About mfaust

My name in Marcie Faust. I have spent the past eleven years as a teacher for District 109. I look forward to serving as the Director for Innovative Learning within the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Marcie’s Minute: Synergyse

Check out this fantastic Chrome extension called Synergyse. If you love learning about all things Google, then this is the extension for you! Synergyse is your personal Google Apps Training and Help Center that used to cost thousands and now is available for free! It doesn’t hurt to add the extension to your browser, so what are you waiting for? Go to the Chrome web store and add it today! Here’s a glimpse of Synergyse in action:

Marcie’s Minute: Nearpod

Nearpod is an exciting presentation tool that will be available for our teachers this month. With a full library of pre-created lessons as well as the option of teacher-created lessons, we think Nearpod is a perfect solution for any 1:1 learning environment. Nearpod allows the teachers to control the presentation on student devices and embed activities to gauge student learning. The tool can also be used individually by students for a powerful self-paced experience. You’ll be hearing more about our Nearpod district subscription, but until then, take a look at how Kathy Kerner at Walden uses it with her students.

 

Marcie’s Minute: Recap

Recap is a formative assessment tool that students seem to be loving just as much as the teachers. On either Chromebooks or iPads, students are able to send videos to the teacher, explaining concepts students are leaving about. Teachers can send feedback to the students based on what the students shared in the video recording. What a great way to not only “recap” content, but to reinforce those important speaking and listening skills. Check out the video below taken of Kirk Humphreys and his math students for a tour of Recap.

Marcie’s Minute: Post-it Plus

Post-it Plus is the perfect solution for anyone who has ever had a stack of Post-it notes with tons of great information but no convenient way to document it all. Post-it Plus solves that problem completely! With the Post-it Plus app, teachers or students can quickly capture several Post-it Notes and digitize them for safe keeping on a camera roll or even in Google Drive. Check out this quick tutorial to learn more!

Marcie’s Minute: Transform your ‘New Tabs’ in Chrome

When you open a new tab in Chrome, what are you staring at? A blank screen? Check out these 8 Chrome Extension that will transform your ‘New Tab’ page. This is not only great for teachers, but it is a perfect way for our students to customize their Chromebooks as well! My personal favorite is an extension for a ‘New Tab’ page called Earth View from Google Maps. Every time I open a new tab, I get to see a different satellite image from somewhere around the globe. What a fun way to keep you and your students wondering about the world!

Marcie’s Minute: Spell with Flickr

 

I recently heard about this fun little site called “Spell with Flickr.” Take a look at the image I created as a demo:

spell with flickr

While I must admit, it is more fun than educational, I am certain that many of our creative students and teachers could come up with many ways to connect this tool to learning. Check out the tutorial below to see how it works. Endless possibilities!

 

DPS109 Celebrates Digital Learning Day!

March 17, 2016 was Digital Learning Day – a full day devoted to celebrating the amazing digital learning opportunities that students across the country experience on a daily basis. In many districts, Digital Learning Day is a chance to have a first exposure to teaching with technology. In DPS109, we are lucky that digital learning is everywhere, every day! For us, Digital Learning Day is about celebrating the engaging technology tools in our classrooms and showcasing our innovative work with others nationwide!

Click on this link to see all of the moments captured by our incredible teachers in celebration of Digital Learning Day. We are certain that our teachers have inspired others with their great work!

Marcie’s Minute: Smore

Smore is a fantastic site to create digital flyers and newsletters. If you are looking for a way to share information about your classroom, this is a very easy tool to use. With a simple drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank template, you can create a digital flyer or newsletter in no time. You can even embed the flyer right into a website, share it through social media or send it as an email.

We have had teachers all over the district revamping their newsletter with the help of Smore. Watch the quick video tutorial below to learn how to get started!

Apple Visit to South Berwyn and Barrington

On Thursday, January 21st, several middle school teachers from District 109 had an opportunity to visit two school districts using iPads and Macbook Airs as their 1:1 device for teaching and learning. Berwyn South District 100 and Barrington Unit District 220 graciously welcomed our team from Deerfield on a visit to observe how seamlessly the iPads were regularly integrated into daily instruction. Our visit mainly focused on how a tablet device, such as the iPad, impacts the learning experience for students.

As a predominantly Chromebook 1:1 program, our teachers in Deerfield have expressed curiosity about how other school districts use technology with students. At Berwyn South and Barrington, we quickly noticed that students with iPads were producing, rather than consuming, a great deal of creative content. Students used various iPad apps to create digital presentations, screen recordings, and videos to showcase their learning.

The Deerfield team that attended these site visits represented a majority of all content areas in our middle schools: English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education and Foreign Language. Because the Chromebooks used by Deerfield students do not have a touch interface or video camera, many of our math, PE, and fine arts teachers have expressed concern that the Chromebooks have been a rather limiting device.

Our team will be sharing our observations with other teachers in District 109 as we explore the future 1:1 devices for Deerfield students. While no decisions have been made at this point, we are studying how a different device may impact the ways in which teachers instruct students and students demonstrate learning in the 21st-century classroom.

The video below showcases several highlights from our visit. Special thanks to Apple, Berwyn South District 100 and Barrington Unit District 220 for hosting our teachers!