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National Online Learning Day: The ins and outs of virtual learning

Virtual learning has been around for years now, but it became very popular when school districts across West Michigan started remote learning.

Wednesday marks National Online Learning Day, which showcases how students of all ages are thriving with the ability to learn online—anywhere, anytime. And it comes at a time when more parents and students are considering virtual learning. 

Virtual learning has been around for years now, but it became very popular when school districts across West Michigan started remote learning. 

Shannon Smith is the senior director at Michigan Virtual, an online school serving students in middle and high school.

Smith says it is very important for parents and students to approach the online learning environment just as they would a traditional school. She says communication is key, and parents should be involved to ensure their children are staying on task.

"Just being aware of what the program looks like that their child is working on," said Smith. "The system that their school or the program that their enrolled in looks like and asking questions, asking where they are in their pacing guide and what assignments they are submitting and at that point in time."

Smith added there are a few things students shouldn't do. She says students shouldn't wait until the last minute to complete assignments. She says chip away at some of those larger projects to ensure you don't fall behind.

Additionally, Smith says participating in discussion boards is important, and don't be afraid to ask your teacher for help when needed. She reiterated it is important for students and parents to remember, though it is a virtual environment, the teachers are real people and enjoy hearing from parents and students.

For more resources on online learning, click here.

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