French Class Video Wins $1,000 Prize

Most students are familiar with the school’s array of collaborative alternative learning projects. With the advent of Challenge Based Learning projects a few years ago and the high-technology presentations that spring boarded off of Mercy 2.0 this fall, experimental projects are common—and experience varying degrees of success.

One project, introduced by Madame Shea, saw incredible and rewarding results. The project was assigned to French students who were asked to create a video for a contest held by the textbook company, Vista Higher Learning. This year, one of the videos submitted won a $1,000 prize.

The winning group of Katie Baird, Dani Abboud, Kate Anderson, and Alysa Graf, created a video showing, in a minute or less, how language impacts their futures. They utilized the technology available to them as Mercy students, as well as their peers’ acting talent. Featured actors include Lana Grasser, Monica Niehaus, and Joe Soave.

“I really did stick with it,” said Madame Shea, who began assigning the project three years ago. The video project began as an extra credit assignment (which no one took advantage of), progressed to a class that created videos over time and therefore did not qualify, and then finally to a winning video.

“This has actually developed in the way that in the way that I assigned it,” said Madame Shea. “I don’t want to take tons of credit, but I learned to assign [the project], and the kids this year learned from last year.”

The progression of the French videos shows how collaborative technology projects like this one can take some getting used to by both staff and students. The incredible quality and results of the videos also show the pronounced strengths of the projects.

The added benefit of prize money doesn’t hurt either. Administration has not decided how exactly the prize money will be spent, but Madame Shea said she believes that some of it will go towards the language department.