Teaching With #HyperDocs

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I’ve been a big #HyperDocs fan for years now, but pandemic teaching has pushed me into superfan territory. I was first introduced to HyperDocs (Google docs designed to support learning) in the fall of 2017 and wrote my first blog post about HyperDocs in January 2018. That spring I began teaching with HyperDocs and I haven’t looked back. In the fall of 2018 I wrote about my love for teaching with HyperDocs, but then I stopped blogging specifically about HyperDocs (although they were frequent featured guests in blog posts as they increasingly became more important to my pedagogy and praxis especially as my teaching load was divided between online and hybrid classes. HyerDocs were also a tool that I recommended frequently to my PLN and the pre-service and practicing teachers with whom I work. Then came COVID-19 and suddenly we were all pandemic teaching and things got real–fast. That was when I decided I needed to up my HyperDoc game so I could go HyFlex with my fall classes. That led me to create my own HyperDoc templates for my unit plan, weekly plan, and lesson plan. As my fall classes are wrapping up the first unit of four (because my less is more philosophy has led me to focus on four deliverables per semester for all my undergraduate writing classes from first year writing to professional writing). All of this is to establish my bona fides when it comes to HyperDocs. HyperDocs have made me a better teacher and helped me create a better learning ecosystem for my students and here’s why you should teach with #HyperDocs too!

Thoughtful Teaching

One of the things that I love about teaching with HyperDocs is how they make me a more thoughtful teacher. The very first chapter of The HyperDoc Handbook focuses on pedagogy and practice. One of your first decisions when planning your HyperDoc is to think about the learning cycle that works best for your teaching context, your content, your students. HyperDocs begin with identifying your objective but the rest of the process is driven by careful attention to your unique classroom and students. These are not electronic worksheets. HyperDocs offer so much more to you and to your students.

Supportive Community

The HyperDoc community is amazing. Check them out on Twitter, explore the amazing collection of templates and examples across content areas and subject, and take advantage of the extensive advice and tutorials offered from the official HyperDoc source and beyond. I love the creativity and ingenuity that HyperDocs offer and you can find evidence of this all over the web as well as in The HyperDoc Handbook. This amazing community of educators at every level of education and across content areas will help you on your journey and inspire you to experiment and create better and more engaging lessons for your students.

Flexible Plans

I doubled down on HyperDocs this summer because our new teaching reality requires more flexibility for both teacher and student and the HyperDoc offers an infinite variety of tools to teach, tools to create, and tools to collaborate. Best of all, Hyperdocs offer so much choice and flexibility while also keeping things simple and connected to one key document. I choose to stay within the Google suite of tools for my HyperDocs and work with my students but each teacher and learning community has the opportunity to explore far beyond Google or to interweave other tools with Google as they choose. As I teach at the college level my HyperDocs tend to be straightforward docs although I do drop in the occasional slideshow, form, or Google site, but I have seen some really fun and interesting examples built more like game boards or choose your own adventure docs built in Google slides and forms or using other tools. HyperDocs offer you the opportunity to jump into the shallow end and play with existing templates or strike off into the deep end to create your own.

This fall I also shared my HyperDoc and KonMari method via a National Writing Project co-lab which I hope will help you see the benefits of HyperDocs if these reasons have not convinced you. Do you teach with #HyperDocs? What benefits do you see to teaching with HyperDocs? What questions do you have about teaching with HyperDocs? HyperDocs may just be the solution you’ve been seeking to your new teaching challenges in our pandemic world.

Update: I also shared my enthusiasm for Teaching With #HyperDocs at the Kentucky Teachers of English Fall Literacy Conference. Also, just wrapped Week 10 of a 14-week semester and I’m still very happy with my HyperDoc templates but I have learned to make one tweak and decided on another for next semester. My minor tweak I made is to make sure that each activity or lesson HyperDoc links to the unit HyperDoc so we don’t need to go searching for info about the big picture. It’s actually an easy fix as I usually mention the big picture in the first box that describes the goal for the activity/lesson so I just need to make sure to insert the hyperlink. For next semester I will need to rethink the support section of my weekly template. It needs to be more streamlined and focused.


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