Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Hyperdocs: An engaging & interactive way to save time, paper, & headaches

I first heard about Hyperdocs a couple of months ago, but I hadn't got round to trying them out. However, last week's #DitchBook chat on Twitter, and this video, inspired me to give them a go. 

When I first heard about them, I thought Hyperdocs sounded a bit like digital worksheets, and placed the idea to one side. This is something I'm very wary of - simply replacing worksheets with digital, online versions of worksheets. However, Hyperdocs have the potential to do any number of things, and the possibilities they offer are really only limited by your imagination - or, by your students' imagination, since there is no reason for students not to create their own Hyperdocs!

The concept of Hyperdocs was originated by three teachers, Lisa HighfillKelly Amick Hilton, and Sarah Landis. Here, Lisa and Kelly summarise what Hyperdocs can do:

But they are also much more than that, and they are not limited to Docs - they could be created in Slides, Forms, Maps, and so on. You can also embed videos, and include links to many other types of media or tools. 

As Matt Miller, author of Ditch That Textbook says, edtech is often limited to the substitution end of the SAMR model. However, Hyperdocs offer scope for augmentation, modification, and redefinition of traditional pedagogical approaches. Again, the possibilities here really depend on the desired learning outcomes, after all, the SAMR model is not a ladder, with redefinition as the ultimate goal for all lessons. 

Hyperdocs have the potential to be used with any grade level, and in any subject area. They can make learning purposeful and engaging, and learners can work at their own speed, which also offers a lot of scope for differentiation. 

I know that as a concept 21st Century Skills and the 'four Cs' - communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creation - are taking a beating in some circles. However, whatever the philosophy / terminology is preferred, these are undeniably important skills, and they are skills that are well served by Hyperdocs:

I've started creating some very basic Hyperdocs, which I don't feel currently do justice to the overall potential of this approach. However, here is a link to a range of Hyperdocs shared by participants in the DitchBook chat:

Various Hyperdocs shared by the #DitchBook crew