Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lightening Student Book Bags at Last

Today we took a long step toward lightening book bags.  This is a stealth feature of Mercy 2.0.  The textbook world has been one of the last hold outs against the movement toward digital media.  As more and more classroom resources become available in digital form, Mercy wants to bring it into our students' iPads and laptops.  Consequently, our talented Media Center technician, Cheryl Corte, took on the thankless task of collecting book information of all varieties from our academic departments.  Teachers contributed in a major way, researching the various formats of their assigned materials.  Cheryl took these submissions and combed through them, so that parents could have this information in a uniform, (somewhat) reader-friendly way.

Screen Capture of our Book Purchasing Web Page
We know that the information is a little overwhelming.  But we decided that the best favor we could do for families is supply them with information and let them decide which formats best suited their daughters and pocketbooks.  Just as our computing environment will be mixed (HP tablet & Apple iPad), so too will our book environment.  As the publishing industry evolves, Mercy will attempt to stay at the digital forefront of the change.
While we are frustrated that not all texts are available in digital form, a family that wants to leap forward in that direction (saving some money as they do!), will now be able to do so with considerable Mercy's assistant.
Some facts about this program:
- At Mercy, all incoming students purchase an iPad and their own books.  Of course the iPads do not come pre-loaded with books she needs for her unique schedule anymore than a computer purchase includes lots of your favorite free music and movies, preloaded.
- Mercy is platform neutral both in terms of device and books.  Teachers expect to work in mixed environments for the next three years.
- We are eager to go paperless, but not in ways that will be detrimental to learning.  However, we are continually looking for ways to use our technology to greater educational, social, and economic advantage.

1 comment:

K.A. Koskela said...

My hope is that with less textbooks to carry and a lighter load, students may include print resources, still available in our Media Center, in their research "bookbag." These complement the wonderful digital sources also available for Mercy students.
Both have their benefits. Unfortunately, many seem to think if something isn't available digitally - immediately - it doesn't exist or isn't worth investigating! Here's to variety and a multitude of choices.

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