EdTech: Hyperdocs in a Limited Tech Classroom

My classroom is not one-to-one and the devices I do have often have a lot of issues because they were small sets of devices that I was asked to pilot to see if they would be the best fit for busy classrooms like mine. Because of this I often have to take things like hyperdocs and find ways to make them work for limited device classrooms.

Three Things I Do To Make Hyperdocs Work In A Limited Device Classroom 

1. We Use Worksheets 

GASP! I said that evil word that has supposedly been banned from teaching. But to be real, the easiest way to do this is to have a worksheet (yup, I still use worksheets), partner kids up, and then have them follow along on a shared device. You could use Nearpod or Peardeck (both of which are amazing tools) but if the students need to go back to the information and review it only the student logged in will get a copy of the notes they take with Nearpod or Peardeck. This where I will defend worksheets, the value of the worksheet has to do with two things: purpose and implementation.

When you aren't a one-to-one school and students need access to resources to study it borders on inequitable to make all those resources digital. So while we do a lot of work online, I use an LMS, and I try and create a blended classroom, my students still have a notebook because I am preparing them for an AP Exam and they need all these notes to study in the Spring. I don't know what their device situation is at home and I don't want to depend on that when I don't have consistently reliable devices I can provide.

You can see how I do this here with a lesson on Africa I modified. I did not originally create this lesson but I made it into a hyperdoc that could be self-paced or teacher driven.

While students interact with each slide they take notes here. There are elements they do on the slide deck as well (there is a document analysis that links to a Padlet board.)

2. Make it Phone Friendly

One of the easiest ways to add more hyperdocs in a limited device classroom is to make them smartphone friendly. This one isn't a TRUE hyperdoc, it is missing some of the key steps that a hyperdoc is supposed to have but it follows those elements of making it student self-paced and giving students choice. This one works well on cell phones as it takes them to articles to read and take notes on. Part II (making the postcards) was originally designed for one-to-one use but could easily be done on paper if needed.

3. Focus on Lesson Design 

What makes hyperdocs SO GOOD is that they are well-designed lessons. Whether you are following the Explore-Explain-Apply model or the more in-depth Engage-Explore-Explain-Apply-Share-Reflect-Extend version, you get the key components of solid lesson design when creating hyperdocs. Part of what makes hyperdocs so amazing is that they are solid lesson design that are student-paced and incorporate student choice and student voice but sometimes we can't do ALL of those things. Sometimes the lesson needs to be teacher driven and sometimes students need limited choices to ensure a viable curriculum is covered. But the lesson design of a hyperdoc can be used with almost any type of lesson to ensure that you aren't just preaching from the front of the room but you are engaging learners and pushing them to apply their knowledge.

I know I need to focus more of my lessons around how I will get students engaged, how they will explore, and then how they will apply what they have learned. And Ideally, they need to be sharing, reflecting, and extending the learning every day as well. It doesn't have to be a fancy google doc or hyperslide to be a good lesson but the elements of a hyperdoc - the steps they ask students to take can take any lesson to the next level.

How do you use hyperdocs in the classroom? Share in the comments below.


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