Ed Tech is a major buzzword in public education right now and is it me, or is there less push for tech integration in fine arts classrooms? AND WHY?! The realm of digital tools for fine and performing arts is richly populated with incredible apps, programs, software, and even hardware with the potential to increase growth and engagement in the arts like never before. In this, the age of dub step and flash mobs, why are we not using every avenue we can to increase advocacy by encouraging students to share their arts experiences and skill with the community they most commonly engage?
I use Google Classroom as a foundation for my middle school music classes. All of my lessons and assignments are posted there — yes, even performance-based assignments. I have found this provides much more transparency to my classroom operation and a much more reliable resource for kids with questions. I often post video reviews of lessons or detailed assignment explanations to add an extra tier of support for kids who might need repetition or to help with absences. It has made my class much more efficient and my time is spent more on content than management. It also cuts back a bit on internet wanderlust during class if you have just one site to provide all the class info, resources, and links for students.
I didn’t realize that the multi-step digital assignments I created and used in my classroom were called hyperdocs until a colleague introduced me to The Hyperdoc Girls. Their blog is full of how-to’s, tips, and hundreds of templates for creating and using hyperdocs in the classroom.
A hyperdoc is more than just links in a Google Doc or Slide. It is a thoughtful blend of content, pedagogy, critical thinking and creativity which is supplemented by technology. The driving force behind hyperdocs should not be the tech but the tech should enhance your lesson by providing guided learning opportunities that engage students. Visit the Templates section of the blog above (HyperDocs.co) for all kinds of ideas and insight into creating a hyperdoc that fits your specific needs.
Here is the first hyperdoc I made for my classroom to introduce instruments of the orchestra to my general music classes (make a copy HERE). This assignment is made of multiple slides that engage students in a basic introduction to orchestral instruments.
One of the slides includes an interactive worksheet (Digital Instrument Sort) that I provided in a previous blog post (although it has been transferred to Google Slides for this assignment). The other slides ask students to input responses, explore links to videos of solo instrumental performances, and view an orchestral performance at Carnegie Hall through Google Arts and Culture in 360° Video (which allows students to move the camera around to fully interact with the musicians as they play).
I assign hyperdocs through my Google Classroom but it is compatible with other platforms, like Canvas. You could also share your hyperdoc with students via email. Make sure no matter how you share this with kids, provide a “view only” link and require them to make a copy OR use the “Make a new copy for each student” option in Google Classroom. Otherwise all students will be working and editing the exact same document (*cue scary music*).
As always, please share your thoughts: comments, concerns, complaints — all welcome! #TeachToTheRest