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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.

Ashamed girl sharing her issues with others, at group therapy

Your Guide to Restorative Justice in Michigan Schools: This blog is the third in our series on Restorative Justice in Michigan Schools. We have already released articles on Michigan’s new restorative justice law and the dangers of zero-tolerance policies and will continue to release articles on strategies for implementation in schools and classrooms.

Thank you letters

An Open Letter to the Teachers Who Changed Our Lives

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

We asked our staff to tell us about a teacher who changed their lives for the better. The patterns that arise in their responses are cause for inspiration. They reveal that one amazing teacher can change the course of a student’s life forever. We are all the living legacies of this truth.

An apple behind prison bars

This blog is the second in our series on Restorative Justice in Michigan Schools. In this article, we explore four ways that Michigan students are negatively impacted by zero-tolerance policies. Infographics included!

Restorative Justice in Michigan Schools

This blog is the first in our upcoming series on Restorative Justice in Michigan Schools. The other articles in this series features information on the dangers of zero-tolerance policies, restorative justice 101, and strategies for implementation in schools and classrooms.

Jeff Gerlach sitting at his desk with a laptop and microphone

YouTube Closed Captions for Hearing Impaired Students

By Author Profile Photo Jeff Gerlach

Jeff shows how teachers can use YouTube’s closed captioning to support access to videos for those with hearing impairments and other accessibility needs.

Jeff Gerlach sitting at his desk with a laptop and microphone

Jeff reviews Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA), an open source screen reader for Windows. Screen readers help those with vision impairments to access digital content. Teachers can use screen readers to check that web content for lessons is accessible to students with visual impairments.

Jeff Gerlach sitting at his desk with a laptop and microphone

The Accessible Classroom is a video series exploring web accessibility for K-12 education. In this first video, Jeff takes a look at the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the perspective of schools.

Online learning graphic representation

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we hosted four panel discussions on Mitch Albom’s radio show on WJR 760. In this segment, Mitch Albom explores the day-to-day realities of virtual education in depth with a panel of our online teachers and students.

silhouettes in futuristic setting with cogs and gears concept

What does the future of learning look like? In this segment of his radio show on WJR 760, Mitch Albom explores this issue in depth with a panel of the leaders of several current and former superintendents of Michigan schools.

Elementary students raising their hands

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we hosted four panel discussions on Mitch Albom’s radio show on WJR 760. In this segment, Mitch Albom explores Michigan’s literacy crisis in depth with a panel of the educational leaders in Michigan’s early literacy movement.

Illustration of a business man standing at the edge of a cliff

In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we hosted four panel discussions on Mitch Albom’s radio show on WJR 760. In this segment, Mitch Albom explores barriers to progress in Michigan’s educational system with a panel of the leaders of several of Michigan’s educational organizations.

A money tree coming out of a book in a library

Michigan’s Literacy Crisis is a Public Health Crisis

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

Who suffers when our literacy rates are low? In this blog post by Tamara Bashore-Berg, we dive into the startling reality of Michigan’s literacy crisis and explore Dr. Nell Duke’s argument that this issue is, at its heart, a public health crisis.

Silhouette of kids playing with technology

Turning Digital Natives into Digital Citizens

By Author Profile Photo Nikki Herta

Two educators share their experiences teaching digital literacy Last week, I had the great pleasure of speaking to two educators about their experiences teaching digital literacy. The conversations that emerged were eye-opening. Both teachers have taught — or are… Read more

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