Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hyperdocs: A Key Part of Blended Learning

My first experience with the internet goes back to roughly 1992 and my TA Eric. I purchased a 14400 baud modem from him to use with my Macintosh Classic. He told me about bulletin boards online and I had recently learned about this strange new thing called AOL. They had been sending 3.5 inch floppy disks to my apartment. Later it was CDs. I must have received at least 50 of those over the years. Thanks to that student, I began learning about the internet, email, TCP/IP, modems, handshakes, FTP, and so much more. He became my teacher. For those of you not old enough to remember this, 1992 was before the World Wide Web had been "invented." The Web was born in 1989, but the general public was not using it until 1994 or later. At that time, many teachers were wondering how to use their Apple IIe or Apple IIgs, the one with a color screen and a mouse.

I digress.

Frontloading Content

If done well, the most work/effort will go into creating learning opportunities that allow students to think and grow at their own pace. Yes, we usually want them to grow so we can assess at the same time, especially true for those of us who teach Advanced Placement courses. At this early point, I like to create study guides that hit upon key ideas.

  • I review the text
  • I create a google doc as a study guide; questions/terms in the left column--student responses in the right column--this format makes grading so much easier than traditionally formatted documents.
  • I may add video links with questions
  • I may add memes and ask the kids to interpret them within the reading
  • I may add songs/lyrics for the students to interpret within the current unit
  • I definitely add multiple choice questions for practice AND short answer for FRQ practice
  • FRQ practice is done in class
In class, I ask the students to be done with a particular reading by certain dates so we can discuss and do activities/demonstrations in class that can extend the book learning. My first hyperdoc is for motivation for my AP Psych course using Myers for AP 2nd Ed. (the online version). Any feedback and suggestions are quite welcome. I will be the first to admit that my first attempt falls short of the goals in the image above.
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I must confess that I had not heard the term "Hyperdoc" until this most recent winter break when I was doing some research and purchasing. That said, I've created various kinds of hyperdocs without realizing it before.




Creating hyperdocs, planning projects, and creating anything resembling blended learning will require a great deal of planning, perhaps even more so than lecture since we want to ask questions and elicit particular kinds of thinking and responses. After developing the initial lessons for your units, you can make changes each semester, or even class period to class period--there are no master copies to fix--just edit your primary document!

The Internet

Become very familiar with resources on the internet. They will be your best friend. You will need to give up the control I gave up when showing videos to class. I would pause the videos, asking questions, pointing out subtleties, making arcane (and sometimes irrelevant) references to ideas the students would never need or remember. I would go for the easy laugh. I learned I can still be a good teacher, perhaps even a better, without showing off some obscure thing I happened to recall in the moment.

Creativity in assessment will allow you to use assessments that can be evaluated without relying on multiple choice exams


posted by Chuck Schallhorn

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