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The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
Online Learning
Danielle Peck

Overcoming procrastination: Boost student executive function with transparent planning (+ free template!)

The transparent planning process offers strategies for combatting procrastination and strengthening students’ executive function. This process not only can improve academic outcomes but also helps instill lifelong skills in students. In this article, I dive into the connection between procrastination and executive function before exploring what transparent planning is and how it can help. I’ll also share a free Google template you can use to practice transparent planning with your students.

Online Learning
Taylor Shivers

3 Creative Ways to Celebrate Student Success in the Online Classroom

There is much to celebrate when students do well in their online courses! After all, success in online learning requires excellent time management skills, the ability to learn in a new environment, and so much more. Looking for ways to celebrate student achievements that go beyond the typical “good job” email? Here are three creative tactics you can try!

Teaching
Danielle Peck

The Power of the 5:1 Ratio: How Fostering Positive Interactions Can Transform Student Learning

The 5:1 ratio has completely changed my thinking about interactions in the classroom. It all started with a question about grading. After all, part of our jobs as teachers is to provide corrective feedback to help students grow. The 5:1 ratio helps to ensure that students can receive this feedback effectively. More importantly, however, it can help us be intentional about creating a classroom environment that centers our humanity.

Social Emotional Learning
Andrea McKay

A simple template for SEL check-ins

Using this simple template, our online instructors have learned a lot more about what’s going on in their students’ lives, both sorrows and joys. This information can help teachers better connect with students and figure out what might be getting in the way of learning.

Social Emotional Learning
Ed Timke

Time for Teachers: Self-Assessment with Community Support as Individual Solutions

Educators often cite a lack of time as one of their most significant stressors. How can we help teachers find the balance necessary to feel satisfied in their jobs and meet their social and emotional needs? This third post in the Time for Teachers blog series will discuss the importance of a self-assessment in addressing individual problems and solutions teachers face. This is not to say the onus of addressing challenges should fall squarely on the shoulders of individual teachers. Teachers need a community of practice and support to help them identify problems they might face individually that could benefit from solutions that come from consulting with colleagues.

Research
Ed Timke

Time for Teachers: Agile Meetings and Short Pulse Surveys as Systemic Solutions

Educators often cite a lack of time as one of their most significant stressors. How can we help teachers find the balance necessary to feel satisfied in their jobs and meet their social and emotional needs? This second post in the Time for Teachers blog series will discuss two possible solutions that can help all educators save time while addressing needs to serve students and communities: agile meetings and short pulse surveys.

Social Emotional Learning
Nikolas McGehee

8 go-to SEL tools for teachers

Social emotional learning — also known as “SEL” —  is a component of education that addresses the traditionally non-academic side of student development and learning. 

Research
Christa Green

Effective Practices in Professional Learning Course Design: Course Content

Based on direct input from learners via end-of-course survey data, Michigan Virtual’s Instructional Product Development team gleaned the effective practices outlined in this blog in order to improve their course development and better meet the needs of the educators whom they serve.

Group of high school students working on project
Research
Ed Timke

Bolstering Michigan’s Teacher Recruitment through Grow Your Own Programs

There is a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in Michigan and across the country. Why is there a crisis? What can be done? This last post in a blog series on teacher recruitment and retention summarizes the potential to address the crisis through Grow Your Own Programs.

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