Friday, April 15, 2016

Hack Your HyperDoc with Google Drawings! Three Simple Ways to Get Started.

HyperDocs, created by Lisa HighfillKelly Hilton and Sarah Landisare a serious gamechanger when moving beyond just providing devices to truly integrating educational technology. (You can read ALL about HyperDocs and how to get started creating them here!) Google drawings, which I lovingly refer to as the "unsung hero" of Google Apps, is an incredibly versatile tool for getting students creating and showing what they know in a fun, visually stimulating format. Here are three simple ways to get started!


1. Embed a Google Drawing as a template in a HyperDoc for students to edit.

One of my favorite ways to use Google Drawings is to embed a Drawing in a HyperDoc that students can edit by double clicking. This allows you to have something such as a graphic organizer, virtual math manipulatives or even a sort in the doc for students to complete. When the HyperDoc is copied or assigned in Google Classroom the drawing is also copied so that each student gets their own copy of your template automatically embedded in the doc.

To insert a Google Drawing into a HyperDoc or other Google doc (how to GIF below)
  • Place your cursor where you would like the drawing to be embedded.
  • Click on "insert" then "Drawing".
  • Create your template by inserting images and/or text boxes.
  • Click "Save and Close".

To edit the drawing your students will double click, make their changes, then click "Save & Close". When they turn in the document their saved drawing will be embedded. A great way for students to show what they know!

Examples of ways to use Google Drawings templates in HyperDocs.
  • Have students sort words by moving them into the column they belong. In this Food Chain HyperDoc students are categorizing organisms as either "producers, consumers, or decomposers". Google Drawings can be a great way for students to sort words for your word work time. Another great way to incorporate word word is to have them create "magnetic" poetry. Check out Kasey Bell's Collaborative Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings (refrigerator image included =). She has a link to a template ready for you to use in your next poetry unit! 

  • Have students read a text, watch a video or view an image in a HyperDoc then use a graphic organizer or note taking template for brainstorming, drafting, taking notes, or responding. Lots of graphic organizers and templates are already shared and ready for you to copy make your own. Eric Curts has 40+ Graphic Organizers in this Templates folder! Once in the folder be sure to click "Add to Drive" (how to GIF) so that you can make a copy of all the templates. Matt Miller shares 15 FREE Google Drawings graphic organizers in this Ditch That Textbook past.  Barbra Drasby @MsDrasby has an awesome Story Creator graphic organizer that includes links to Help Hotline for students when they get stuck.

2. Students insert a Google drawing into a HyperDoc to demonstrate learning.

Students can use easily insert a Google Drawing into their HyperDoc to show what they have know or to create an image or infographic. In this HyperDoc template students will demonstrate new learning visually with a Google Drawing.  
Examples of a ways students can use a Google Drawing to show what they know.
  • Have your student create word art. In this One Word HyperDoc students create word art in Google Drawings to share their One Word that describes their goals, dreams, ambitions and who they want to be in the new year. This could be used at the beginning of a new calendar year or at the beginning of a new school year.
  • Using a diagram, cross-section, map or other visual students can recreate and label their own image. After learning about the Solar System in this Space Explorer HyperDoc third grade students draw and label the planets using an illustration as their guide. 

  • After a science demonstration or experiment students can draw and label their finished project. They can also use drawings to plan out their model or project. Even first graders can use the tools in Google drawings to draw lines and boxes to represent a circuit. After visiting our STEM lab students can share their learning in a STEM Lab Reflection HyperDoc.
Early second grader's model of littleBits circuit.

Fifth grader's model of cubelets robot.

3. Get "GAFE SMASHING" with those HyperDocs! Docs + Slides + Drawings = Great Googley Goodness.

A fantastic way to get students connecting and collaborating in a HyperDoc is to have students insert a Google Drawing into a collaborative Google Slides presentation to share out what they have learned with the rest of the class or beyond! 

Getting a Google Drawing into a Google Slides presentation is a little more involved but it is worth it, especially if you are using it as way for students to share out  what they have learned with the whole class. When students insert a png or jpeg of their drawing other students can make comments but can't edit the original image in the collaborative slides presentation.

You will want to assign or have a forced copy (change "edit" at the end of the drawings url to "copy" then copy and paste the entire url) of this template which is formatted to fit a Google Slide. Then students can create a Google Drawing and have an image that is perfectly formatted for slides! Here is an easily adaptable template for you to use in your HyperDoc. Collaborative Google Slides with Google Drawings TEMPLATE. Don't forget to change the share settings to "anyone with link can edit" before assigning to the students.

Some ways to get your students connecting and collaborating with this fabulous "GAFE Smash"!
  • Students create a graphic design or ad to demonstrate their knowledge and apply it. In this Simple Machines Unit HyperDoc students are challenged to design a product using one or more simple machine(s) that would help someone with disabilities. Then they will create an ad for their product using Google Drawings and share the image in a collaborative slides presentation.
  • After viewing media or reading text about a topic students can create an infographic or poster in Google Drawings to share with the class in a collaborative Google Slides presentation. Students can comment on each others' drawings, ask questions or give feedback. In his post Google Drawings interactive posters (no glue sticks necessary!) Matt Miller shares some great tips for getting students creating some fantastic posters in Google Drawing! 
(Note: if you download a drawing as a png, jpeg or take a screenshot the links in a drawing no longer work. If you want to have students create a poster/image and keep the links they can do the same thing using the drawings features in Google Slides. Thanks Sean Fahey for that tip!)

More Google Drawings Resources

Looking for a quick way to bookmark all of the Google Drawings resources shared above plus more? Check out this padlet full of Googley goodies! Have fun and don't forget to share your creations with @TsgiveTs!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Exploring the Google Cultural Institute: Simple Ways to Bring Virtual Field Trips, Beautiful Art, Historic Images & More To Your Students.

The Google Cultural Institute is full of incredible images including beautiful images of famous artwork and artist. I stumbled upon this resource this morning and was blown away by the endless possibilities of using this in the classroom. There are three Featured Projects; Historic Moments, World Wonders, and Art Projects. I know that I have barely scratched the surface of what this site has to offer but here is a quick overview of each.

Historic Moments

What really took my breath away was exploring the Historic Moments Collections. Here you can "Explore online exhibitions detailing the stories behind significant moments in human history. Each exhibition tells a story using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events." "Historic Moments - Google Cultural Institute." Historic Moments - Google Cultural Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Powerful images bring history to life, making us FEEL and allow us to be transported back in time as we explore history in a way that goes way beyond just reading about it in a textbook. 

In the short period of time I was exploring I found some amazing resources that will get your students hooked on history.

World Wonders

Angkor Wat, Street View. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <>.
In World Wonders you and your students can explore the world the way it is today and in ancient times. Historic images, an embedded map of the location and Google Street view transports your students to historic sites around the globe! So many more to choose from but here is a look at a few that caught my eye.
  • Take your students to Egypt with a virtual field trip to the Pyramids of Giza!
  • Transport your students way back in time as they discover the wonder of Stonehenge, Avebury.
  • Explore the beauty and be awed by the incredible Grand Canyon! Four street views and over 1,000 images make this a fantastic virtual field trip.

Art Project

Diving into Art History? Check out the immense Art Project section. You can search by artist, medium and more! The compare feature allows you to see two images side by side for a comparison. This would be a very useful tool if you are studying specific artist, medium, time period or other attribute. To compare click the compare icon in the lower left hand corner.
Then click on the image you want to compare and finally click on the compare icon in the upper left hand corner next to the + sign to add it. 

Repeat with the next image you want to compare.

Share to Google Classroom!

The best part is that that you can share directly to Google Classroom! Just click the Google Classroom icon and choose the class you want to share them with.

Go Mobile

Want to take the Google Cultural Institute with you on the go? Check out the Arts and Culture App available for Android and IOS

There are so many possibilities for using this amazing resource in the classroom. I would love to hear how others are using it to bring history to life with your students.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

HyperDocs! Need I say more????

This post was updated on 6/11/16 to include links to new videos and resources.

I love HyperDocs. Love, love, love them. I love making them, I love co-creating them with other teachers, and most of all, I LOVE watching and connecting the kids while they work on them. If you aren't familiar with this awesome digital tool keep reading for the 411 on HyperDocs!

Where did HyperDocs come from?

The terrific trio Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis coined the term HyperDocs when they created this amazing digital tool. They also created @Tsgivets a Twitter account dedicated to helping teachers share their creations with one another for FREE! How awesome is that?

A hyperwhat?

I first learned about HyperDocs from my colleague Nick Zefeldt when he came to give me some tech TOSA tips. He showed me an example hyperdoc and went through the lesson with me. BAM that was it, match made in edtech heaven! I was hooked on HyperDocs!

Isn't a hyperdoc just a doc with hyperlinks???

NOPE! It is SO much more! The beauty of HyperDocs is that the creation of the doc itself requires the teacher to take into consideration the needs of the students, how they will engage in the content, what ways they can reflect on their own learning, and how they can show what they know. It is also ALL about packaging. HyperDocs LOOK engaging because they are. Kids enjoy doing them and while they are learning, collaborating, creating and reflecting in their doc the teacher is given the gift of time to connect with students and engage in quality conversations with them about their learning.

Click here to see a larger version of this image.

OK I'm interested, how do I learn more?

At the CUE 2015 National conference held on March 17-19th 2016, Lisa held a session called Extreme Pedagogy Makeover using HyperDocs. This session gave us an overview of what HyperDocs are and how to get started. Check out the HyperDocs Explained page on Lisa's website and watch the entire session below!


The official Teachers Give Teachers website is here! An INCREDIBLE site filled with amazing resources. You can Take 1 by searching through the ever growing library of shared HyperDocs created by teachers everywhere. OR you can Give 1 by registering on the site (easy peasy to do, you can register with Google) and upload your OWN HyperDoc (see LOTS of resources on how to create your own below) to share with the world! Go to and check it out, it's pretty dang awesome.

I'm hooked! How do I get started creating?

Three ways to get started with HyperDocs.

1.  Use a template to guide you.
My favorite way to begin using HyperDocs is with a template. Lisa, Sarah and Kelly have created some FABULOUS templates you can copy and use. They are a great way to get started making HyperDocs. As I began to do some trainings with my staff and district I started creating some HyperDoc templates that included links to resources and ideas for each section. I spoke about the power of templates and Google tools when I was a guest on their weekly show "HyperDoc Hangouts on Air". See the episode below and get links to all of the templates and resources I shared by clicking "show more" under the YouTube video.

2. Remix someone else's already awesome HyperDoc!
The great thing about Twitter and is that LOTS of teachers are sharing their amazing HyperDocs for FREE online. I post mine all the time! Here is a link to my shared HyperDocs folder that I will continue to add to (most have also been added to the website). The best part is that the teachers posting their work encourage you to take their HyperDoc and tweak it to turn it into one that works for you and your students (just be sure to put "inspired by" and the original creator's name at the bottom)! THAT is the power of TeachersGiveTeachers.netIn addition to the terrific trio there are some incredible HyperDoc creators sharing their resources online. Follow these people on Twitter, check out their blogs or websites and snag their HyperDoc gems!

Rocky Logue @slogue89
7th Grade Teacher, Templeton, CA

Heather Marshall @MsMarshallCMS
Middle School Teacher, Crockett, CA
Sean Fahey @SeanJFahey
4th Grade Teacher, Paoli, IN
Kendra Tyler @ktylercuesd
Junior High School Teacher, Corning, CA

Matt McFarlane @MrMacsclasses
Middle School Teacher, Templeton, CA

Lisa Guardino @LisaGuardino
Educational Technology TOSA

In addition to the website also check out this padlet FILLED with awesome HyperDocs shared by tons of amazing teachers. When you create one upload it to and add it to the padlet too!

3. Start from a blank slate.
Open up a new Google Doc or Google Slides presentation and get creating! Lisa, Sarah and Kelly have got you covered with their How-To HyperDoc website! This site gives you step-by-step directions for creating your own hyperdoc. Also check out Lisa's "HyperDocs Explained" webpage for more ideas and links. Scroll down to Getting Started and check out the "Tips for Creating your own HyperDoc" link!

But WAIT There's MORE!

The HyperDoc Handbook is FINALLY Here!

Lisa, Sarah and Kelly have written a book! The HyperDoc Handbook has finally been released and it is already the #1 Best Seller in Computers and Technology! 

Order your copy on Amazon today and jump on the HyperDoc train! Don't forget to write a review if you love it and spread the love on Twitter with #HyperDocs and @TsGiveTs.