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

What if Michigan Had eLearning Days?

With eLearning, students can learn from home when extenuating circumstances (such as snow storms) prevent them from being able to attend their brick-and-mortar schools. Many states in the U.S. have eLearning policies, but Michigan’s not one of them. Why is that and what would it look like if we did have eLearning days?

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Online Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Online Student Success Triangle — Students, Mentors, & Parents

A healthy support system for online students involves interrelationships between students, mentors, and parents. In this article, we take a look at how students, mentors, and parents can all work together to help students thrive in the online environment.

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Tips and Tools
Stacey Schuh

Using Google Forms to innovate your assessment practices

Google Forms is not a new tool. It’s been around for quite some time; however, a number of recent updates have made this tool one you will want to use in your classroom. In this article, we will walk you through some innovative ways to use Google Form for student surveys, quizzes, and assessments.

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios Florida
Tips and Tools
Stacey Schuh

Using image annotation tools to bring assignments to life

Looking for ways to make your classroom resources more interactive? In this article, we share two free image annotation tools that teachers can use to bring assignments to life in their classroom.

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Tips and Tools
Stacey Schuh

Using Autocrat to showcase student work

As a teacher, it’s great to showcase student work, but it can be time-consuming to compile and share these accolades with parents. In this article, we walk through how teachers can use the Google add-on Autocrat to showcase student work in an efficient way.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual

December 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.

illustration of desk strewn with books and online learning devices
Mentoring
Michigan Virtual

Why Mentors Matter: A Conversation with Jered Borup

Why are on-site mentors so important for online students? In this article, Jered Borup, a digital learning researcher and professor at George Mason University dives into research that supports the critical role that mentors play in highly successful online learning programs.

Research
Michigan Virtual

The Hidden Heroes of Successful Online Courses

Last month, our team discussed key systemic program supports for K-12 online learning based on the National Standards for Quality Online Programs released by Quality Matters

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Many Notable People Among Homeschool Success Stories

With the flexibility and discipline required by homeschooling, it’s no wonder that so many homeschoolers have gone on to amazing careers. Homeschool success stories run the range from top Harvard grads and elite athletes to actors, musicians, and more. In this article, we showcase both historical and recent famous figures who got their start through homeschooling.

young woman studying on laptop
Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

How to Get Free Online Courses for Your Homeschool Student

Did you say free online classes? Yes, we did, which should come as welcome news for parents wanting to supplement their child’s homeschool curriculum. In this article, we walk through ways that homeschool parents can partner with Michigan school districts to supplement their child’s education with non-core electives at no charge.

desks in classroom
Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Michigan’s Seat-Time Waivers & How They Can Help Homeschoolers

Does the idea of no-cost online homeschool classes sound good to you? The State of Michigan’s Seat Time Waivers (STWs) provide opportunities for homeschool students to take elective courses for free on a part-time basis through their local public school district. Depending on your reason for homeschooling your child, this may be an option worth investigating further with your local school district.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Important Questions to Ask Your Online Homeschool Program Provider

Are you considering supplementing your homeschooler’s education with an online program? Unsure of what to look for in a quality program? Look no further. We’ve compiled a list of questions for you to ask an online provider before choosing what’s best for your child.

parent high-fiving child
Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

4 Tips for Supporting Your Homeschool Student with Online Classes

Homeschool parents, especially those who have never taken an online class themselves, may feel a little unsure about how to support their child who has chosen to take an online course. As a parent, you’ll naturally have questions about how to best help your child succeed in their online homeschool program. Here are 4 tips to help you get started.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

4 Easy Steps to Prepare Homeschoolers for eLearning Success

You’ve done your homework on eLearning and are ready to power up the computer for your first online course. What comes next? What can you do to best prepare for educational success? Just like back-to-school checklists, an online school has its own set of to-dos. Here are 4 steps to get you started.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Is an Online Program Right for Your Michigan Homeschooler?

As a parent, you want the very best for your child. That’s especially true when it comes to education and the tools you select as part of a homeschool curriculum. How do you know if an online program is right for your homeschooler? In this article, we offer a few tips to help you decide.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

What Do Homeschoolers Like About Online Programs?

With more than 1.7 million homeschoolers in the U.S., it comes as no surprise that both children and their parents are enjoying the benefits of homeschooling as compared to the traditional classroom. In this article, we walk through the top 8 reasons that homeschoolers enjoy online homeschool programs.

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