Library Love: The Value of HyperDocs

The Challenge

Let’s face it. When librarians teach classes on academic integrity, database use, and MLA citation, it’s a challenge to keep teens from nodding off in boredom.

The Solution

Enter the Hyperdoc. I first heard of this handy-dandy tool from Sandra Paetkau over at The Total Tech-Over and by searching around the web at places like Google Teacher Academy. The Hyperdoc has allowed me to move away from presentation-style lessons to becoming more of a guide on the side.

The Process

As a Hyperdoc newbie, here are the steps I took to create stand-alone lessons:

  1. I accessed a hyperdoc template at Teach It With Tech.
  2. I created questions that students discussed online, in real time.
  3. I curated stand-alone resourcesScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 4.42.09 PM
  4. I designed a task that required each student to contribute to a shared class document.Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 4.47.13 PM
  5. I formed a shared Google doc to which all students in the class contributed
  6. I developed a class Padlet for feedback.

After sharing the HyperDoc link with the teacher to post at the class Google Classroom, students were able to access it. (Using Bit.ly is another option.) By using YouTube tutorials as mini-lessons, Padlets, and Hyperdocs, I have been able to transform sage on the stage,  stand-in-front-of-the-room lectures into collaborative, student-centered lessons that allow students to take ownership of their own learning.

Why HyperDocs?

Lessons that include hyperdocs allow students a choice in HOW they learn important digital literacy skills. In addition, as learners and educators, we are able to check to see to what extent the students have mastered the content in accessible, fluid ways other than the traditional quiz. Most of all, hyperdocs create a space where it is natural and simple for ALL students to contribute to a class discussion- especially the quiet ones.

I am looking forward to learning more about Hyperdocs with Ms. P. at The Total Tech-Over and from Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and  Sarah Landis’ book The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps available in print and on e-readers such as Kindle.

Librarians Share!

Feel free to use my novice attempts at Hyperdocs as a springboard for your own lessons, modifying as you like.

Better yet, take a look at the take a look at this useful Google Doc template created by Sarah Landis.

Afterthoughts

Hyperdocs work for librarians because they serve as a portal for curated sources (videos, websites, audio, databases, and multi-media).  They work well for online learning,  Virtual School activities, resources for students who are absent, and as tools for differentiation. They also serve as important learning portals that can be accessed long after the class lesson is over. Most of all, Hyperdocs can support the ISTE standards, allowing all students – not just the outspoken ones —  to experience the power of online digital collaboration and real-time, written discussion.

I want to hear from you! How have you used Hyperdocs in your lessons?

Creative Commons License
This work by Katrina Lehman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Advertisements

Connecting with Authors: Snail Mail in the Digital Age

In an age of email, texting and blogging: is there a case for sending a letter?

It all started with my fourth and fifth grade students begging to set up class Skype sessions with some of their favorite authors. In the past, we had arranged teleconferencing with classrooms and students in other countries during World Read-Aloud Day, so why not invite the authors that we love?

“Okay,” I said. “If we’re going to contact authors, how do we reach them?” And thus began the Great Library Scavengimg_3514er Hunt to find contact information of favorite authors.   As a class we searched within author websites, looked in books for publishers, and then paired up for an online search. We discovered that most well-known authors prefer to be contacted by mail, via their publishers.

I set up a quick lesson in letter writing: the envelope, the stamp, the return address. About 25% of my students have sent letters by post, so we listened to their experiences. “I received a letter from my grandmother in India,” said one. “I wrote to my aunt in Colombia,” said another.

The class settled into a quiet hush, when I told them that when I was their age the internet as we know it didn’t exist, and neither did email. By the wide-eyed expressions on their faces, I might as well have said, “I am an alien from another planet.” They tried to imagine a world where a telephone phone call or postal mail was the only way to communicate with someone far away.

Fast forward to our present world: the autumn of 2016. Here we are at a school in Saudi Arabia, engaged and connected in a digital landscape of cell phones, Instagram and Facebook.  Today’s discovery? To reach most of the authors who we love, we must write a good, old-fashioned letter.
subheading