Frederick Page of Dearborn, following the path of pioneers in the field of online education, was named the 2013 Online Teacher of the Year by Michigan Virtual on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Page has been an online instructor for Michigan Virtual’s Michigan Virtual for Students since 2005, where he teaches astronomy in a virtual classroom for students in schools across the state. Page spent 36 years in the Detroit Public School system before his retirement from the face-to-face classroom.

“For students to have the opportunity to learn ‘anytime, anyplace, anyway and at any pace,’ it is vital that Michigan teachers deliver college and career skills in creative and innovative ways that will help our young people achieve future success,” Governor Rick Snyder said, in congratulating Page on his achievement.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said “I admire the commitment and dedication that you have displayed as on online instructor. It is teachers like you who are responsible for challenging our students to succeed in gaining the skills of the 21st century.”

In online learning, course content and instruction is delivered over the web, with students following lessons, completing assignments and interacting with instructors through email and discussion rooms.

“A key to great online teaching is very similar to classroom instruction, outstanding educators makes a huge difference for students. We are very fortunate, we have some of the most experienced online teachers in the U.S. supporting the Michigan Virtual for Students,” Jamey Fitzpatrick, Michigan Virtual CEO & President, said. “The teaching profession is being reinvented by our talented online instructors. It is exciting to be part of history as we harness the power of technology to deliver educational services to students from every zip code in the state.”

Access to online learning courses is expanding in Michigan with the state’s June 2013 digital learning initiative coming into play for the 2013-14 school year. With this new legislation (Section 21f of the State School Aid Act), public school students in grades 5-12 (with the consent of parent or guardian) can enroll in up to two online courses during an academic term, semester or trimester. The legislation says that students may select online course offerings from their local district catalog of online courses or from those available in the statewide catalog of online course titles, which will be administered by Michigan Virtual.

With online instructors like Page and the opportunities inherent in the new legislation, students will continue to benefit. Fitzpatrick predicts tens of thousands students will take advantage of the new state rules.

“This recent shift in policy is bold and will serve as a major catalyst to expand Michigan-based online learning options for students,” Fitzpatrick said. “The legislation empowers school districts to engage in online learning and offers unprecedented options for students.”

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.

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