Virtual School Meanderings

May 28, 2020

👾 Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition | Make Learning Fun This Summer!

Note the summer learning opportunities from this K-12 online learning program.

Michigan Virtual Logo
screenshot of a gorgeous lake built in our Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition
screenshot of a log cabin built in our Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition
screenshot of a zoo built in our Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition
screenshot of a columned city building built in our Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition

The screenshots above provide a sneak peek into what our online summer camp experience will be like for students!

Make learning fun this summer with our Minecraft online summer camp!


 $49.95 | Grades 3-8  | Access Until December 31, 2020


Exciting news! Our Online Summer Camp: Minecraft Edition is officially open for registration.


With many parents experiencing uncertainty regarding their existing summer plans, online programs offer a safe & creative way to keep children engaged and moving forward toward their educational goals.


During this virtual summer camp experience, students will be guided through a series of five, repeatable educational challenges by their virtual camp counselor, Minecraft Steve, that engage the following skills:

  • Math skills
  • Coding skills
  • Civics skills
  • Literacy skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity skills

Access to the online summer camp experience begins on June 8, but upon registration, students will receive immediate access to Minecraft: Education Edition, so they can begin exploring and learning on their own.

Other Online Summer Programs

150+ Online Summer Courses

Grades 6-12

10 weeks | Opportunities to earn credit | Flexible pacing | Taught by highly qualified, Michigan-certified teachers

Learn more →

Summer French & German Boost

Grades 8-12

Keep students’ French or German skills sharp with these online summer programs powered by Lingco Language Labs’ artificial intelligence-driven software.​


Learn more →

Credit Recovery

Grades 6-12 

Catch up on graduation requirements this summer with highly supportive online courses designed to foster student success.


Learn more →

FREE — Mental Health & SEL Lessons

Grades K-12

Free digital lessons designed to help students in grades K-12 develop the skills required for social, emotional, and mental well-being.


Learn more →

FREE — EdReady Math

Grades 4-12

Targets gaps in math knowledge with personalized lesson playlists & empowers students to catch up to or surpass grade-level expectations at their own pace.


Learn more →

FREE — EdReady English

Grades 8-12

Get students on track for college-level English through mastery of key skills & concepts.


Learn more →

Michigan Virtual, 920 Municipal Way, Lansing, Michigan 48917

‘No. 10 – How Do We Plan For Education After The Pandemic?’ 2 June 17.00 CEST #onlinetogether

Another up-coming webinar that may be of interest to folks.

The current pandemic has accelerated demand for the transition from traditional education to its online equivalent. EDEN is currently running a new series of EDEN webinars: Education in time of a pandemic.
#onlinetogether #covid19
Meet Mark Brown, Sandra Kučina Softić, Antonio Teixeira, Neil Fassina and Mpine Makoe on Tuesday, 2 June 2020, 17:00 CEST on the topic: ‘No. 10 – How do we plan for education after the pandemic?’
Register for the webinar
Add to Calendar
Registered webinar participants will be awarded by EDEN open badges.


Mark Brown
EDEN Treasurer,
Professor and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning at Dublin City University,
Chair of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning (Dublin)


Sandra Kučina Softić
EDEN President
University Computing Centre SRCE, CroatiaSandra Kučina Softić is the Assistant Director for Education and User Support at the Zagreb University Computing Centre (Croatia). She is also the Head of the E-learning Centre and the Head of the Office for E-learning at the University of Zagreb. Her work is focused on monitoring and fostering e-learning in Croatian higher education and providing support and advice to institutions, teachers and students in implementation of new technologies in learning and teaching. She was appointed Croatian representative in ET2020 Working group on Digital Skills and Technologies (2016-2018) and in ET2020 Working group on Digital Education: learning, teaching and Assessment (2018-2020). In 2018 she was appointed member of European Education and Training Expert Panel.

Her field of interest is strategic decision making related to e-learning and distance education, quality assurance, educational technologies and open education and open educational resources. She has been involved in a number of projects (national and international) related to these fields and she also actively presents at international conferences. She is also author of training courses for teachers and speaker on these topics.

She has a master’s degree in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) and PhD in Information and Communication Technologies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb.

She has been a member of EDEN Executive Committee since 2013 and in 2014 she received the EDEN Fellow Title. In 2019 she became President of EDEN.


António Teixeira
Former EDEN President
Universidade Aberta, Portugal

António Teixeira is an Associate Professor of open, distance and network education at Universidade Aberta (UAb), where he heads the Department of Education and Distance Learning. He’s also a researcher at the University of Lisbon and collaborates with the Laboratory for Distance Education and eLearning (LE@D) and the University of Rome 3.

He was Pro-rector for innovation in Distance Learning at Universidade Aberta (2006-09) and President of EDEN – European Distance and E-learning Network (2013-16). As a Pro-rector at UAb, António Teixeira conceived and managed the successful and speedy strategic transformation process of the university from a print-based distance learning institution to a fully online one. Throughout the years, he has integrated several boards of directors and many expert committees and task forces in higher education institutions and organizations at national and international level. He’s currently an external expert for AQU Catalunya and ACPUA quality assurance agencies in Spain and the research and innovation national agency of Uruguay (ANII) among others.

António Teixeira has participated in over thirty international research projects and authored close to one hundred scientific articles and other publications. He is an EDEN Senior Fellow and a member of the Board of the Council of EDEN Fellows.

Neil Fassina
ICDE President, Athabasca University, Canada

Dr. Neil Fassina is the president of Athabasca University, Canada’s first and only fully digital university and a world leader in online education. Dr. Fassina was formerly the vice-president academic and provost at NAIT and dean of the JR Shaw School of Business. He holds a PhD in Management from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a BSc in psychology from the University of Calgary. He is a chartered professional in human resources (CPHR) and a chartered director through the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

Mpine Makoe
Institute for Open Distance Learning, The University of South Africa (UNISA)Prof Mpine Makoe is the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Open Education Practices/ Resources at the University of South Africa (UNISA). She is also a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated research professor in Open Distance eLearning (ODeL) and a director of African Council for Distance Education (ACDE). Mpine has published extensively in the area of educational technology focusing on mobile learning; staff development; quality and policy formulation in ODeL.  She has also done consultancy work for the Commonwealth of Learning facilitating the development of ODL policies in different universities in Africa.  She holds a PhD and MSc in Educational Technology from the Open University, UK. She also has an MA in Journalism from the University of Michigan and BA in Communication and English (cum laude) from Hope College in Michigan as well as a diploma in journalism from Africa Literature Centre in Zambia. Mpine is also the ICDE OER Ambassador and Advocacy committee member, the president of the Distance Education Association of Southern Africa (DEASA), an executive member of National Association of Distance Education Organisation (NADEOSA) and a member of the University Futures Network. She has received numerous awards for her work in developing capacity in ODeL.


As a response to the global crisis and challenge of moving to fully online education overnight, EDEN has initiated a series of webinars “Education in time of a pandemic”. ICDE has launched a similar initiative through the campaign #learningtogether including a resource hub with news, tips and tricks and webinars. These practical webinars are intended to help educators to tackle the transition from traditional F2F education to its online or distant equivalent. In this webinar we have chosen a slightly different topic: how to anticipate the global future educational landscape after the pandemic. UNESCO reported in May 2020 that about 75% of pupils and students cannot attend F2F classes. Fully online education on a global scale is unprecedented in history, and it is unlikely that we will be able to go back to normal before pandemic. Today we are talking about the “new normal” and “future normal”. What it is going to look alike? It is a question that all educators need to face, and to some extent, it is up to us to find the best way to ensure the continuity of students’ enrolment and ensure inclusive access to quality higher education. In this panel, distinguished speakers will reflect on and share their insights into the present situation in education.

We will also try to provide answers to following questions:

  • How do you see this situation where all education has moved online? Can online and distance learning replace F2F learning? Some of the campus-based universities have already decided to start this autumn with online classes.
  • How can HEI’s and/or governments address issues of inclusivity, when both students and staff throughout the world don’t have access to reliable internet or electricity?
  • Critics have called online education to be “elitist,” how are we able to combat that stereotype and truly make remote education affordable and accessible for all?
  • What is the role of associations such as EDEN and ICDE in this process and how can they contribute to education, especially in these times?
  • What steps do institutions have to take to fully embrace the digital transformation and provide education accessible to students?
  • It is unlikely that we will be able to return to the situation we had before the pandemic, so how do you foresee the future of education?
  • Some teachers see online teaching as a temporary measure to be adopted until we return to the previous normal. Is this the case?
  • Are public campus universities endangered by distance-teaching ones, MOOCs and other online programmes?
  • What about universities that did not previously use any form of e-learning system? What kind of challenges do they face?
  • How can F2F HEI teachers be provided with proper training in the digital skills they need for online teaching and learning?
  • Students and teachers value human contact, how can this be guaranteed in virtual environments?
Add to Calendar
Register for the webinar
Save the date and see you
Tuesday, 2 June 2020,
17:00 CEST

Previous EDEN webinars

No 9 – Use of OER & OEP in the Online Pivot
Monday, 25 May, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | More info

No 8 – Practical Tips for Learning and Instructional Design
Monday, 18 May, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | More info

No 7 – How to manage the onslaught of information and fake news? The 2019-nCoV ‘infodemic’
Monday, 11 May, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | More info

No 6 – Face-to-face at a distance: Building a learning community online
Monday, 4 May, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | More info

No 5 – How to engage and support students online
Monday, 27 April, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | View the presentation | More info

No 4 – How to design and manage assessments for online learning
Monday, 20 April, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | View the presentation | More info

No 3 – An EDEN response to your most pressing questions and issues
Tuesday, 14 April, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | More info

No 2 – When education moves home: implications for students, academics, administrators, and education leaders
Monday, 6 April, 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | View the presentation | More info

No 1 – How to start teaching online
Monday, 30 March 2020, 17:00 CEST
Watch the recording | View the presentation | More info

Please note that the EDEN 29th Annual Conference will be organized as a virtual event due to the recent developments of the pandemic.

You can find updated information in EDEN’s featured news and on EDEN social media channels

EDEN webinar series
Education in time of a pandemic
#onlinetogether #covid19

In these times of lockdown due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, face-to-face educational functions and activities are being moved online, using remote working sites and tools. Many of us are struggling with the adjustment to working and teaching online, especially those who have always taught in a traditional classroom and are now being asked to rapidly regroup and prepare for a longer period of educational “social distancing”. Where do you begin? How do you manage the process?

To address these questions and many others, EDEN has deciced to roll out a series of practical webinars on how to take face-to-face education online. These webinars are focusing on the day-to-day challenges our teachers and educators face and move on to consider other, broader institutional aspects.

These #onlinetogether #covid19 webinars are especially developed for these uncertain times, featuring experts and experienced practitioners within the field of open, distance, and e-learning. These weekly, one-hour webinar sessions are held every Monday at 17:00 CET. Each webinar consists of a brief presentation addressing the webinar topic, that will be further complemented by a question-and-answer session, where you are greatly encouraged to participate, share your opinion and experiences, and ask your most pressing questions.

You can find the upcoming webinars on our website.

EDEN is supported by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union.​
EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat
Tel: +36 1 463 1628, 463 2537 Fax: +36 1 463 1858
EDEN Website
EDEN Website
EDEN Facebook
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EDEN YouTube
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EDEN – European Distance and E-Learning Network Secretariat · Budapest University of Technology and Economics · Egry J. u. 1. · Budapest, Budapest H-1111 · Hungary

Free Webinar — “Academic Continuity Tools: Equipping Faculty, Students, And Their Families For Online Learning

Note this up-coming webinar from the folks at Quality Matters.

open laptop with QM on screen and icons of talking and figures

Academic Continuity Tools: Equipping Faculty, Students, and their Families for
Online Learning

Thursday, June 4, 2020 — 2:00 p.m. Eastern

While education currently looks different, faculty are still teaching and students are still learning. However, the tools they are using are more important than ever. In this free webinar hosted by SmarterServices, you will discover how stakeholders, including faculty, students and corporate partners, are using specific tools to better prepare for learning remotely. You will hear from:

  • A faculty member about the instructional design approaches and applications she is using to create and deliver instruction.
  • A current student about the tools and techniques they are using to stay motivated, organized and engaged in learning.
  • Representatives from SmarterServices and Quality Matters about the validated tools and services they provide to measure learner readiness, foster faculty readiness, prompt academic integrity, and promote quality instructional design.

Planning for academic continuity is now a reality for most institutions — are you as prepared as you could be? Attend this webinar to increase your level of awareness of how teaching and learning in the current environment impacts students, teachers and institutions.

Register Now
Presented By:
Dr. Bethany Simunich is QM’s Director of Research and Innovation. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years and has over 15 years of experience in eLearning research, instructional design and online pedagogy. As QM’s Director of Research and Innovation, she helps provide research-based tools, ideas and solutions to enable individuals and institutions to assess and achieve their quality assurance goals. Her research interests include presence in the online classroom, online student and instructor self-efficacy and satisfaction, and outcomes achievement in online courses.
Mac Adkins
Dr. Mac Adkins is the Founder and Chief Academic Officer for SmarterServices. Under his leadership the company has grown to serve over five million students and 12,000 faculty from over 500 educational institutions. Previously, he held several leadership roles in higher education, including 10 years as a Director/Dean of Distance Education, and has extensive experience teaching online courses. Dr. Adkins also serves as a course reviewer for the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC), where he delivers the Certified Distance Education Instructor program that he authored and designed.
Leigh Clay
Dr. Leigh Clay is a Student Learning Coordinator and Adjunct Instructor at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida. Over the years, she has taught online, hybrid and in-person classes, and has grown to recognize and enjoy the uniqueness about each modality. Both of Dr. Clay’s current positions have helped her understand the struggles, joys, misconceptions, and truths about remote learning, allowing her to create and share resources that promote online success for both faculty and students.
Can’t make it? No need to register — because you opened this email, you’ll receive the link to the recording about one week after the webinar.
Quality Matters QM
Quality Matters (QM) is the global organization leading quality assurance in online and innovative digital teaching and learning environments. It provides a scalable quality assurance system for online and blended learning used within and across organizations. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review Criteria in a rigorous review process.
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Our mailing address is:

QM Quality Matters, Inc.

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Annapolis, MD 21401

Three Courses In AERA Virtual Research Learning Series Happening Next Week — Register Now

Like I say at some point most days these days (although a little less these past two weeks), I’m getting a backlog in items that I want to post, so I’ll start posting them more frequently for the rest of the day.

Note these up-coming professional learning opportunities for education researchers.

AERA 2020 Virtual Research Learning Series

All courses are from 1:00–5:00 p.m. EDT
FEE $35
Live or On Demand Access


   What Would it Take to Change Your Inference? Quantifying the Discourse about Causal Inferences
in the Social Sciences

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Kenneth Frank, Michigan State University


How to Get Published: Guidance from Emerging
and Established Scholars

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Patricia A. Alexander, University of Maryland,
College Park
 (course director)
Yuting Sun, University of Maryland, College Park
Anisha Singh, University of Maryland, College Park
Jannah Fusenig, University of Maryland, College Park
Eric Schoute, University of Maryland, College Park
DeLeon Gray, Michigan State University;
North Carolina State University

Matthew McCrudden, Pennsylvania State University
Panayiota Kendeou,University of Minnesota
Alexandra List, Pennsylvania State University
Diane Schallert, University of Texas, Austin
Sofie Loyens, University College Roosevelt
Jeffrey A. Greene, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Sharing Your Research with the World
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Jenny Grant Rankin,U.S. Department of State
(Fulbright Specialist Program) and Mensa


Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Terri D. Pigott, Georgia State University (course director)
Amy L. Dent, University of California – Irvine
Joshua R. Polanin, American Institutes for Research
Joseph Taylor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs


The Future is Here: Analyzing NAEP
Process Data Using R

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Emmanuel Sikali, U.S. Department of Education
(course co-director)
Ruhan Circi, American Institutes for Research
(course co-director)
Fusun Sahin, American Institutes for Research
Xiaying Zheng, American Institutes for Research
Juanita Hicks, American Institutes for Research
Soo Youn Lee, American Institutes for Research
Tiago A. Caliço, American Institutes for Research


How to Write About Qualitative Research
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower,
University of North Dakota


Empowerment Evaluation
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
David M. Fetterman, Fetterman and Associates


Using Factor Analysis for Survey
Design and Validation

Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Katherine Picho, Howard University (course director)
Marie Plaisime, Howard University


Co-Decolonizing Research Methods:
Toward Research Sustaining Indigenous
and ‘Other’ Community Engaged Ways
of Knowing

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Lorri Many Rivers Johnson Santamaría, Mixteco
Indígena Community Organizing Project (MICOP) 
(course director)
Cristina Corrine Santamaria Graff, Indiana
University—Purdue University at Indianapolis
information here register here
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national
interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education
and learning. Founded in 1916, the Association strives to advance knowledge about
education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the
use of research to improve education and serve the public good.



Institute For Teaching & Leading – Leadership Discussions On Learning Continuity Are Live!

A few weeks back I participated in a few thought discussions with the folks at the Institute for Teaching & Leading, and I received notice that the resource was posted in the past day or so.

The primary purpose of this recorded video series is to convene researchers, practitioners, and topic-specific experts to discuss the critical factors school leaders must consider when developing learning continuity programs for their schools and districts.

The Institute for Teaching and Leading (i4tl) offers consulting services to schools and districts guiding them through the process of developing versatile learning continuity plans. These plans are based on the research and literature that evolved from the extended school closures experienced during the spring of 2020, and they include phasing that allows school and districts to both rapidly and/or gradually shift to and from a remote learning model.

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