Episode 13 Lifelong Learning with Hyperdocs

In this episode Dan discusses hyperdocs and how they are a tool that can be used to create lifelong learners. A hyperdoc helps to engage students, create meaning for student learning, connect content to the real world, and to guide student reflections on their learning.

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Lifelong learning with Hyperdocs by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

What is a hyperdoc?

  • NOT just a document with links
  • It is a reverse lesson or unit plan that:
    • Provides students with choice
    • Has students collaborate
    • Develops creativity
    • Includes meta-learning (learning to learn)
  • The focus is more on the pedagogical approach than the links in the document
  • Commonly include the terms:
    • Engage (Identify the meaning in life of what is going to be learnt), 
    • Explore (begin to develop research skills following students own interests, 
    • Explain (explicit instruction, providing content knowledge), 
    • Apply (examine egs, analyse other perspectives, case studies, creating something AND I would recommend that this be in various contexts), 
    • Share (Their application is shared with others for feedback. So both themselves and others can reflect on what was produced. I recommend external audiences), 
    • Reflect (students then reflect on their learning process, what skills they applied or developed, how they overcame problems, identifying Ah Ha moments and how they became successful or NOT), and 
    • Extend (where do they go now, going deeper into the issues, connecting to overarching big life questions, linking back to the engagement, go further into the Whys?

How does it create lifelong learners?

  • The hooks into real world and meaning provide motivation and interest
  • Allowing students to first explore on their own (with or without restraints according to ages) helps develop their own inquisitiveness, especially if you walk around the room and engage with this exploration. It can be the most important aspect of the learning
  • Producing something that is shared is fantastic for the students. Suddenly they can see how learning can lead to creation, helping others, or something that others will engage with – this is key for entrepreneurial mindsets
  • Finally the reflection, I think I will do a whole episode on this, but as students reflect on the learning process, they are learning how to learn. The focus of the reflection is how they were or could be successful, what went wrong, how to overcome this and identify those learning strategies. This is Meta-learning in action

How do you make one?

  • Check out Hyperdocs.co they have heaps of scaffolds and a community that do hyperdocs. There is a Facebook group as well and this can become really transformational for yourself
  • For me, I integrate them with my flipped mastery approach. Students work through them and the “explain” is my flipped video and so I am always moving around the room and helping the students regardless of where they are up to in the process, or even which hyperdoc they are using, ie which topic they are looking at.
  • Then plan the lesson from the students perspective. Give them the choice of specifics, how they consume content and the context and tools used to create it. Allow them to choose their groups, chose the platform for sharing and connect what they are learning with their world, not just ours.
  • It does take good planning and prep, but the rewards are great.

Give it a go!

  • Grab a scaffold and plan a single “lesson” or topic using the scaffold, even if it is just the Explore, Explain, Apply scaffold, it is a beginning.
  • Then plan through your activities, look for opportunities for your students to take over their learning process, but having choice and voice. 
  • Put all the detail that the students need into the one hyperdoc, so they don;t need you to know what to do next. 
  • Then in your lesson, be the leader and assistant at the same time. Help your students learn to learn and love doing it. It is vital for their path towards being life-long learners.

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