Monday, September 4, 2017

HyperDocs - A Game Changer!

I have mentioned before that I have been on a quest the last few years to find ways other than lecture or direct teacher instruction to present new information to my students.  I have tapped back into the Kagan strategies, played with gummy bears, had my students dig for artifacts, and operated on Preamble Pete.  These have all been great additions to my classroom.

Last year I stumbled onto another strategy that I have been obsessing about, if I had time to obsess about something new...

I have, once again, gained another powerful tool to add to my "teacher bag of tricks" from getting together with other Social Studies teachers at our Social Studies Study Group, which meets four times a year.  The room is just filled with awesome ideas from amazing teachers.  Two of those rock star educators are Derek Schutte (@coachschutte) and T.J. Warsnak (@thewarsnak).  They teach at Halstead High School and do some pretty powerful things in order to increase student engagement in their classrooms.

One of those is Hyperdocs.

T.J. and Derek presented their use of Hyperdocs to the group back in February.  Needless to say, I was hooked.  (Which just happens to be part of using hyperdocs.)

What is a hyperdoc?  Google Teacher Academic says:
Hyperdoc is a term used to describe a Google Doc that contains an innovative lesson for students- a 21st Century worksheet, but much better. ... With one shortened link, students can access a lesson that contains instructions, links, tasks, and many clever ways to get kids thinking.
I like to think of it as the extreme makeover of a digital worksheet.  Improving on it so much, that it's not even worthy of the name "worksheet."  You see, a quick search for "how to create a hyperdoc" can tell you that the goal is to make this MORE than just a worksheet.

We are looking at trying to find ways to use technology beyond the simple "substitution" method. Don't get me wrong...I still use substitution type tech with my kids, but I try to limit it. I want the technology the ENHANCE the lesson or make it better, not just scan a worksheet and have kids complete it online just to say I'm "using technology." But sometimes it happens. Sub days are a prime example. Or at least it use to. Until Derek and T.J. introduced me to hyperdocs. I knew I wanted to try it and wanted some guidance. I found this very helpful site with some templates for creating Hyperdocs. That site is HERE and the template I used is pictured below.


Hyperdocs can be created in any of the Google Suite programs, however my favorite it Google Slides. By using Google Classroom I can push this out to my students so that each one gets his/her own copy. Students each complete their own Hyperdoc by editing the document directly, then turn it in via Classroom. So awesome!

BONUS...while they are working on it, you can use the edit and chat tools of Google and give immediate feedback to students. (It freaked my HS students out the first time I did that...I was away at a workshop and "stalking them" as it was so kindly put to me)

This is an example of one I did for my high school Teaching as a Career Class. I was going to be gone, but didn't want to give "busy work." Our next topic was classroom management and I decided to try out the Hyperdoc on the HS kids. They were the guinea pigs :)












You'll notice that I attempted to color-code the document similar to the template. I did this more for me as I was creating it try and hit all of the items in the template.  As you can see I didn't. I've never been good at doing things a "specific way."  I think the important thing is that I give students choices both in their research options, but also in their application. Then I have them create something in the end that can be published, printed, and shared. BONUS...they learned a new tech program Piktochart for creating cool infographics. (I had many of them tell me that they LOVE it and used it for other classes as well... #TeacherWin)

Want a copy of that Hyperdoc?  Click HERE

But Mrs. Weber...that's A LOT of work! How do you have time for all of that???

First of all. Anything worth doing right, is worth the time to put into it!

Second, don't reinvent the wheel. Take a worksheet you already use for gathering information, trim and cut a little, provide trusting websites and videos for students to use to gather data and information. Then find a cool tech website you want to try, something student friendly with self-guided tours and tutorials on YouTube (seriously...the kids can watch a video to learn how to apply make-up or create slime, then they can watch a video to show them how to use Adobe Spark Video). Put learning into the students hands.  BONUS...they will collaborate when they have questions!

With Hyperdocs you can provide student choice, create an atmosphere for student collaboration, showcase student work, and make them independent learners.

Sounds like a #TeacherWIN to me!

Want some more ideas for Hyperdocs already created??? Check out this site. (Warning, there are TONS of examples here and it can be overwhelming, but you can find something on a topic you want, it can give you a start).

Happy Hyperdocing!

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