Lansing – The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute™, a division of Michigan Virtual®, was awarded the 2013 iNACOL Innovator Award for Outstanding Research on October 27 at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium that drew more than 2,000 education leaders. The award is presented annually by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) and recognizes cutting edge research in the field of blended and online learning.

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute was established in 2012 to support and accelerate innovation in education through a variety of activities, including researching technology-based instructional tools and online learning delivery models, designing professional development services for educators, and identifying and sharing best practices for implementing online and blended education delivery models.

“Research continues to be a critical priority for Michigan Virtual as we work with a variety of stakeholders to examine best practices in online and blended learning,” Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Michigan Virtual, said. “To be recognized by our industry peers is a powerful testimonial to the impact of our work in leveraging new delivery models in public education.”

In addition to the Outstanding Research Award, awards for Innovative Blended and Online Learning Practice and Outstanding Individual Contribution to K-12 Blended and Online Learning were also presented at the learning symposium.

Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL, said, “The peer-nominated winners of this year’s iNACOL Innovator Awards are selfless leaders dedicated to pushing the field of blended and online learning to maximize its potential to personalize learning for all kids. Individually, their work inspires and enables countless others to transform education to student-centered learning. Collectively, they represent the best of the field, and it is fitting that they are being recognized by their peers through these awards.”

“Our research agenda continues to grow as we examine the important challenges and exciting opportunities associated with online learning for K-12 students. I am confident our research findings will help to shape policy and practice here in Michigan and elsewhere,” said Dr. Joe Freidhoff, Director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. “It is gratifying to know that our research here in Michigan has captured the attention of others around the globe.”

About Michigan Virtual
Michigan Virtual® is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual®, Michigan LearnPort®, and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute™.

About iNACOL
iNACOL is a nonprofit organization focused on research; developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access; developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education; and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, district and state leaders for new learning models. For more information about the iNACOL and the Innovator Awards, please visit

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