Officially 1:1 in 109

The month leading up to the start of the school year can be described as the calm before the storm. Each day, we worked through countless details to ensure that our 1:1 Rollout would be as seamless as possible. The month was spent training teachers, preparing over 3,000 devices, and communicating with our parent community. In the end, there was nothing we could do but bear down and weather the intensity of the storm, but now that we are officially 1:1 in 109, we see nothing but a gloriously bright horizon filled with endless possibilities for all of our students and teachers.

In preparation for the 1:1 Rollout, we hosted a Celebration and Information Night at each of our six schools to share our district’s history and vision for why we are going 1:1 . We also took the time to address some of the questions and concerns shared by our parent community. These events were very well-received, and we are already looking ahead to find a time to invite parents back for a follow-up event to share feedback and continue learning about our 1:1 initiative.

Deployment Day was held on August 28th, which was the first full day of the school year.  While every student may not have taken their device home (the iPads were taking a little longer to set up than the Chromebooks), we were proud that all of our students heard the same Deployment Day message. All classroom teachers taught their students about proper care of their 1:1 device as well as the expectations for acceptable use of the devices during the school year.

Now that school has begun and the devices have been deployed, we look forward to transforming the learning environment in all classrooms. On Opening Day, our teachers were provided with three tips for success:

1. Start Small

2. Learn from your Students

3. Commit to Trying Something New

We feel confident that many teachers will take those three tips to heart and bring exciting, innovative learning experiences into their classrooms. This blog will highlight some of the exceptional teaching and learning taking place around our district, so please check back to see the impact of 1:1 Learning on our students this year!

Preparing for 1:1

This past month has been incredibly busy as we prepare to embark on our full 1:1 journey in District 109. In preparation for this huge shift, here is some of the important work taking place this summer.

  • Throughout July and into August, our own DPS109 teachers are leading 18 different professional development sessions for teachers and staff to drop in and learn about teaching in a 1:1 learning environment.
  • On July 18th, we published our 1:1 Handbook for all District 109 families and staff members.
  • 30 of our teachers and administrators attended the Leyden 1:1 Symposium from July 30-August 1 to learn as much as possible from other districts and educational leaders about their 1:1 experience.

Coming up…

  • On August 14th, District 109 will partner with neighboring  school districts 112 and 113 on TechCamp North Shore at Deerfield High School. This is another teacher-led professional development opportunity to prepare for teaching in a 1:1 Learning Environment.
  • We will be working with Ms. Sarah Barnett from Bannockburn School to help our kindergarten, first and second grade teachers prepare to integrate iPads into their classrooms.
  • 1:1 Information and Celebration Nights will be held at each of our six schools to provide an overview of 1:1 Learning in District 109 and share presentations from teachers who were part of the 1:1 pilot in the spring. We will also have time for questions! Each event will be held from 5:30pm-6:30pm on the following dates:

Kipling: Monday, August 18

Walden: Tuesday, August 19

Wilmot: Wednesday, August 20

South Park: Thursday, August 21

Caruso: Monday, August 25

Shepard: Tuesday, August 26

We are preparing for one of the most exciting school years in District 109 history! Thanks for stopping by to hear about the planning process!

July 1st!

The date, July 1st, has been burned on my brain ever since I got the phone call from our Executive Director of Human Resources, Dale Fisher, several months ago telling me that I would have the privilege of serving as our district’s next Director for Innovative Learning. I am pleased to introduce myself to this blog’s readers. My name is Marcie Faust, and I am thrilled to be serving District 109 in this exciting role at a time of revolutionary change in our classrooms as they all transform into 1:1 learning environments. Last year, I had the wonderful experience of piloting 1:1 Chromebooks as a 6th grade language arts teacher, and I am eager to bring insight and passion to my new position.

After my first official day on the job, I can honestly say that I am in awe of the brilliant minds that help lead this district as well as the talented teachers that make learning happen for our students. We have an exciting school year ahead with our 1:1 Learning initiative to engage, inspire and empower our students and teachers.  This blog will serve as a means to communicate some of the incredible learning experiences that will be taking place in classrooms across the district. Thanks for stopping by!


1:1 Learning Update

At Monday night’s Committee of the Whole Board Meeting, we presented an update on the 1:1 Learning taking place in Deerfield 109 as a result of our Innovation Grants.  You will remember from a previous post that 40 of our classroom teachers have been piloting Chromebooks and iPads for 1:1 learning district-wide.  The report update can be found here.  Take a look at the feedback from our students, parents and teachers participating in the 1:1 pilot.  We are so proud of their creativity and innovation!  We look forward to continuing to follow their progress throughout the rest of the school year!

Learning anywhere, anytime!

Today schools around Chicagoland are closed.  They were closed yesterday too, due to frigid temps.  But learning is still happening.  Teachers are engaging in professional learning on Twitter chats, like #iledchat, which is hosting its second morning chat of the week to accommodate folks who are stuck home.  Teachers are also posting resources to the #engage109 hashtag to share fun learning activities with students and families who are home from school today.  This is such an exciting time to be in education.  Even with all of the changes and external pressures of standardized testing, our teacher are coming together to learn, to improve, to share ideas and to engage students in learning….even when the thermometer reads -15F and everyone is home….learning can happen anytime, anywhere…when you are connected!

Best of Blogs!

Nominations are open for the Edublog Awards 2013!  In Deerfield District 109 we have many staff members who connect with our community via blogging and social media. Our staff members also use social media to connect with each other and grow professionally. We would like to nominate the following blogs for the 2013 Edublog Awards:


Digital Citizenship

As an educator and a mom, I strongly believe in the importance of explicitly teaching digital citizenship to kids.  Our district utilizes the Common Sense Media scope and sequence for our K-8 digital citizenship instruction.  Our students learn everything from the importance of citing their sources to staying safe online.  Our teachers, Technology coaches and Library Media Center directors all collaborate to support our students understanding of digital and information literacy.  One of the best parts of Common Sense Media’s plethora of resources are the Family Tip Sheets.  These lists of pdf links are a wonderful way to open the lines of communication about media and information literacy and to support the home to school connection.  Another great resource for parents is the Family Media Agreement that parents and their kids can read and agree to together, another way to reinforce digital citizenship and expectations at home.  Another resource comes from Dr. Dev Heitner, who, if you recall, spoke to our district families last year.   Dr. Heitner’s Raising Digital Natives website also has some great information.  Check out her blog post on wading through all of the apps out there!

Innovation Grants

Monday night’s Board of Education meeting brought great news to Deerfield 109 teachers and students…all Innovation Grant applications would be approved, paving the way for 40 teachers and 782 students to pilot a 1:1 learning environment beginning in January!

In our K-2nd grade pilot classrooms, students will use iPads as their 1:1 device, in our 3rd-8th grade classrooms, students will use Chromebooks as their 1:1 device.  But this pilot is about so much more than a device, it is about transforming teaching and learning.  It is about providing students and teachers with access to resources and technology at their fingertips to facilitate creativity, innovation, collaboration, global awareness, information literacy and media literacy.  Students will be able to immerse themselves into a digital-rich environment where there are no limits to their learning.  They will be able to immediately access a world of resources to support their individual learning needs.

1:1 learning environments facilitate differentiated instruction.  Students needing extra support can spend time on resources that are designed to meet their unique learning needs, while others may focus on resources designed to enhance and extend their learning.

Higher-order thinking and creativity become a regular part of classwork, as those lower-level, easy to answer questions are only a click away.  Both students and teachers will strive to push the limits of traditional learning.  1:1 learning is a paradigm shift in school as we knew it when we were students.  In a previous post, I referenced the SAMR model. This model for educational technology will drive our 1:1 learning environments.  As teachers and students seek creative and innovative ways to modify and redefine teaching and learning, we will be well on our way to our mission to Engage, Inspire and Empower each student to excel and contribute in a changing world!


Google Apps and Technology Tips for Teachers

There are a number of resources available to staff to support teaching and learning with Google Apps for Education.  Our district Technology Coaches maintain a blog here that is well worth a read!  There are also tons of resources available through Google Support

Today I’d like to specifically point out how to manage and organize your Google Drive. This link will guide you step by step through the process of creating and organizing folders in your Drive.  Organizing by title and color coding can really help manage a flurry of documents that you create and that are shared with you, but remember, Google is first and foremost a GREAT search engine, so when all else fails, you can always search for your document by keyword or title.  Happy Googling!


New Title, New Blog

Along with my new title, approved by the Board last night, I have decided to try out a new blogging platform, EduBlogs… so this is my first post as Director for Innovative Learning.

I will link to my old blog so that folks can still read the posts there… or maybe I’ll migrate them over here if I like this new platform better.

Either way, I wanted to wish everyone at DPS109 a wonderful start to the school year!  Yesterday’s kick-off was amazing and the positive energy in the district is palpable. Really looking forward to welcoming students back to our classrooms tomorrow!