Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Hype Surrounding Hyperdocs (GUEST POST)

In my role as a Digital Learning Coach, I have the privilege of working with teachers ("fellows") supporting them in finding ways for technology to improve / enhance the lessons they teach with the goal of better & deeper student learning. Several fellows have taken the leap to blog about their experiences and share specific lessons with all of you. I hope you benefit from reading about their journey.

GUEST POST by Tala Pirouzian, HS English Student Teacher

One of my favorite aspects of planning and organizing information for my students is Hyperdocs - a phenomenon my mentor, Erin Thomas, introduced me to in the beginning of my student teaching. The ways in which my mentor created and used Hyperdocs served as a model for me and paved the way for my fascination with using Google Docs for a creative learning purpose. There is a reason they are called Hyperdocs: links, visuals, information, charts, anticipation guides, student responses, etc., can all be integrated into one document for learning purposes. The Hyperdocs are an interactive resource in that each student has their own copy and can access the material, organize some of their notes, and create projects or study guides.

Here is a model of Hyperdoc I created:

Why Hyperdocs are Valuable 
By creating a Hyperdoc, I was able to not only plan the specific content I wanted students to learn but also organize the order in which they processed and learned it. Yes, it can work as another version of lesson planning! 

The unit of study becomes enhanced as the material is [resented in a visually organized manner, with a balance of images and text, for students and each section of the Hyperdoc builds on the previous one. 

Furthermore, while the information can be accessible in the slides, having the key images and concepts on the Hyperdoc re-emphasizes the importance. For example, inserting the family tree image within this Hyperdoc increases students' exposure to it for each time students access the Doc they are also revisiting prior knowledge. This not only helps visual learners but also engages all students because I believe the different links, slides, clips, and images are a form of differentiation for students with diverse learning styles. 

Additionally, the boxes inserted within the Hyperdoc ask students to summarize and respond to the information with their own words, which positions them as an active participant and contributor. I like to think of Hyperdocs as a blueprint for students to develop. 

Going to the next level... Student-Created Hyperdocs!

After giving students several Hyperdocs in different units (Lord of the Flies, Macbeth), we asked them to create their own as a part of their Outside Reading Book (ORB) project. The content that students were expected to include in their Hyperdocs, such as a list of questions and connections, were provided to them, but they were given full creativity in how they organized the material and included a balance of text, links and images. 
As my students began working on the Hyperdocs, some would ask “how do we create one?” A valid question indeed in that I had the same question when I first learned about Hyperdocs. Simple.
My students were as surprised as I was about how easy it is to create a Hyperdoc. A few students said but it looks so fancy and complex!

I continue to be impressed at the Hyperdocs submitted as they not only showed students level of creativity but also the depth to which they thought about the novel.

Student Samples:

Sample Ex 1:

Student Ex  2: 
The second sample is on Stedman's The Light Between Oceans. This student not only organizes all the required content in a meaningful manner but also presents video links as support for their author/context introduction, and a powerful balance of written commentary and visual evidence. Furthermore, this student clearly categorizes the different forms of questions that they have constructed with potential response boxes; thus, it is a usable document. 
Click here to see the sample!

Student Ex 3:
All The Light We Cannot See. The student has a unique strategy for organizing the content and justifying their connections to other literature. Furthermore, this student's has adopted an alignment with the characters from their outside reading book for they have connected certain features of the characters in All the Light We Cannot See to other characters. This is powerful in that the student is referring to prior knowledge, and making connections between in and out-of-school practices. Another key feature of this Hyperdoc is that the student identified abstract ideas or features, such as injustice, point of view, character development, etc., that suggest what the open-ended questions they raised are about.
Click here to see this student sample!

One final note:
In essence, Hyperdocs are valuable and useful for interactive learning, student engagement, differentiation purposes, application of Common Core Standards, increased collaborative work, fostering creativity, formative assessment, etc. 

As I reflect on my understanding and use of Hyperdocs thus far, I believe that it is a powerful tool for organizing information in a particular manner, encouraging students to develop their habit of note-taking, and deepening student thinking in the classroom. For example, students build on their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills as well as practice content and academic language in one or multiple lessons that incorporate Hyperdocs. 

Considering 21st century learning and Webb's Depth of Knowledge, I would say there is and will continue to be a movement towards innovative learning where students are increasingly empowered to "create," "design," "analyze," "connect" and "synthesize," all of which are  part of the purpose for using Hyperdocs as a part of the learning process. 

Also, as efficient it is to create Hyperdocs, it is also enjoyable grading student-made Hyperdocs!

Purchase my book today!  Click here for more details and to place an order!  Also on at

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...