The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
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
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
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
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

Tips and Tools
Lauren Graham

Using Piktochart in the Classroom

Some of my students were struggling with specific aspects of taking a course online, as well as certain assignments. They would send me emails that

illustration of graduation cap and diploma
Summer Learning
Lisa Rohde

Top 10 reasons students choose online summer credit recovery

When a student fails a class — or perhaps multiple classes — they may come to the realization that taking classes over the summer is the only way they can graduate on time with the rest of their peers. For students facing this situation, taking summer courses online can be a great way to recover the credits needed for graduation without missing out on their existing summer plans.

Educating AP Students Across Locales

In 2016, Michigan Virtual, in conjunction with partner schools in the Virtual School Leadership Alliance, published a report on educating students across locales. This report

Lauren Nalepa's Welcome Graphic
Tips and Tools
Lauren Nalepa

Using Google Slides to showcase student art and create an inviting online classroom

As an online teacher, Google Slides been the answer to all my hopes and dreams. Using it is like making a collage, but my fingers don’t get sticky! Pretty much everything I post in my online courses is created in Slides. One of my favorite ways to use Slides is for a Class Gallery, a place where students can showcase their artwork.

screenshot of the seesaw app on iPad
Tips and Tools
Erin Mastin

Using SeeSaw to help students set, achieve, and reflect on their goals

Young students often have a hard time thinking about actions, consequences, and, generally, anything that takes place in the future, so setting goals is not an easy task for them. In this article, Erin walks you through how to use the iPad App, SeeSaw, to help students set and achieve goals.

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