Monday, June 13, 2016

Better Together! Creating Collaborative HyperDocs

There are times when you just get PUMPED up about teaching. Something reignites that passion we all have as educators and fuels our fire. It is no secret that HyperDocs do this for me. I am very passionate about spreading the love for this incredible method of instruction that transforms how we teach with technology. HyperDocs were created by Lisa HighfillKelly Hilton and Sarah Landis and they are such a game changer! (Check out my previous post HyperDocs! Need I Say More??? and definitely get your hands on a copy of their book The HyperDoc Handbook today!) 

Order your copy on Amazon today!

HyperDocs are definitely the "how" when it comes to integrating technology into your instruction, but another need we have is finding the "who". We can't be islands in education. We have to move beyond our four walls and find our tribe. Those teachers who share our passion to collaborate and create with. We can certainly find them at our school or in our district but through the power of Twitter our "who" potential becomes even greater.

I was recently honored to be asked to be a guest of Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis on one of their weekly episodes of HyperDoc Hangouts on Air. I shared my love of HyperDoc templates and the power of using Google tools to connect with other teachers through Twitter, across the state or across the country, and collaborate with them on a HyperDoc. You can watch the episode and view the resources by clicking on the link below.

Collaboration Across the Country!

My first experience collaborating on a HyperDoc with someone not at my school site was about a year ago when Justin Birckbichler and I worked together to create a Digital Citizenship HyperDoc (focusing on plagiarism) for 4th/5th grade. It was so much fun creating a HyperDoc with someone who lives all the way on the other side of the country! With the power of Twitter and Google Apps it's easy to get connected, collaborate and share. It motivated me to start collaborating with even more passionate teachers outside of my school to create HyperDocs that I would never have been able to create on my own!

During my HyperDoc Hangout on Air episode I shared a story of how Krista Harmsworth and I connected on Twitter and collaborated on a 5th grade weather HyperDoc. It started with a tweet during one of our weekly #DitchBook chats.

After she sent that tweet we met virtually through a Google Hangout and both jumped on the same HyperDoc template. We decided on a topic, focused in on a standard and worked in real time to create a very cool 5th Grade Weather HyperDoc

Sketchnote created by the amazing Heather Marshall

A Little Tweet Goes A Long Way

At the time of that HyperDoc Hangout on Air episode I was working on a collaborative HyperDoc with Kimberlie McDonald. We had connected on Twitter months before and had discussed collaborating on a HyperDoc, then one day while tweeting back and forth we just jumped in and started collaborating! 

We used the same HyperDoc template to create an end of the year reflection HyperDoc. We used the comment feature in Google Docs to brainstorm, reflect and give each other feedback. Within just a few days we had created a fun End of Year Reflection HyperDoc just in time for the end of the 2015-2016 school year!  

The best part was yet to come for us though. After we tweeted out our HyperDoc and tagged @tsgivets we were thrilled to see others had remixed our HyperDoc to make it new and different!

Better Together 

The Power of Group Collaboration

The incredible Heather Marshall has been creating Novel HyperDocs that will blow your mind. To say that I am inspired by her is an extreme understatement! She creates some fabulous novel HyperDocs for her middle school students (see her creations here)! I have been itching to do the same thing for our upper elementary students but other than using Google slides to create them I wasn't really sure where to start. However, through the power of Twitter, I have been fortunate enough to connect with Sean Fahey and Michele Waggoner who were game to try and tackle it together. All I can say is, WOW are they quite a creative force!

We started with a blank Google slides presentation, a book (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume) and a Twitter direct message thread. In a little over a week the three of us had collaborated on an epic elementary level novel HyperDoc! Check out Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Novel HyperDoc.
The three of us were able to create WAY more together than we could have ever done alone! We built upon each other's ideas, gave each other constructive feedback and bounced ideas back and forth in real time and asynchronously. And the best part?? We have never met, never even spoken on the phone, just through the collaborative nature of Twitter, Google apps and @TsGiveTs we were able to connect and work together on a project that was created because we were truly better together.

We didn't stop there! We know how powerful these novel HyperDocs can be and we were inspired to create a Elementary Level Novel HyperDoc Template and a teacher's guide (idea also inspired by Heather Marshall) so that more elementary level teachers could get together with other like-minded colleagues and create their own!

Ready to Get Collaborating and Creating?

Are you looking for others to collaborate with? Sending out a #HyperDoc help tweet (I like to refer to this as the #HyperDoc bat signal ;) and tagging @tsgivets is a great start! Once you have someone (or multiple someones) to collaborate with a template is a great place to start! Check out this padlet of HyperDoc templates and be sure to visit to connect with others and search for an incredible amount of uploaded HyperDocs. Upload yours too and keep the sharing going!