Technically speaking


iWizard members discuss upcoming events and plans for next year, including freshman orientation. (Photo Credit: Megan Hutter)

Working behind the scenes, often silently, is Mercy’s iWizard program. By uniting students and staff mentors, iWizards provides support for Mercy’s technological events. One such event is the new student iPad orientation taking place on August 18. The iWizards work to infuse the use of iPads and other technology into daily life, and teaching new students how to do so is one of their main goals.

The orientation will work to immerse incoming freshman in some of the most challenging aspects of attending Mercy. Many of the new students will come with little to no experience with apps and programs that they will need to master in upcoming years, and it’s the job of iWizards to help them. Students will be able to rotate through student-led stations that will provide hands-on and informational assistance, along with much-needed advice for the upcoming year.

Over the past year, help and step-by-step instructions on commonly used applications have been made available by iWizards to the entire school.

“They’ve done a really great job this year of putting resources on Schoology so people can use them later,” said Associate Principal Larry Baker of iWizard students. “They’ve also made many videos that will help guide incoming students.”

Looking forward, Mr. Baker and the rest of the iWizards are excited to welcome freshmen and make their experience as enjoyable and informative as possible.

“Before the iWizards did this, administration assigned teachers to do the orientation with very few instructions,” said Mr. Baker. “The experience as a whole just didn’t seem informative enough. Now we can invite teachers to help, and the whole dynamic is different — it’s kind of a happier experience for the presenters and the students.”

Incoming students can expect a detailed overview of important iPad features.

“The girls chose the topics, such as introducing them to Notability and other apps like Pages, Schoology, iMovie, and Google Slides,” said Mr. Baker. “It’s important to go over some of the basics to alert them that those are the workhouse apps, and to give them a preview and a sense of what’s to come.”

Aside from the upcoming orientation, the iWizards are looking forward to the projects and events planned for next year.

“This year, we have had conversations with 8 other tech teams in different parts of the world, and we’re trying to focus on a project that we can all do together,” said Mr. Baker. “That’s something that’s going to be a big part of next year. We have been doing video recordings and sending them out to these other teams and we have done google hangouts, but next year we have to put it together.”

The most important thing, though, is that iWizards will remain dedicated to helping all staff and students and continuously striving to improve.

“Having a group like this, that unites students of all ages, is something very special,” said Mr. Baker. “Overall, although we may come and go, we really have a great nucleus and many big things planned.