of multi-sensory study strategies, including ones that utilizes technology. Students document and describe their experiences with new strategies on a class Padlet - a collaborative, multimedia gallery that allows them to get ideas from their classmates!