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Our team shares their findings and expertise to help shed light on the things that matter most and ways to work toward your success.

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Lauren Nalepa's Welcome Graphic

As an online teacher, Google Slides been the answer to all my hopes and dreams. Using it is like making a collage, but my fingers don’t get sticky! Pretty much everything I post in my online courses is created in Slides. One of my favorite ways to use Slides is for a Class Gallery, a place where students with can showcase their artwork.

screenshot of the seesaw app on iPad

Young students often have a hard time thinking about actions, consequences, and, generally, anything that takes place in the future, so setting goals is not an easy task for them. In order to have students share their goal and results with their family, we chose to use our iPads and an app called SeeSaw. On SeeSaw, students post a picture of their graphed results with a comment articulating their next goal.

Screen capture of one of the videos Dan Spencer shares with his students

It’s my dream is to have a classroom that feels like a Starbucks with students spread all over the room, engaging in a variety of activities, working in a group on a lab, or working solo on an assignment.But how do you make this type of independent learning a reality? For me, the answer was the camera on my phone. I know, nothing fancy, no bells or whistles, just my camera. Thanks to the work shared by Ben Rimes, the power of the camera allows me to be in multiple places at once.

Podcast: Student Agency and Google Classroom

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

Welcome to Digital Backpack! In our first Digital Backpack cast, we chat with Traci Smith, a high school English teacher at De La Salle. She shares some gems about connecting with students, creating an atmosphere of trust and how… Read more

Photo of Alanna and Kim

Using Calendly for scheduling student meetings

By Author Profile Photo Kim Garvison & Alanna Prieditis

One of the biggest challenges as online Spanish teachers? Regularly scheduling time to connect with each student in our course to listen to and assess their language development. We needed to find a tool that would eliminate the need for several back-and-forth communications to simply set up an appointment for each short assessment. We not only wanted a tool to help share available time slots for appointments, but also one that would sync with our calendar. That’s when we discovered Calendly.

Powtoon logo

Using PowToon to explain challenging concepts to students

By Author Profile Photo Jaclyn Hartman

One of my challenges as an online teacher is this: I teach in an asynchronous program, so my students are not necessarily online at the same time as I am. One tech tool that has helped me to bridge this divide is PowToon, the video-making software that allows teachers to create engaging, animated clips to help explain challenging content to students.

Sarah's classroom

Using choice boards to promote student agency

By Author Profile Photo Sarah Bedford

Choice boards have helped improve student learning in my class by empowering students to develop confidence based on their individual needs and choices. I also believe when they are engaged in the learning and know the expected outcomes, they are more reflective and able to self-assess their own learning.

Podcast: Engagement Hoopla

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

In this episode, Jeff and Erin chat with Emily Sicilia about engagement in the classroom. They explore how to define classroom engagement, and chat about Hoopla, an app Emily shares that has changed their reading lives!

The Blended Files

Welcome to The Blended Files, our super-secret project (shhhhhhh) where we visit the classrooms of Michigan teachers and share the strategic and thoughtful ways they’re incorporating technology into their lesson plans. In our first case, we explore Mrs. M’s 7th-grade social studies classroom.

Paper letter with "The End" written on it, with a broken paper heart next to it

An Open Letter to “Sit and Get” PD

By Author Profile Photo Erin Luckhardt

My old friend — When I first started teaching, it was always you holding my hand. You were there for my first conference. Since the beginning, you’ve set my expectations for what professional development should be like. This may be difficult to hear, but it’s time for our relationship to end.

3 men climbing a mountain. All three are helping eachother climb.

Podcast: Power With, Not Power Over

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

In this episode, Jeff and Erin chat about the concept of “power with vs. power over” — inspired by a recent book study of Jim Knight’s High-Impact Instruction — and host a great interview with the always amazing Val Capel.

Godfrey-Lee Public Schools Rebel U Shield

Podcast: Live Episode @ Rebel U

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

In this episode, Jeff shares some audio from a recent teacher professional development session on podcasts, then Jeff and Erin chat about using classroom experience to shape professional learning.

Anchor in Sand

Podcast: Anchors Away!

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

In this episode a podcast about … podcasts! Jeff and Erin discuss a cool tool for recording podcasts and how teachers might think about using podcasts in the classroom.

Devices showing FlipGrid

Podcast: Flipgrid & The Great Chicken/Egg Debate

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

Jeff and Erin share about Flipgrid and how they dig using it with students and teachers alike, then ask: what comes first, the technology tool or the learning?

The Office 365 Dashboard

Designing the physical classroom to accommodate modern learning

Podcast: Sharon Murchie

Podcast: Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat

By Author Profile Photo Erin Luckhardt

After a summer hiatus (or a summer full of professional learning opportunities with teachers), we’re back! In this episode, we chat with Sharon Murchie, a high school English teacher with Bath Community Schools. She provides a look into her… Read more

One person hitting another with boxing gloves

The Blended Learning Fight Club

By Author Profile Photo Jamie DeWitt

The first rule of blended learning is: you do not talk about blended learning. Recently, I was designing a professional learning experience for some administrators and, for the first time in my career in blended learning outreach, decided to… Read more

Campfire Podcast: Dan Spencer

SHOW #6! We have had a great time chatting with teachers, administrators, and technology integration specialists and this episode was no different. We had on our guest, and friend, Dan Spencer. Dan is a high school science teacher turned tech… Read more

Spacious Classroom

Physical Spaces

By Author Profile Photo Jeff Gerlach

Designing the physical classroom to accommodate modern learning

Campfire Podcast: Rachelle Wynkoop

Podcast: Talking Marginalia with Rachelle

By Author Profile Photo Erin Luckhardt

Thanks so much for tuning into the show and checking out the show notes! We appreciate YOU! In our 5th episode, we got into some deep conversations with Rachelle Wynkoop surrounding literacy, explored a new tool for us that linked up… Read more

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