Mercy College seizes digital opportunity for professional development

23 August 2019

CEWA’s digital transformation is enabling staff across the system to access knowledge and information quicker and easier than ever before. 

Introduced in Term 4 last year, virtual learning sessions across a variety of topics have been increasingly engaged with each term through Webinar Week, but one school has taken the initiative to a new level. 

Mercy College used Term Two’s Webinar Week content, accessed via Microsoft Stream, to create a professional development day. 

Eight sessions were conducted by Mercy College experts who led discussions and activities after viewing the webinar recording. 

Mercy College Director of Infrastructure Donna Bird and the Mercy College School Improvement Plan Team for Leading Lights met and discussed which eight webinars would be of most use for the college from the available 28 across the areas of Child Safe Framework; digital howtos; inclusive practices; improving productivity; quality practices; Strategic Directions; and teaching and learning. 

Staff then completed a survey and chose the session they wanted to attend.  

“We had some great feedback from our staff . . . giving time to staff to engage with the webinars was a success as over 160 participated,” Mercy College Director of Engagement Albert Borrello said. 

“Many staff from our primary team attended the Introduction to Sway webinar and were impressed by the practical ways in which it could be used in a primary classroom,” he said. 

We also had a large number of staff introduced to Flipgrid . . . our facilitator continued on from the webinar and gave staff a practical task to complete which has led to many secondary teachers exploring ways in which they can further connect with their students by using Flipgrid.” 

Teacher Emma Sykes said the Flipgrid presentation was informative, interactive and engaging. 

“I strongly believe that the program will be an asset to our learning area, Religious Education, especially in reference to homework activities and for general engagement in Religious Education and I will definitely be using the program in my classes,” she said. 

The Myth Busting Legal Services session was very popular and generated lots of questions, so much so that CEWA webinar host Bernard Hill held a second webinar to answer some of the questions Mercy College’s facilitator collected on the day. 

Head of Library Susan O’Mara said the webinar was presented in a fun and informative way with the Mercy College facilitator using digital learning application Kahoot 

There were certainly common perceptions amongst the audience which were wrong, myself included, so in this respect the webinar was very worthwhile,” she said.

For Teacher Mitchell Dalton, the My Favourite OneNote Features presentation expanded his knowledge of more advanced capabilities in OneNote which he can incorporate into lessons for a more enriching use of the program.  

The introduction of the webinars provides a fantastic way to learn more about OneNote and other programs,” he said. 

CEWA Digital Transformation Consultant Maggie Tiongson said Mercy College’s initiative was a great example of different ways schools can incorporate Webinar Week into their professional development plan.   

“They can watch them live together, on their own and discuss as a group, or watch recorded together,” she said. 

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