Governor Snyder issued a proclamation declaring February 17, 2016, as Digital Learning Day. His proclamation is designed to help educate teachers, schools, parents, policymakers and the public on ways to integrate digital learning tools to improve education for all students. Digital Learning Day is a national effort that provides an opportunity to share transformational ideas, promote new learning models and celebrate education innovation.
In 2000, the Michigan Legislature directed the Michigan Virtual to establish the Michigan Virtual for Students and to significantly expand curricular offerings for schools and provide pupils with opportunities to develop 21st century learning skills. Since its inception, Michigan Virtual has worked in partnership with over 600 Michigan schools and districts and today announced its 200,000th online course enrollment as part of Digital Learning Day.
“I would like to salute Michigan Virtual for its innovative leadership in providing 200,000 online course enrollments to middle and high school students in Michigan, said Brian Whiston, Michigan’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This is a major accomplishment that helps to reinforce the value and potential of online delivery models that are free of traditional time and place considerations.”
Michigan has long been viewed as a national leader in online learning policy and practice for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2006, Michigan became the first state in the nation to require students to complete an “online learning experience” to earn a high school diploma. Research has shown that online learning is academically effective and can provide meaningful alternatives for students who have a need for greater flexibility with their education due to individual learning preferences, life and health conditions and employment responsibilities.
“It has been a wonderful journey to help introduce hundreds of Michigan school districts to online learning, said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Michigan Virtual. “In the early days, many school leaders looked at us with confused and sometimes blank reactions when presented with the concept of students learning online. Today, online learning is viewed as an important part of being college and career ready.”
Michigan Virtual is one of the largest nonprofit virtual schools in the nation. It uses Michigan certified instructors and provides online learning options that supplement, not replace, what is currently being offered at local schools. Michigan Virtual does not directly grant credit or diplomas to students, but works in partnership with schools across the state of Michigan.
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 for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.