BRIGHT: Stories of Hope & Innovation in Michigan Classrooms

Our latest episode

Lessons Learned: The Classrooms of the Future

What will the classrooms of the future look like? In this episode of BRIGHT, we explore themes on the future of learning. Throughout Season 1, a few key terms came up regularly during our interviews: student-centered learning, project-based learning, and competency-based learning. At the center of all these theories lies the notion of giving students more agency over their learning. Many educators agree with this base premise. The more interesting question, however, is: What do these theories look like in practice?

Do you know any inspiring and innovative educators in your community who would be a good fit for our BRIGHT podcast? In exchange for a 60-minute interview, they will receive a $50 Amazon gift card for their time and energy. Using the form below, you can nominate teachers, administrators, or school staff who go above and beyond to innovate learning in their classroom, school, or district!

Recent episodes

Becoming a Voice for the Voiceless

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.

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The Delightful Power of Music to Make Learning More Engaging

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.

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How to Reignite Love for Learning with a Project-Based Curriculum

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.

Read or listen →

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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.