I made my first hyperdoc! It took about a week of researching, reading The Hyperdoc Handbook, and wrapping my head around the process, but I finished and I learned a few things along the way.
What is a hyperdoc?
A hyperdoc is a digital lesson plan for students that incorporates virtual student collaboration and reflection. It allows you to share all kinds of resources with students and work on shared documents.
Hyperdocs are usually made on Google Docs or Google Slides, but I am working on the idea of using Realtime Board to create a hyperdoc and I’m sure there are other mediums you could use as well.
The idea is to have a shared working document with curated learning experiences for students where they can work at their own pace, produce original products, share their product, get feedback, and reflect on what they learned and how they learned it.
All of this is wrapped up in a visually appealing, highly functional document that frees up teacher time to work with students individually and in small groups. Here are some samples.
Although students might start with the same hyperdoc, each student’s hyperdoc will end up looking different because they will add their own information and the teacher will tweak each student’s hyperdoc to fit their specific needs.
Why make a hyperdoc?
You should make a hyperdoc too! They will help you organize your lessons, provide student choice, differentiate learning, build in collaboration and reflection, provide extended learning opportunities, and see students’ progress in real-time. One of the cool things about using Google Slides is that you can adjust a student’s hyperdoc even after you’ve assigned it to them.
Flexible learning requires us to shift our teacher mindset and curate learning opportunities for students that provide choice, question generation, original thought, collaboration, reflection, and build technology skills. Hyperdocs have the potential to do all of this!
Need more convincing? Listen to this podcast from Cult of Pedagogy.
How long will it take?
Not as long as you think. You’ll get the hang of it with practice, tips, and collaborating with other teachers. From start to finish, your first hyperdoc will take about a 5-10 hours to piece together depending on your familiarity with Google Slides.
How can you shorten that time?
- Choose learning objectives and list student need to knows before you start
- Brainstorm and collaborate with other teachers while you create
- Use google add-ons to help with formatting
- Use a template or modify another teacher’s hyperdoc on your topic
If you already use the 5E model for your lesson plans, then converting your lesson to a hyperdoc will take no time. You will want to add three more stages to your hyperdoc: share, reflect and extend.
Look, when I got down to it and there was nothing left to do but make the hyperdoc, I parked myself at Killer ESP for 4 hours and knocked it out. It seems like a long time, but as we get better at this we’ll get faster and the more we work together, the more ideas we’ll generate for cool formatting and collaboration ideas.
Where to start?
You can start with another teacher’s hyperdoc, from a template, or from scratch. I tried all three but eventually decided to start from scratch because it was easier for me to piece together my train of thought for the lesson.
3 Ways to Dive-in
- Modify existing hyperdocs – Teachers Give Teachers
- Use a hyperdoc template
- Start from Scratch
Most hyperdocs are created in Google Docs or Slides. Initially, I thought Google Docs would be easier, but it wasn’t because it is harder to format and insert videos.
Set up a Google Slides document with a slide for each section of the lesson plan. Use the add-on Paletti and pick a color scheme for your hyperdoc. Start adding material for each part of your lesson. Here are some helpful ideas from myself and The Hyperdoc Handbook:
- use multimedia text sets including websites, articles, videos, images, quotes, and/or infographics
- create playlists in your youtube channel
- generate interactive images and videos with ThingLink
- curate video instruction using Khan Academy, YouTube, TED-ed, or create your own videos with Snag-It or Screen-Cast-O-Matic
- read current events articles from Smithsonian’s Tween Tribune
- create interactive presentations with Nearpod or Pear Deck
- explore different add-ons and extensions like Read & Write and Insert Learning
- choose your tool from “Show What You Know Bingo“
- record student voices and create animated cartoons with Powtoons
- create poems, pictures, and chapter books on Story Bird
- peer-edit in Google Docs
- share presentations digitally in Google Forms instead of having everyone presenting their projects one by one
- work collaboratively in Google Slides
- host a Student Film Festival at a local venue for students to share short movies
- build digital portfolios with Google Slides, Sites, or Blogger
- encourage online conversation with Padlet
- establish student-teacher reflection on a shared Google Doc
- generate group reflection with Realtime Board
- reflect over the long-term by inserting a table in Google Docs for weekly use
- create a blog (Blogger or WordPress), a podcast, or a YouTube video
- design an infographic using Canva (tip: take a look at Canva Design School first)
- use online games like Smarty Pins
- wonder about the world around you with Wonderopolis
Making your hyperdoc transformative
If you’re going to take the time to put all this together, you want to make sure it’s more than just digitizing your worksheets. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where is the student choice?
- Are students generating their own questions?
- Are the students producing an original product and making their thinking visible?
- How are the students sharing their work?
- What does the reflection piece look like?
Give it and try and share your progress!