Tech Review: A Second Look @ Hyperdocs

I like Hyperdocs.  They’re a great way to put a lot of student centered learning right in front of a learner and assess their understanding in new and different ways. When I started using them, I tended to create my docs using Google Docs.  I’ve found this format is great for the adult learner, who tends to simply go from one activity to another.  Younger learners, though (middle school 8th graders) tend to jump around on the page, doing things out of order even when given instructions not to do so.  So, I’ve started using Google Slides to create docs for them.

It works so much better!  Placing one activity per slide takes away the urge to jump around for the students.  As long as I have something on that slide that jumps out and grabs them, they want to stay there a moment to see what’s going on.  I’ve created a couple of lessons using this format so far with great results. Instead of putting digital worksheets in the hyperdoc, I simply use the doc for note taking and assessment purposes.  Before, with worksheets embedded in the Hyperdoc, there was confusion when it came time to turn in the work on Classroom. “Do I turn in this worksheet by clicking “turn in” or do I wait and finish the entire Hyperdoc, Mrs. Stone?”  Yeah, it got messy.  I assign worksheets separately as needed now by adding them to the list in the assignment on Classroom.   I’m currently using templates from the TeachersGiveTeachers website, but will be making something more “me” soon.

Check out the old way I made it all happen and the new way below.

Hyperdoc using Google Docs.  Lots of links out to things.  It all became very confusing as students invariantly ended up with half a dozen links open on their browsers!  No bueno!
The next Hyperdoc in the chapter as a slide presentation.  With Google Slides, I’m able to add the videos directly into the document, reducing the number of links out of the document.  I also started using Thinglink, where I could put as many links as I like and they stay put on the browser window.  The kids love it! In this particular doc, I added the link out to the Thinklink separately.  I’ve since discovered I can add the link directly to the image and just tell the kids to click the image!

So, if you haven’t tried Hyperdocs yet, I recommend it.  I spend one day a week in direct instruction, showing them what’s in the Hyperdoc and going over the vocabulary and general info on the topic.  They spend the rest of the week, working at their own pace, getting notes and exploring the topic more.  I stop mid week for a inquiry lab and formative assessment, and usually end the week with a video on the topic being used in real life . (Last week we talked about ionic compounds; salt in particular.  Dirty Jobs had an episode on salt mining.  It blew their minds to discover where rock salt comes from. I’ve been getting pictures all weekend of open bags of rock salt and the ingredients list. Science in action yall, woo woo!)


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