Reaching the Summit, Scaling the Mountain called Personalized Learning

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I’ve been teaching for 14 years, most of which have been at the middle school level in an urban school district. I’m a risk taker, I enjoy trying new things in my classroom, especially when it comes to technology and how it can impact my student’s learning. This is how I discovered Summit Learning. Summit is a learning platform that has changed how I run my classroom, how I interact with students, and how I view the future of education.

As an educator, I want to empower my students through choice and agency. In the past, my students have taken part in Genius Hour, which allowed students more opportunities to drive their own learning. The struggle I encountered was identifying how to support students. Do I provide support and how much? Too little support students aren’t sure what path to take and too much it takes away student agency and choice.

This is where Summit comes into play. Through the use of this platform. I am able to mentor students one-on-one on a two-week rotation, because of this, whole group lectures decreased and student engagement increased. Students can go back and forth between content study and project-based work. I can easily see where they are at in their learning cycle and step in when it is appropriate.

My students identify what they need, whether that be independent learning time or collaboration with others. Students are taking ownership of their learning, setting goals, making plans, sharing progress and challenges. It has provided that litmus test for “how much” when it comes to student agency.

 

Another side effect of using Summit has been the change in relationships with my students. I am able to connect with them on a deeper level. Students who have been reluctant to speak up in class or put their head down and don’t even try, are turning in work. It has changed how I prepare for my classes and how I interact with students when they are behind.

After this experience, and seeing the growth in my students and our relationships with one another, I cannot go back to a “traditional” classroom again after witnessing first-hand the change it has made in my classroom. Not only have the students benefited from utilizing the Summit Learning Platform, but I as well have grown as an educator. Not only have my students greatly benefited from a platform that facilitates personalized learning, but I have grown in possibilities and hope for the future of education.

Read more about Summit Learning!

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Sam Sicilia

Sam Sicilia

Sam Sicilia has been teaching for 14 years, most of which have been at the middle school level in an urban school district. He gets excited to try new things in his classroom, especially when it comes to technology. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and spending time with his family. Go Green!

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Limited Course Capacity

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.