Meet Amy Smith, recognized as the Michigan Virtual 2020 Online Teacher of the Year, who shares her honest insights into a day-in-the-life of an online teacher, how it compares to face-to-face teaching, and what advice she has for those who are new to teaching in an online environment.
Meet Bruce Umpstead, director of statewide programs for IMS Global Learning Consortium, who explains what comprehensive learner records are and why these digital transcripts will be a crucial step toward building a competency-based future.
Meet Lisa Rohde, special education and instructional support manager at Michigan Virtual, who shares some of the pros and cons of online learning for students requiring accommodations.
Meet Natalie Anderson, a fifth-grade teacher from Saline Area Schools and the recipient of MACUL’s 2021 Innovative Teacher of the Year award.
Meet Barb Ozminkowski, a kindergarten teacher from Walled Lake who was an early adopter of technology in her classroom and has been blogging with her young students for years.
Meet Kristi Peacock, a course development manager for Michigan Virtual, who shares what it means to be an instructional designer, what advice she has for educators designing their own online learning experiences for students, and what she hopes the future will hold for this ever-evolving sector of education.
Meet Dr. Aman Yadav, a professor of educational psychology and educational technology at Michigan State University, who shares his insights on the rich applications of both “plugged” and “unplugged” computational thinking for the K-12 classroom and sheds light on the biased algorithms that govern our everyday lives.
Meet Lauren Kazee, one of Michigan’s leading experts on social emotional learning or “SEL,” who shares her personal definition of SEL, dives into the history of this concept, and offers advice for educators looking to prioritize their own social and emotional wellness and model this behavior for their students.
Meet Sarah Wood, an educational technology consultant for Kent Intermediate School District, who shares her reflections on the recent history, current state, and beautifully unclear future of technology in the classroom.
Meet Erin Carlson, an English teacher at Sandusky Jr./Sr. High School who shares her journey in creating requirement-free learning opportunities for her students.
Meet David Byron, director of innovation strategy at Sundberg-Ferar, a product innovation studio in Walled Lake, who explains how the tried & true process of design thinking can help students and adults alike in solving complicated problems, such as the many and multifaceted issues facing the field of education today.
Meet Lou Aronson, the CEO and founder of a company called Discourse Analytics. He shares his perspective on how artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform the way we teach and learn.
Meet Dr. Chris Harrington, the director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, who shares his reflections on “pandemic teaching,” common misconceptions about online learning, and the findings of his team’s landmark research study on keeping students engaged in virtual learning environments.
Meet Kyron Harvell, the director of the school culture and climate grant for Lansing School District, who shares his mission of serving as a voice for the voiceless in his school community. In this episode of BRIGHT, we explore how Kyron and his team are cultivating a culture of inclusivity in Lansing centered around equitable access to learning opportunities, culturally responsive practices, social emotional learning, and restorative justice.
Meet Ben Ashby, a Spanish teacher at Zeeland Public Schools and an online Spanish instructor for Michigan Virtual. In this episode of BRIGHT, we talk about the role music plays in learning, how online teaching has influenced the way he runs his face-to-face classroom and vice versa, and his hopes for education as we look to the future.
For all students — but especially for those who struggle in the traditional classroom — project-based learning can offer an opportunity to rediscover the joy of learning. In this episode of BRIGHT, we talk to Dr. Sarah Pazur, the director of school leadership at FlexTech High School, who shares the why and how behind this vision for learning along with examples of some really cool projects that allowed students to explore their interests, meet core competencies, and have real-world impacts.
Meet Kyle Saari, a fifth-grade teacher for Negaunee Public Schools, who reminds us that “comfort leads to confidence” and that when students are excited to be at school and take ownership over their learning, the results can be absolutely incredible.
Meet Christy Trombetta, an online math teacher at Michigan Virtual who has a particular knack for helping students develop growth mindsets in her online math classroom. When a student tells her they’re “bad at math,” she takes this self-labeling as a signal that the student may need extra support to shift their inner dialogue from “I’m bad at math” to “I can actually do this.”
Meet Mike Burde, assistant superintendent at Kenowa Hills Public Schools, who shares his vision for a system of schooling that goes beyond “time-based advancement” and instead revolves around personal mastery.
Meet Kelly Tillman, an art educator at Walled Lake Consolidated Schools who teaches a choice-based art classroom and reminds us that — rather than stepping back to see the forest for the trees — it’s often the variation between the trees themselves that makes the forest most beautiful.
We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.
With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.
While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3.
For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.
We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.