The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
Online Teaching
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Connecting Teachers: A Community of Practice

True collegial groups among teachers, in any context, still remain the exception and not the norm in many schools — especially for online teachers.

Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Student-Centered Learning: Catalysts for Change

Are there naturally occurring situations or circumstances in education that serve as catalysts, facilitating change and giving student-centered learning momentum?

Conversations on Continuity: Educators discuss the future of education in the face of COVID-19
Online Learning
Christopher Harrington

Conversations on Continuity: Educators discuss the future of education in the face of COVID-19

In this video, Dr. Chris Harrington talks to educational leaders from across the state and nation about the impact of the extended school closures on schools and districts. They compare the teaching and learning we’re experiencing today due to rapid shifts to remote learning models to what we know to be effective online and digital learning and discuss new opportunities on the horizon for schools and what we’ve learned during this emergency remote learning period.

Mentoring
Debbie Lynch

Mentoring Through a Pandemic

We are certainly living in uncharted waters right now. Who would have ever thought that we would be remote learning and teaching for the final

Online Teaching
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Why Online Teachers NEED Ongoing Professional Development

In our last post on instructional leadership, we touched on the issue of professional development (PD) and the necessity of providing online teachers with ongoing training, support, and PD. This post will expand on the critical importance of PD for new online teachers and ongoing PD for all online teachers.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

March and April Research Round Up

What’s new in the world of K-12 research on online, blended, and innovative learning? This month, we take a look at Michigan’s K-12 Virtual Learning Effectiveness Report and a recent edition of the Online Learning Journal.

illustration of people sitting around a table sharing ideas
Leadership
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Instructional Leadership: Supporting Online Teachers

Supporting your online teachers seems like it should be easy, but what do they really need? Where should you start? In this article, we explore what it means to be a good instructional leader and give you some guidance as to how you can get started.

Online teacher explaining graphs on monitor
Online Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Online Student Support and Enrichment

We’ve talked previously about monitoring student progress as an essential responsibility of online instructors. Today’s blog post will dive deeper into instructor responsibilities around monitoring student progress, including providing support services or enrichment opportunities to students. These services are incredibly important as they can make the difference between student success and students failing to thrive in their online courses.

Adult and kid hands holding colorful heart on blue background. World autism awareness day concept.
Social Emotional Learning
Lauren Kazee

Supporting your child’s social and emotional needs during school closures

Right now, parents and children across the globe are under a lot of stress. On top of this, parents are being asked to do even more to support the academic needs of their children than ever before. While it’s easy to focus on the logistical concerns of living through a global pandemic, we also need to tend to the emotional impact such events can have both on ourselves and our children.

Illustration of two minds connected
Mentoring
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

What Does Research Say About Mentoring Online Students?

There exists an ever growing body of research on mentoring online students. In this article we seek to answer the question: What does this research tell us about mentoring K-12 online students?

computers connecting people through digital communication
Online Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Communication & Engagement in the Online Classroom

Most teachers would agree that communication and engagement are key factors for student success in any classroom. In the online classroom, however, these variables play out a little differently than they might in a face-to-face setting. In this article, we break down what communication looks like in an online course, who is responsible for student engagement, and, finally, how communication and engagement interact in practice.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

January & February Research Round Up

What’s new in the world of K-12 research on online, blended, and innovative learning? This month, we take a look at learning to teach mathematics online, coaching instructional coaches, the value of project-based learning and high-level knowledge activities, and a framework for affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement in online courses.

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