Originally this post was supposed to be another book review. A book review on the Hyperdocs Handbook by Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis which offers in-depth knowledge of the what, why and how to use Hyperdocs to flip your classroom. Yet, as I was progressing through the book, I understood that I was lacking some fundamental knowledge on a few terms that were used extensively. Therefore this post as it turned out is more of a memorandum of research and analysis of terms found in the book and less of an overall review of the book which I will rewrite as a separate post eventually!
In general, Hyperdocs relies on the philosophy of the Flipped learning model. I believe in the fundamentals of the flipped learning model but have been inert to fully implement this method as the main pedagogy in my classroom (yet!). Mostly due to not having a fully comprehensive conception of all the principles relating to the use of flexible learning spaces to implement this concept. Flipped learning is a pedagogy that takes out the instruction stage from the classroom along with the ‘sage on the stage’ bit of the that too, and leaves time to challenge students through flexible learning spaces for real collaborative and flexible learning to happen in class changing the teacher role into a ‘guide on the side’. This all sounds astounding and having used many times in my classes; it does have excellent results in the way students get empowered to look at their learning, but there is a lot of fundamentals involved in respect to knowing about these flexible learning spaces and switching to this type of teaching in your classroom. Fundamentals which need to be looked at in-depth and understood to be able to design and implement lesson plans that are based on solid foundations. Fundamentals, which I have found deciphered in this book and found to be both analytical and clear.
Firstly, the book runs through some basic definitions and clarifies to its readers how Hyperdocs can help implement some of these distinct pedagogical strategies. Hyperdocs promote the use of a variety of strategies to deliver instruction in a classroom setting. One of these strategies is personalized learning which is possible through Hyperdocs as you can use Hyperdocs to design self-paced differentiated instruction that “promotes high expectations, use flexible methods and materials, and accurately assess student progress” and this is (stated to be) achieved through the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model. UDL? This influenced me to investigate the UDL framework. This eventually directed my search to cast.org which in short is an educational research organization around since 1984 investigating the use of UDL in education. UDL is an instructional framework which guides you to design your curriculum based on differentiation because it believes that each student is “Universal”. That is, students with different strengths, needs and interests and this needs to be manifested in your curriculum providing authentic learning opportunities for all students. UDL also maintains that learning is based on three main brain networks playing different roles.
The Recognition network is how we identify and categorise what we see, hear and read or simply the “what” of learning. The Skill and Strategies network which is how we organise and express our ideas, the “how” of learning. And finally, the Caring and Prioritising or Affective networks which are how students are engaged and motivated to learn or the “why” of learning. It’s this kind of flexible paths that should be designed in your flexible curriculum targeting all students and this is where the UDL framework helps out. The 3 core principles of UDL which need to be taken into consideration when designing the curriculum are:
So as you can understand… UDL is not something you can throw around and not know much about!
Hyperdocs also incorporates other learning strategies when used in the classroom. A few that were stated and adhered to me are Flexible grouping which can be used by the use of Hyperdocs. Grouping like:
- Whole class on one doc – “All students one doc”
- Partnerships – “Brainstorm with your partner on this…”
- Small groups – “With your team create…”
- Individual – “On your own, show..”
- Global partnership – “Connect with student A via a digital tool”\
This alone provokes collaboration through out all instruction.
Hyperdocs also supports delivering instruction for Project-based learning. Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects (source: https://www.pblworks.org/what-is-pbl). Hyperdocs allows for building background knowledge to become a task and not a lecture, improving both collaboration and expectation setting.
Another pedagogical strategy Hyperdocs provides the basis to deliver instruction for is the Inquiry-based Method. This method is strictly student-centred probing the teacher to be the guide on the side empowering students to ask questions and find the answers themselves relying on each other and their research. More information here: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/what-heck-inquiry-based-learning-heather-wolpert-gawron
Other pedagogical strategies mentioned for supporting the use of Hyperdocs are blended learning and distance learning which are supported by the use of Hyperdocs by providing a home base where students come and get their tailor-made guidance at their own time.
In this part of the book, Innovative learning spaces were also mentioned as being the design of space as a more student-centred classroom in which traditional instruction has no place and the use of Hyperdocs bridge the gap between the space people use to learn and the instructional methods by which they learn.
In short (too late for that!), Hyperdocs are based on core pedagogical principles which cause them to be invaluable to all educators. Next step now is to reflect on how they are designed and implemented in (my) classrooms!