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

November Research Round Up

Each month our team of researchers highlights K-12 online, blended, and innovative learning research, reports, standards, and other noteworthy resources published nationally and internationally in the preceding weeks. Our hope with this series is to inform the educational community of the latest digital learning research in order to better serve students.

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Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Close Relatives: Student-Centered Learning and Blended Learning

As school leaders, we sometimes confuse the labels that we place on educational strategies and models. This happens frequently when we talk about “blended learning” and “student-centered learning,” two closely related terms with distinct meanings. In this article, the research team of Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) discusses how student-centered learning relates to the ideas and promise of blended learning.

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Mentoring
Justin Bruno

Mentoring as Personalized Learning

The mentors of K-12 online learners wear many hats and serve as a critical pillar of support for their students. What is less commonly recognized is how mentors act as stewards of personalized learning for their online students. The constant pulse-checking mentors do with their students allows them to work with an online teacher to customize instruction and support based on their students’ needs.

colorful geometric blocks stacked
Online Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

What Do Successful K-12 Online Programs Have In Common?

What do successful K-12 online programs have in common? Beyond obvious variables like student support and quality curriculum, there are many systemic supports that effective programs put in place to provide a foundation for student success. In this article, we break down the importance of leadership, multi-level support, and program evaluation.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

October Research Round Up

Each month our team of researchers highlights K-12 online, blended, and innovative learning research, reports, standards, and other noteworthy resources published nationally and internationally in the preceding weeks. Our hope with this series is to inform the educational community of the latest digital learning research in order to better serve students.

Students sitting on the ground with different colored pathways tracing their way to a lightbulb in the center
Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

What Exactly IS Student-Centered Learning?

In education, we often talk about “student-centered learning,” but what does a student-centered learning environment actually look like? In this article, we define what student-centered learning really means and outline the common components of a truly student-centered learning model.

person using a laptop with question marks
Mentoring
Debbie Lynch

Strategies for Mentoring Online Students

In this month’s Mentor Forum, we hear from Debbie Lynch, our Outreach Coordinator for Mentors about the important role that mentors play in online learning and some strategies for connecting with and supporting online students.

Teacher helping young students using laptops in class
Online Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Setting Online Learners Up For Success

Each month our team of researchers will be discussing all things K-12 online learning in Michigan and across the nation. Our hope with this series is to provide a primer on K-12 online learning, cover established and emerging topics, and provide relevant research and resources.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

September Research Round Up

Each month our team of researchers will be highlighting K-12 online, blended, and innovative learning research, reports, standards, and other noteworthy resources published nationally and internationally in the preceding weeks. Our hope with this series is to inform the educational community of the latest digital learning research in order to better serve students.

illustration of online teaching
Online Teaching
Michigan Virtual

What makes for quality online teaching? — Revised national standards

What makes for quality online teaching? In this blog post, we overview the latest revision to the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching, which offer a consensus from national online learning experts on what constitutes effective online teaching.

Group of paper plane in one direction and with one individual pointing in the different way, can be used leadership/individuality concepts.( 3d render )
Tips and Tools
Katie Tasch Bielecki

Using Genius Hour to help students cultivate their passions and transform their world

The most powerful thing we can do as educators is to invite our students to explore. Service-learning and project-based learning are two ways to allow students to explore and get involved in their communities. These two experiences continue to be woven into Katie Bielecki’s teaching and have spurred on the implementation of Genius Hour in her classroom.

Tips and Tools
Denise Gallemore

Using Roadmaps to create deeply digital lessons for students

Roadmaps is an open educational resource that allows teachers to create interactive, graphical, collaborative, and adaptive deeply digital lessons that are easy to use. This tool promotes collaboration between students and teachers which is why Denise Gallemore regularly uses it in her 5th-grade social studies and ELA classroom.

Girl standing in front of a chalkboard with code written on it
Tips and Tools
Taylor White

Using computer science and computational thinking in the kindergarten classroom

Kindergartners have the ability to do a lot more than we often expect from them. Taylor White’s use of computer science and computational thinking lessons opened her eyes to what kindergartners have the capacity to do at a young age. While she witnessed them break down problems with machines and codes, she began to see it bleed into how the students broke down problems with their peers.

Podcast with Keith Tramper
Podcasts
The Digital Backpack

Podcast: Digital Well-being

 In this episode, we chat with Keith Tramper about digital wellbeing. We discuss what digital wellbeing is, how it relates to our lives, and

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