Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Indestructible Hyperdoc

What's a Hyperdoc?

I've written several posts on hyperdocs varying in content and purpose. In a nutshell, the purpose of a hyperdoc is merely to provide learning space. It might be an organized collaborative space or a document chock full of links, graphics, and resources to guide a learning experience. Either way, the real advantage of a hyperdoc is to buy the teacher time to collaborate with students and personalize learning. Students work through learning experiences as the teacher meets with individuals or small groups. This is much like the reader's workshop model I utilized in my classroom. Students worked in small groups on a text, independently on their own text, or were writing about their reading through a notebook or our class blog. In the meantime, I was conferencing and meeting students in the trenches of their work. In the end, the teacher will have a collection of responses that give a wealth of information about the students' discussions or level of knowledge on the topic that adds to the conferences the teacher held during class. In the end, the student may have opportunities to further explore and expand their understanding on the specific content taught or branch off into other related skills.

So enough about hyperdocs in general, how do you make one indestructible? For this project, you'll need a Chrome tab for Google Slides and one for Google Drawings. You're going to make a custom background for your Google Slides hyperdoc.

The Indestructible Hyperdoc

I've used Google Drawings for custom backgrounds in Google Slides in the past. I like the idea of having my own unique Google Slides template according to my liking. Honestly, it wasn't until I attended the EdTech in the Bend conference that I saw it being used to set a template for a hyperdoc. I attended a session by Andy Wallace about non-traditional assessment. Basically, it was about using Google Slides as a collaborative experience for students to respond creatively. What I hadn't thought of before was creating the directions for each slide in the background so that it could not be manipulated. A common question I get about hyperdocs is how to keep students from changing what is already there. A custom background isn't full proof as the background  of the slide deck can be changed, but it would keep items from being moved around so easily. 

This method would work really well for lower elementary classrooms. Then students have clear expectations laid out by the teacher as it can be color coded and the integrity not changed. Using color cues are a great way to set clear expectations for students.