It is a goal of Mercy’s IT Department and school administration to assist teachers in redefining instruction for the better. I use redefining as intended by Dr. Reuben Puentedura. I the an opportunity to spend a day at Reuben's side at a conference at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino two years ago.
Referencing his model below, substitution is the most basic form of tech adoption in the classroom. For example, the DVD replaces the VHS which replaced the film that the teacher still loves to show his his students.
Redefinition is the most advanced level of tech integration because it is transformational: new teaching methods are used that would be otherwise be inconceivable without the technology.
At Mercy we are not content with substitution. Our several years of 1:1 technology with the HP laptops allowed us to hit the ground running when we switched to the iPads, which are now a pervasive part of Mercy life. Our teachers and students are using these devices innovatively
We wish to harness this genius. The ninth grade Design Foundations course is almost inherently an example of redefinition. It is my particular hope that our next stage of professional development assists teachers across the curriculum in using the multimedia tools the students experience using in that class.
By the same token we hope to tap into our iPad "iWizards" to not only teach new students how to use their iPads, but we also want them to experience enrichments and be challenged creatively. We have some very specific ideas about channeling their energy and creativity into school life.
In the coming months I'll have much more to report on these endeavors as we continually seek to redefine what leading edge instruction means at Mercy High School.