The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
The Art of Debugging & How to Think Like a Computer Scientist (feat. Dr. Aman Yadav from Michigan State University)
Nikki Herta

The art of debugging & how to think like a computer scientist

Meet Dr. Aman Yadav, a professor of educational psychology and educational technology at Michigan State University, who shares his insights on the rich applications of both “plugged” and “unplugged” computational thinking for the K-12 classroom and sheds light on the biased algorithms that govern our everyday lives.

Nikolas McGehee

Competency-based education in mathematics

What is competency-based education? Competency-based education (CBE) is a student-centered methodology of instruction that incorporates elements of constructivist philosophy, 21st century skills education, and flexible

Sarah Hill

Michigan Virtual’s Strategic Plan: Employee spotlight

There’s no clear-cut definition of the term “strategic plan.” Sure, there’s a Wikipedia page, but my years in high school debate scared me from using that as a source.

So what is a strategic plan? What’s Michigan Virtual’s and why should you care?

OK, that’s a lot of questions I just asked. Let’s start with the first one.

The conflicted history & achievable future of social emotional learning (feat. Lauren Kazee from Living S.L.O.W.)
Nikki Herta

The conflicted history & achievable future of social emotional learning

Meet Lauren Kazee, one of Michigan’s leading experts on social emotional learning or “SEL,” who shares her personal definition of SEL, dives into the history of this concept, and offers advice for educators looking to prioritize their own social and emotional wellness and model this behavior for their students.

Teacher meeting
Social Emotional Learning
Ed Timke

Teacher recruitment and retention: A snapshot of an ongoing crisis

There is a teacher recruitment and retention crisis in Michigan and across the country. Why is there a crisis? What can be done? This first post in a blog series on teacher recruitment and retention provides a snapshot of the crisis and some initial recommendations on how to fight it.

BRIGHT: The Beautifully Unclear Future of Educational Technology (feat. Sarah Wood from Kent ISD)
Nikki Herta

The beautifully unclear future of educational technology

Meet Sarah Wood, an educational technology consultant for Kent Intermediate School District, who shares her reflections on the recent history, current state, and beautifully unclear future of technology in the classroom.

Nikki Herta

Bringing big ideas to life with design thinking

Meet David Byron, director of innovation strategy at Sundberg-Ferar, a product innovation studio in Walled Lake, who explains how the tried & true process of design thinking can help students and adults alike in solving complicated problems, such as the many and multifaceted issues facing the field of education today.

Online Learning
David Byron

What is human-centered design?

Human-centered design is focused, action-oriented, and most of all, empathetic. Its tenets are similar to what it takes to be a good educator. Learn about

Nikki Herta

What’s the Secret to Keeping Students Motivated in Online Learning?

Meet Dr. Chris Harrington, the director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute, who shares his reflections on “pandemic teaching,” common misconceptions about online learning, and the findings of his team’s landmark research study on keeping students engaged in virtual learning environments.

Nikki Herta

Becoming a Voice for the Voiceless

Meet Kyron Harvell, the director of the school culture and climate grant for Lansing School District, who shares his mission of serving as a voice for the voiceless in his school community. In this episode of BRIGHT, we explore how Kyron and his team are cultivating a culture of inclusivity in Lansing centered around equitable access to learning opportunities, culturally responsive practices, social emotional learning, and restorative justice.

Nikki Herta

The Delightful Power of Music to Make Learning More Engaging

Meet Ben Ashby, a Spanish teacher at Zeeland Public Schools and an online Spanish instructor for Michigan Virtual. In this episode of BRIGHT, we talk about the role music plays in learning, how online teaching has influenced the way he runs his face-to-face classroom and vice versa, and his hopes for education as we look to the future.

Nikki Herta

How to Reignite Love for Learning with a Project-Based Curriculum

For all students — but especially for those who struggle in the traditional classroom — project-based learning can offer an opportunity to rediscover the joy of learning. In this episode of BRIGHT, we talk to Dr. Sarah Pazur, the director of school leadership at FlexTech High School, who shares the why and how behind this vision for learning along with examples of some really cool projects that allowed students to explore their interests, meet core competencies, and have real-world impacts.

Online Learning
Shannon Smith

On the other side of online learning

What are students supposed to count on during times of uncertainty and change? Forced to suddenly move from a traditional face-to-face routine to a foreign

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.