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Michigan Virtual offers online learning to combat summer brain drain

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LANSING – Michigan Virtual is extending the benefits of online learning through the summer with new innovative summer learning opportunities and flexible courses. The flexibility of online learning makes it possible for students to earn credits or participate in shorter non-credit bearing learning experiences in advance of the next school year without missing out on summer activities.

“Whatever your summer plans are, these online summer learning opportunities provide a unique approach for students to continue their education with the ability to learn in the comfort of their own homes or while traveling,” said Kristin Flynn, Executive Director of Student Learning Services of Michigan Virtual. “Whether that student wants to prepare for the year ahead, avoid falling behind, or have fun while learning something new, summer courses and online camps are the perfect fit to give students an advantage in a flexible, online environment.”

Summer courses benefit high achieving students in a variety of ways. Continuing classes through the summer provide students the opportunity to prevent summer brain drain and earn credits. It allows students to keep their language learning skills fresh, rather than losing three months of practice. Other benefits include giving students the option to audit a challenging course they plan to take in the fall.

Michigan Virtual is offering four types of online courses for students. The four types of courses offered include:

  • Prerequisites- Students can get ahead on next year’s AP courses or dual enrollment.
  • Core requirements- For students who want to recover credits or free up space in next year’s schedule.
  • Career interests- From computer programing to veterinary science, students have more than 150 options in career courses to choose from to explore potential career paths.
  • World language- Taking three months off in the summer can have a detrimental impact on student proficiency in language learning. These courses help students bridge the gap in the summer months by providing a highly skilled instructor.

Michigan Virtual is also focused on offering shorter, non-credit bearing learning experiences to keep student minds active through the summer, through innovative programs that enhance innovation, prioritize social and emotional learning and incorporate game-based learning platforms. These experiences include:

Minecraft Summer Learning Experience Michigan Virtual will offer students in grades 3-8 a 4-week summer learning experience using the Minecraft Education Edition, a game-based learning platform that can be used to engage students in a wide range of lessons. Participants will access Minecraft Education through licenses that Michigan Virtual has received through the Michigan Department of Education. Participants are provided with a weekly challenge, such as building a Rube Goldberg machine, designing a future school, or learning the basics of coding.

Innovation Workshop with The Henry Ford Michigan Virtual will provide participants with an engaging introduction to innovation and invention through an online program featuring content from The Henry Ford and facilitation from Michigan Virtual instructors. Students will receive content and participate in discussions and exercises on topics like “habits of an innovator,” “actions of innovation,” “uncovering a need,” and “brainstorming solutions.” The material is based on The Henry Ford Model I program and targets students in grades 6-9.

SEL program In partnership with Evolution Labs, Michigan Virtual will provide districts access to tools for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Restorative Justice. Under a new model, Michigan Virtual will sell summer only access to all of Evolution Labs’ parent and student content. This content helps parents understand and talk to their children about a range of subjects, and offers children direct access to content on subjects such as depression, peer pressure, bullying, and vaping / smoking. The content will be curated based on grade level, with licenses sold specifically for grades 2-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Students can enroll now and classes begin on June 3, 2019. Students interested in summer offerings can fill out an interest form on the Michigan Virtual website, and Michigan Virtual will contact students when registration is ready. For more information about specific courses or to set up a summer program for a school or district, visit michiganvirtual.org.

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Keep up with the latest Michigan Virtual has to offer

Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.