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


About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit educational organization that is leading and collaborating to build learning environments for tomorrow. Driven by student success, we have a strong record of supporting Michigan education that spans more than two decades. While many know us for our research-based, quality online learning options for students and professional development for educators, we also do a great deal of work behind the scenes to conduct original research, test innovations in learning, and provide consulting partnerships to promote effective practices. Education is changing faster than ever. Discover new models and resources to move learning forward at