The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
Bright
Nikki Herta

A Forest Most Beautiful

Meet Kelly Tillman, an art educator at Walled Lake Consolidated Schools who teaches a choice-based art classroom and reminds us that — rather than stepping back to see the forest for the trees — it’s often the variation between the trees themselves that makes the forest most beautiful.

Woman with a torch leading a group of people
Online Learning
Shannon Smith

We need to give our teachers the professional trust they deserve

While structure and accountability are critical components in the education of children, teachers also need to feel respected as the highly educated, specially trained experts they are, most of whom would not remain in the field if not for their passion.

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Nikki Herta

It Takes a Village to Educate a Child

Meet Kerry Downs, the executive director of the Flint Community Education Initiative who provides insight into the rich history of community education in Flint, shares her belief that every school should be a community school, and reminds us that teachers alone shouldn’t bear the burden of educating the “whole child.”

Research
Kristen DeBruler

Eight Years of Research on K-12 Special Populations and Motivation

Over the past eight years, Michigan Virtual has paid particular attention to online special populations and subsequently online student motivation. Our research team has focused on topics such as online credit recovery, supporting online students with disabilities, and the role of motivation in online courses.

Bright
Nikki Herta

The Life-Affirming Role Of Authenticity in Learning

Meet Amos Briscoe, an art educator for the Washtenaw Alliance for Virtual Education (WAVE) who shares his journey going from feeling like an actor on a stage to bringing authenticity front and center in his classroom.

Research
Kristen DeBruler

Research on K-12 Online Best Practices

One of the first themes to clearly distinguish itself during the analysis of the reports published by Michigan Virtual was best practices in K-12 online learning. Over the last several years, our research team has explored factors for online student success such enrollment reason, student pacing, teacher-student communication, and instructor role.

Bright
Nikki Herta

What’s Best for Kids

Meet Tanya Leon, an English teacher at Richards Middle School with a vision for rebuilding a system of schooling that’s personalized at scale.

Online Learning
Stacey Schuh

Stop calling it “learning loss”

I kept thinking about how negative the word “loss” sounded when describing my children’s remote learning experiences. It bothered me and made me feel as if all of the hard work done to support students wasn’t being acknowledged or given the credit it deserves.

Professional Development
Sarah Hill

Teaching for Today & Tomorrow: 2021 Takeaways

On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, hundreds of educators and administrators participated in the Teaching for Today & Tomorrow conference presented by Michigan Association of Secondary

Bright
Nikki Herta

Valuing vs. Acknowledging Diversity

Meet Joy Taylor, a teaching consultant from WAVE who reminds us that there’s a big difference between ACKNOWLEDGING diversity in education and VALUING it.

Bright
Nikki Herta

Where Does Tech Belong in Teaching?

Meet Amy Gwizdz & Bob Harrison, an instructional technology coach duo from Dearborn Public Schools with insights on how to leverage technology to create student-centered classrooms.

row of trophies
Online Learning
Michigan Virtual

Best of 2020

A compilation of our top-viewed content in 2020, including blog articles, podcasts, webinars, research articles, and more.

Road with years listed between yellow lines - 2020 - 2021 - 2022 and beyond
Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Looking Ahead: How to Thrive in (and Beyond) the 2020-21 School Year

What steps can you be taking now to better prepare your students, yourself, and your school district for the future? When you think about the learning environment that your students will need, does it encompass any of the principles of student-centered learning?

wooden blocks with @ symbol, envelope, and phone call symbol
Tips and Tools
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Tips and Tricks for Communicating with Parents and Students

During this time of remote learning, what are some best practices in the ways you communicate with your students and their parents? In this webinar, we’ll explore examples and tips for communication, specific tools and resources to aid this process, and lessons learned from applying these practices.

two hands pushing puzzle pieces together
Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Increasing Learner Agency Through Continuous Monitoring of Student Needs

Student-centered learning is about more than just putting students at the center of education. It is about giving each student the opportunity for success. It is about designing learning to be flexible and adaptable for each learner, not just the average student. It is about understanding the whole child—what they need both academically and non-academically—and giving students the skills they need for success within and beyond the classroom.

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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.