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Response To A Concerned Parent

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me. Your questions are outstanding and I appreciate the chance to respond to them.

“Studies have shown that college students who rely on computer keyboarding (some studies even suggest any electronic device in classroom lowers grades) to take notes do not do as well as students who take traditional hand written notes.  What is the plan for taking notes?”

I am familiar with the studies you are referring to. It is actually one of the main reasons we chose the Surface Pro over all of the other devices we looked at. While main devices we looked at offered a stylus for written input, it was only the Surface that worked well enough that the user could forget that it was a computer they were writing on and not a piece of paper. It will allow your daughter to use software like Onenote to take handwritten notes, sketch charts and graphs, and write out math formulas. The device does this so naturally that I am confident your daughter could do this with next to no training.

Check out this video for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VD_fNrLkS54

“Will student be required to take notes on the laptop?”

No. While I hope that your daughter is always exploring new things, especially when it comes to exploring her learning style, but only she knows how she learns best and is free to use whatever method works best for her.

“Will all assignments be done on the laptop?”

Students will complete assignments in various formats. Technology for technology's sake is not what we are after here at Mercy; what we are after is encouraging our students and teachers to use technology to make their work more efficient, organized and environmentally healthy. We will ask our teachers to use tools like Google Classroom and Onenote classroom to accomplish these goals, but never at the expense of your daughter’s education.

“Will the teachers have guidance on laptop usage or will it be up to the teachers?”

A little of both actually. In some cases like in the area of Google Classroom having the whole school using the same service creates a consistency your daughter can rely on to find the school work and resources she needs to accomplish her daily tasks.

On the other hand every teacher and every course calls for a different style of teaching. It is due to this fact that I have found the best way to help teachers do their jobs is to continuously provide many options for them to choose from. We do this mainly through two vehicles. One is our ever changing resources site (See here: http://tech.mercyhs.com/). The other is through our Tech Talk Wednesday discussions. This when our Assistant Instructional Technology Coordinator, Debbie Hall and myself provide an ample amount of time for teachers to come and ask questions, receive a demo of a new product we have discovered, etc.

I hope I have answered your questions. If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thank you,

Michael Saputo

Director of Technology

Our Lady of Mercy

School for Young Women


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