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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.

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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.

innovation in education concept illustration

If you’re looking to find ways to innovate your curriculum — and, yes, to compete with other schools in our current era of school choice — then providing your students with online learning options is one way you can stand out in the educational marketplace. Why? Because you’ll be providing your students with more course options, more flexibility in how and when they learn, and more opportunities to gain 21st-century learning skills.

Teachers, I’d like to introduce you to my new friend, 2019. We’ve just met, but I have the feeling we’re going to get along splendidly. Here’s one way you and 2019 can do the same: By tackling your new… Read more

When it comes to our students, we strive to foster growth mindsets and implement competency-based learning in our classrooms. But when it comes to our own professional development, we so often accept “sit and get” learning sessions that rely on outdated pedagogical practices. As… Read more

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.

Young smiling student relaxing outdoors, she is sitting on the grass and using a laptop, summer camp concept

For self-motivated learners, taking online summer school courses can be liberating because it allows them to make progress toward their goals while studying at their own pace in time blocks that fit their busy schedules. In some cases, online programs offer students more learning options with more flexibility than their face-to-face counterparts.

Podcast: Engagement Hoopla

By Author Profile Photo Michigan Virtual

In this episode, Jeff and Erin chat with Emily Sicilia about engagement in the classroom. They explore how to define classroom engagement, and chat about Hoopla, an app Emily shares that has changed their reading lives!

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!

Lonely child sitting on a park bench

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.

The Blended Files

Welcome to The Blended Files, our super-secret project (shhhhhhh) where we visit the classrooms of Michigan teachers and share the strategic and thoughtful ways they’re incorporating technology into their lesson plans. In our first case, we explore Mrs. M’s 7th-grade social studies classroom.

Paper letter with "The End" written on it, with a broken paper heart next to it

An Open Letter to “Sit and Get” PD

By Author Profile Photo Erin Luckhardt

My old friend — When I first started teaching, it was always you holding my hand. You were there for my first conference. Since the beginning, you’ve set my expectations for what professional development should be like. This may be difficult to hear, but it’s time for our relationship to end.

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.

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