Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making Hyperdocs With Google Slides

Last Tuesday, I moderated the #worldgeochat on Google Apps. The question about hyperdocs seemed to have the most interest. Although I have been making hyperdocs for many years, I had to do some homework to prepare for this topic.


Prior to the last year or so, I had not thought much about using hyperdocs to do more than make documents with links embedded in the text. After perusing the Internet for examples of what other teachers were doing, I began thinking of ways to provide my students with opportunities to explore the hyperdocs without every student's experience being so similar. 

Since it can be tough to make history lessons less linear, my approach has become more thematic. For example, if my students explore a hyperdoc lesson about WWI, they could start from a menu with different themes, such as technology, major battles, causes of war, roles of different countries, and diplomacy. By design, they could choose themes in any order without compromising their ability to complete the lesson objectives.

Since this blog is read by more than just history teachers, I wanted to provide an example from another subject area. The water cycle came to mind, and here's how I made it.

Exemplar is at the bottom of the post. 

1. Determine the Layout

Slides are most often used one slide after another. Consider slides in a different way with some front matter to let the users know what it's about and a home slide that allows users to explore whichever content piece they choose (see step 3).  


2. Make the Front Matter

The front matter is simply introducing the lesson, directions, an essential question, and whatever you want learners to know or expectations you have as to how they may spend time with these slides.

At this point, you may have seen the yellow arrows in the upper right. These arrows are set to go to the next or previous slides. I copy and paste the arrows so they only have to be made once.   


3. Design a Home Slide

The home slide is the business end of lesson. Learners can click on the stages of the water cycle to be taken to an information slide (see next step). The clickable area is made with transparent rectangles that are linked to the corresponding slide. 


4. Insert the Information Slides

The information slides in this hyperdoc include text copied from the U.S. Geological Survey. The link to the rest of the text is embedded in the image. Likewise, the thumbnail of the water cycle in the upper left takes users back to the home slide.

The link to the image source is also included for all images used in this hyperdoc. These days it's easy to find images that can be used for education without any chance of infringing on the copyright. I like to use government resources as much as possible. I also try to embed link backs to the site from which the content originated because it helps the site, which is a digital way of saying thank you. It also provides users with direct access to the source.


5. Link Information Slides

As you can see in the image below, the slide options appear in a drop down when you link (ctrl k or link tool) the selected area. Steps 4 and 5 can be done at anytime. Speaking of time, I suggest making hyperdoc templates for future lessons. I may use this one for a WWI lesson coming up soon.


6. Write the Assessment Questions

Every lesson needs an assessment, but this one is not for the gradebook. It's just a practice quiz so learners can test their knowledge and reflect on the lesson. The home slide link is included in the upper left because I expect my students to go back and relearn parts that did not stick the first time.

The green boxes are clickable areas to select the question. Making large clickable areas are important because some learners may be using a tablet or smartphone. 

Download a PDF of the slides. It works great in PDF readers, but it does not work well in the Google Drive reader.

The answer choices (in the second image) are transparent clickable areas like the ones used on the water cycle model on the home slide. Although it is not shown here, I would add a Google Form link for learners to reflect on the lesson and submit some preliminary ideas about a related issue to which they want to formulate a response (project phase of the unit).



7. Make Feedback Slides

This is simple. If the answer choice is correct, learners see this slide. If the choice is incorrect, they see a slide that says, "Try again." The yellow box takes them back to the quiz. The feedback slides can be more involved and specific to the choice. Perhaps in year two or three of using this lesson, I would add more specific feedback for each response. 


What's More

These documents can have as much or as little to them as you need. I recommend starting off simple and adding to your hyperdocs a little each year.

The PDF format works well if you are using a tablet and have a PDF reader app installed. Otherwise, download the PDF and use the download outside of Google Drive. Doing it this way, the slide links will work. For some reason, the slide links do not work in the Drive PDF reader.

PDF of Exemplar

Open this hyperdoc in Google Slides and make a copy if you want to use it (finish it) or make a template out of it. All of the things on this blog are here for the taking, no attribution required. Link backs are always much appreciated but also not required for use. What's most important to is that you share how you made it better (or different). You can do so in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

Link to Slides. Make a copy. Make a template. Share with the world. Do what you want, as long as it's fair.