In partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, we have developed courses that provide an overview of Michigan's K-12 Computer Science Standards and demonstrate how they can be integrated with existing teaching practices.
URGENCY: Across the country, and specifically in Michigan, there is an urgency to prepare students with strong computer science skills that equip them to navigate new and emerging innovations. “The ubiquity of personal computing and our increasing reliance on technology have changed the fabric of society and day-to-day life” (K12 CS Framework, 2016). Computer science is identified among the top 50 growth areas in our state, while Michigan employers have identified workforce gaps with thousands of computer science jobs going unfilled. A computer science education can lead to a high tech, high-wage sustainable career, with available computing jobs in Michigan growing at three times the average growth rate (Sawyer, presentation May 2018).
EQUITY: At the same time, students lack access to opportunities for learning the very skills in demand. Access gaps have been identified in several areas including gender, geography, and socioeconomics. In adopting the Computer Science Standards, the Michigan Department of Education and schools across the state are committing to Michigan learners that they will be provided equitable access to computer science opportunities regardless of where they live in the state, or the demographics of the schools they attend. The K12 CS Framework, a foundational document for Michigan’s Computer Science Standards, “provides a unifying vision to guide computer science from a subject for the fortunate few to an opportunity for all” (p. 3). It addresses what “equitable access” looks like: When equity exists, there are appropriate supports based on individual students’ needs so that all have the opportunity to achieve similar levels of success…The result of equity is a diverse classroom of students, based on factors such as race, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, and English language proficiency, all of whom have high expectations and feel empowered to learn (p. 23).
Computer science is relevant to all content areas because it utilizes the power of computers to solve problems. Computer science involves computational thinking practices like decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithmic design and debugging, which can be used in any content area. These courses will provide examples of implementation in various content areas.
“By applying computer science as a tool for learning and expression in a variety of disciplines and interests, students will actively participate in a world that is increasingly influenced by technology.” — from A Vision for K–12 Computer Science
For Michigan’s students to be competitive in the 21st-century economy, it is critical that they have access to computer science learning opportunities. Why? Because they need to develop skills and aptitudes in computer science that equip them to navigate new and emerging innovations. In partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, we have developed a course that provides an overview of Michigan’s K-12 Computer Science Standards and demonstrate how they can be integrated with existing teaching practice in a K-5 classroom setting.
Computer science increasingly permeates our student’s futures in their options for higher education and career choices. This foundational course demonstrates why equitable access to computer science opportunities is imperative for Michigan students, and how Michigan’s K-12 Computer Science Standards can be leveraged for effective instruction at the middle school level. You will be given examples and tools for successfully integrating computer science education into existing content areas through activities geared toward middle schoolers and be given the opportunity to create your own lessons.
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.