Lansing – Instructors, staff and administrators from Michigan Virtual® are joining tens of thousands of educators and millions of students from around the country in partnering with the Alliance for Excellent Education on February 5 for the third annual national Digital Learning Day — a day of events that celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional technology practice in the classroom.

Digital Learning Day is a national campaign to improve teaching and learning that began in 2012. States and school districts are planning a variety of activities to promote the use of digital learning; highlighting promising practices within and among states; showcasing student work through digital learning; and conducting lesson plan contests for teachers.

As part of Digital Learning Day, the Michigan Virtual®, a division of the nonprofit Michigan Virtual, will open registration for a Virtual Open House for parents, which will be held on Thursday, March 20. The open house will introduce parents to the people and programs of Michigan Virtual. Parents will be able to chat with Michigan Virtual instructors, watch video presentations and learn about online learning at Michigan Virtual.

Based on policy recommendations from Governor Snyder, the Michigan Legislature took action last year to expand student access to digital learning options. As a result, students enrolled in a public district in grades 5-12 are eligible to enroll in up to two online courses during an academic term beginning in 2014. Students may select courses from the online course catalog published by their local district, or they may select courses from the new Michigan Online Course Catalog.

“We are giving all students an opportunity to experience educational delivery models that can be accessed any time, any place and any pace,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “If we want our students to be competitive in today’s global economy we need them to have next generation learning skills. We need to think of ‘school’ as a verb not a noun because learning can happen 7/24.”

The Alliance invites everyone with a stake in improving the nation’s education outcomes — teachers, librarians, school leaders, after school program coordinators, community group members, students and parents — to participate in the February 5 Digital Learning Day activities.

“This is a very exciting time, online learning holds great promise as an instructional approach to expand and customize learning opportunities for students,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Michigan Virtual. “Michigan’s new policies extend two levels of choice to students statewide: one level to choose online learning as a delivery option and one level to select specific course titles.”

Digital Learning Day boasts support from more than 40 national core partners made up of education leadership organizations as well as generous support from more than a dozen companies. Visit www.DigitalLearningDay.org for ideas about how students, parents, administrators and others can participate.

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 the Alliance for Excellent Education
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit http://www.all4ed.org.

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