The Art of teaching with HyperDocs: Student Centered Lessons that Inspire Curiosity and Creativity

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You’re a teacher. Your main goal every day is to engage kids and teach them how to think and how to learn. Over the years, you’ve delivered instruction in a variety of ways. You’ve fine-tuned your best lessons. You’ve abandoned the ones that failed. You spend time thinking about your students and talking to colleagues in an effort to support every individual learner in your classroom. Beyond district benchmarks, national standards, and purchased curriculum, you ignite learning and make the magic happen in your classroom every day. But how do you do that? What is it that fuels a passion for creativity in instructional practices in the teacher and creativity in the students?


Sir Ken Robinson, British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government describes teaching as an art form, “It’s not a delivery system...Teaching is an arts practice. It’s about connoisseurship and judgment and intuition.” Do you think of yourself as an artist? You are. And so are your students. Each day you design and deliver instruction, you are creating an experience in your classroom. Designing HyperDocs captures your lesson plans and instructional delivery strategies which sets a stage for artful teaching that has the potential to reach all students. Here how:


Understanding the Context of your Students: 
HyperDoc creators ask themselves, who are my students? What is their background knowledge? What do they already know and what do I want them to know? What is my educational setting? By personalizing the HyperDoc for the individual learners in your classroom, all students have universal access to the learning. Those who need help with the organization have all the teaching and learning in one place. Students who might need to review resources, teaching points, or guidelines more than once, can access all of the teaching and learning at any time from any device. Students who need extension activities can be inspired to try new things with extended learning opportunities. Intentional HyperDoc design personalizes the lessons for the students in your classroom.


Content that Inspires Curiosity: 
In the information age, students have unlimited access to content. A HyperDoc creator carefully selects content for students to consume that maximizes their learning experience by inspiring curiosity. When students explore content, they can access it in a variety of ways. The teacher studies the students and collects evidence about what they already know and what they need to know. This process allows the teaching to shift from limited resources to multiple resources and pathways to understanding the content. Students and teachers become experts in knowledge and the learning process becomes a parallel cycle of teaching and learning. Instead of daily lectures or showing isolated video lessons on the topic, link all the digital resources to the HyperDoc and set the stage for exploration of the topic. Invite students to become experts on the topic, allow them to be curious consumers, and observe the exponential effects of teaching when all students are experts. You might be surprised when some students may know about or share their own resources on the topic too! Exploring content through multimedia before teaching or explaining through direct instruction, creates a classroom community of experts on the topic and the technology lowers the barriers to understanding the content by providing multiple pathways to learning without lowering the bar for variable learners.


Creativity to Show What You Know: 
Designing the HyperDoc requires that the teacher intentionally build the lesson to include one or more of the 4 C’s of education (Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Creativity), and has the potential to meet the three principles described in Universal Design for Learning (UDL). When students are asked to apply their learning and show what they have learned, the HyperDoc can serve as a guideline for what they need to do and how to accomplish that task. Once the apply task is outlined on the HyperDoc, students are offered choice and variety in ways to show their learning and teachers can offer feedback throughout the process. These are other principles embedded in UDL characterized as offering multiple pathways to demonstrate learning and consistent feedback. Depending on the strengths of the student, with choice, they can show their learning using the creation tools that best fit their learning style. The teacher can help guide students towards the tools that might best meet their learning needs and assists the student in demonstrating an understanding of the content in a meaningful way. For teachers, designing HyperDocs is a creative process to implement a blend of on tech and off tech engaging lessons. For students, learning from a HyperDoc is an opportunity to show an understanding of content in a variety of creative ways using technology tools that inspire creativity and empower student agency. Regularly applying creative practices for teachers and students embraces the goals of modern classrooms.


The art of teaching with HyperDocs begins with the creator. When it’s time to design, use everything you know about your students to create an engaging lesson, empower experts, embrace curiosity with exploration of content, embed collaboration, and give students the opportunity to creatively show what they know. The combination of intentional lesson design and your personal style of delivering instruction from a HyperDoc will awaken your inner artful teacher and elevate the learning experience for all students. For more information about HyperDocs, please check out www.hyperdocs.co.

If you would like to see a classroom teaching with a HyperDoc, check out THIS VIDEO