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Demand for online learning has been up across the board. Here’s how to expand your professional education for free in Michigan. 

MICHIGAN—Since the coronavirus pandemic hit this past spring, interest in online learning has boomed. That has led to more opportunities for virtual education for Michiganders, as several organizations are currently offering classes for those who want to get ahead of the learning curve this fall and winter.

According to Joe Friedhoff, the vice president of Michigan Virtual, a Lansing-based nonprofit that partners with the Michigan Department of Education and others to deliver online learning experiences, demand has been up across the board.

“Whether it’s direct from a parent or student, or content schools looking at it, virtual learning has become much more readily searched for than it was since the pandemic,” Friedhoff told The Gander Newsroom. 

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Here are the companies that are currently offering free distance learning in the Great Lakes State:

Michigan VirtualThis non-profit offers free courses for educators, allowing them to earn credit hours while learning online about topics like instructional design, instructional practices in early literacy, addressing poverty in the classroom, and more.

An assortment of paid classes from $15 and up is also offered.

MichiganX A project of EdX, an open source, university supported professional learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT, MichiganX provides a wide range of free professional development courses that are open and available to anyone who creates an account.

Pure Michigan Talent ConnectThis popular jobs site is also offering a database of online, e-learning, and distance learning training programs through its website. Search by occupation, certifications, providers and more.

In addition to these programs, Michiganders can also find specific virtual career-related training events on the Pure Michigan Talent Connect events page here.

Highlights for the month of October include virtual job fairs, drive-up career fairs, and more in several different fields including food services, education, and health care.

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REMC of Michigan CoursesDesigned for teaching professionals to learn or earn course credits, the Regional Educational Media Center of Michigan is offering free classes on its website.

Topics include community engagement, grant writing, infrastructure management, and more.