The Digital Backpack. Your Resource for Online Learning
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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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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Why Choose An Online Homeschool Program For Your Child?

Online learning allows homeschoolers to study foreign languages, take advanced coursework, and learn in a safe environment. In this article, we walk through some of the top reasons parents choose to supplement their child’s homeschool education with online programs and offer tips for parents considering this option.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

How Do Online Homeschool Programs Work in Michigan?

Wondering how online homeschool programs work in Michigan? While plenty of information resides on the internet, it can be a bit overwhelming to sort through the facts, myths, and plethora of opinions on the topic. In this article, we offer some useful tips to help homeschool parents select the right online program for their children.

 

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Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

An Inside Look: Student-Centered Learning at Alpena Public Schools

In a previous blog post, we defined student-centered learning in a theoretical sense. In this blog post, we get a glimpse into what a student-centered classroom looks and feels like in practice. Alpena Public Schools high school English teacher Kris Copping shares how she works in partnership with her students to create a student-centered learning environment.

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Mentoring
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Revisiting Mentor Voices

In 2017 and 2018, the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute published a series of blog posts written by Michigan Virtual’s Regional Mentor Leaders to bring to life what mentors do to build and maintain a supportive online learning environment to help students be successful. We thought it worthwhile to revisit these posts and again hear firsthand what mentors had to say about the work they actually do day to day and what it means to them.

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Homeschool
Michigan Virtual

Get the Facts on Homeschoolers & the Homeschool Curriculum in Michigan

Just like many things in life, misconceptions and myths abound when it comes to homeschoolers. If you have thought about educating your child at home, you’ll want accurate information and answers to all your questions. In this article, we will help you navigate through the myriad of information and give you the facts you need to make an informed decision.

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Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

November 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.

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Student-Centered Learning
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Close Relatives: Student-Centered Learning and Blended Learning

As school leaders, we sometimes confuse the labels that we place on educational strategies and models. This happens frequently when we talk about “blended learning” and “student-centered learning,” two closely related terms with distinct meanings. In this article, the research team of Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute (MVLRI) discusses how student-centered learning relates to the ideas and promise of blended learning.

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Mentoring
Justin Bruno

Mentoring as Personalized Learning

The mentors of K-12 online learners wear many hats and serve as a critical pillar of support for their students. What is less commonly recognized is how mentors act as stewards of personalized learning for their online students. The constant pulse-checking mentors do with their students allows them to work with an online teacher to customize instruction and support based on their students’ needs.

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Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

What Do Successful K-12 Online Programs Have In Common?

What do successful K-12 online programs have in common? Beyond obvious variables like student support and quality curriculum, there are many systemic supports that effective programs put in place to provide a foundation for student success. In this article, we break down the importance of leadership, multi-level support, and program evaluation.

Illustration of the learning process
Research
Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

October 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.

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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
Mentoring
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
Research
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
Research
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.

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