Tag Archives: Google

Create a Digital Learning Experience Hyperdoc

How to Create a Hyper doc Digital Learning Experience


With all the technology available to us today, it becomes a challenge to organize it, direct our students to it, all while keeping them on task.  Packaging a lesson or project into a Google hyperdoc, Google slides, or using a Learning Management system like Schoology or Google Classrooms is the beginning of a digital learning experience.

A Digital Learning Experience is a set of digital activities that integrate conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application or a challenge to engage students in productive struggle.


Let’s look at the process of building a Hyperdoc Digital Learning Experience to challenge 4th – 6th grade students to think about fractions.


  1. Begin with openmiddle.com


  1. Open a Google Doc


  1. Create a Table


  1. Give a title above the table.


  1. Merge the first row.


  1. Click in the merged cells then draw the image from the activities in your first cell to get attention.


  1. Begin to draw the number line, then the fractions. Draw the first fraction, by drawing a square. Make it transparent. Then the fraction line. Copy the square and paste it.


  1. Once you have created the first fractions. Draw a box around it by left clicking and drag the box around it. Then Copy and paste.


  1. Add the directions. Draw a box, fill it, then paste in the directions. If the directions have a background color, go to more and change the highlight.


  1. Add the opportunity for the reflection. Draw a box and ask students to reflect. See the download version of the worksheet.


  1. When the drawing is complete Save and close. 


  1. Add directions to get students Hooked. Or an image… etc.


  1. Find digital material for scaffolding and building conceptual understanding. Resources include Khan, digital textbooks, Learn Zillion etc. Paste the hyperlink to each and a description.


  1. Look for practice problems to practice the procedural fluency that is required to solve the problem. This could be digital practice, an assigned worksheet, etc. If this has already happened in class then skip this step.


  1. Find an interactive opportunity for students to explore and receive instant feedback as they practice the concepts. Resources include http://illuminations.nctm.org/ These free resources are not easy to find. Your school might have a school wide program where you can find specific content.


  1. Add Questions to your Hyperdoc that would indicate your student has reviewed the material or has already mastered the skill required. (*optional: add collaboration*) And add the column for students to indicate they have completed the row.


  1. Begin adding some images to gain attention. Find these on the web my searching for images. Even if you are using this solely for your class, it is good practice to follow the usage rights. However, if you are using it for any other purpose, it is expected.


  1. Provide the opportunity for students to self check their answers.


  1. Provide an example in the DLE or in class.




  1. Last copy the original challenge problem into multiple merged cells for students to complete.


  1. Paste the image.


  1. Format the Color of the rows to add some creativity. Highlight the row or rows. Right click to open the dialog window. Then click table properties.


  1. table-propertiesChange the cell background.


  1. Provide Instructions in the doc for turning it in or as you assign it.



50 States Google Map project

the_50_states_projectAs a interdisciplinary coordinator, I enjoy working with teachers and parents to use Google Apps for student learning. Integrating technology into teaching and learning provides the opportunity to reach higher order thinking skills as students engage in challenging and creative tasks (King, Goodson, & Rohani, 2009).

Most American students are tasked with the challenge of memorizing the 50 states and their capitals. Currently this is a fifth grade standard, but I have known of students as early as 1st grade beginning to learn these facts. However, if you ask most 20 year old adults to name 15 states and their capitals, you might be surprised at the answers. Here is a fun way for students to learn these facts, while engaging higher order thinking skills as they generate their own map and produce travel itinerary to visit capitals across the nation.


  • Computer
  • Google Account
  • Apps used – Google Maps, Google Sheets


Students will start by going to http://www.50states.com/tools/thelist.htm to see a list of states and capitals, then type them into a spreadsheet.  Additionally, students should research other details such as the Admission Day for each state, or a famous author/artist who lives/lived in the state. This is a wonderful opportunity to personalize the activity to peak student interest. Maybe the student is interested in theme parks, gardens, or sports. This information will be entered into the spreadsheet. In fact, up to 50 columns of detailed information can be included. Here are step by step instructions for entering this information into a spreadsheet.

After they have created the spreadsheet they will open the My Maps app to import all the information into a customizable map.  Once they have imported the details into their map, they can add images, customize the pins, etc.  Use the following instructions for creating the map.

To make this activity extend into math, ask students to create a travel itinerary. They can choose to travel by plane, car, bike or other means of locomotion. The more the students interact with the states and capitals, seeing them on the map, talking about them and learning about them, the more likely they are to remember them after they have taken a test.

Consider having students listen to the states and capitals songs while they are working on the project. Or for the ultimate technology creation, have the students screen cast their map with the states. Use one of many free web based screencasting tools, such as the Snag it Chrome Extension or Screencastify. Remember that the YouTube editor allows for quick edits and background music.


“Higher Order Thinking Skills – Center for Advancement of …” 2009. <http://www.cala.fsu.edu/files/higher_order_thinking_skills.pdf>

My Kids has GAFE



My student has GAFE? Is it contagious?

Whether you are a teacher or parent you might not have heard of GAFE (long A, silent e). It stands for Google Apps for Education, and it is sweeping the nation.  A school/district creates google accounts for their students, which gives them access the basic Google apps such as email, documents, slides, and spreadsheets.  While anyone over 14 can create their own free account, these basic programs can help districts narrow the “digital divide” between families and schools, by providing quality resources for FREE! However, just like with free apps there can be a few things to watch out for.

With these Google accounts, students have access to word processing programs and other important software. Even students as young as second grade can learn to type and use the presentations feature to present digital information.  Also, these accounts allow schools to manage devices like Chromebooks and tablets which students find very helpful.

While there is great debate about the benefits for students under 3rd grade spending too much time digitally, and not enough time with a pencil, scissors and glue, most people will not argue that as students learn to author lengthy paragraphs, writing skills improve.  When students use digital editing tools such as Google docs to plan and revise their writing, skills improve exponentially.


Ask Questions

So, if you have been notified that your student has a Google account and you are not sure how you feel, consider talking to an administrator. Ask a few key questions:

  1. How do I get my student’s log in information?
  2. Are my students in a Walled Garden? (*For more information on restricted domains*)
  3. What is your Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)? (AUPs vary by district: some provide a simple sentence asking about internet access and others have a clearly defined policy.)
  4. Does the Acceptable Use Policy clearly address cyberbullying and the discipline actions?
  5. Is there a plan in place to emphasis digital citizenship?
  6. Does the district scan all documents for offensive words and phrases? What are they? What actions are taken when these are discovered?
  7. What web filters are in place at the school?

Walled Garden: A google word for a sub-organization where the users in this organization can only email within the domain (the other users with in the sub organization or the parent domain). Generally, this is a good thing for young children. This means that Suzie cannot email you or Grandma. Fortunately, it also means that strangers cannot email your children.  Even in a walled Garden, you want to keep an eye on your child’s email account. Other students can email your student, if students are collaborating this is a great opportunity for 21st Century learning. It also means that other children can share inappropriate links to websites you may not want your child to see. These sites maybe filtered at school, but maybe not at home or any other public location.

AUP: A document stipulating appropriate uses for using the school network or the internet. The document will often contain clear guidelines regarding inappropriate behaviors and the consequences.

  1. Set up their account on your mobile device and review it often. Whether they have gmail or just google drive, monitor their account.
  2. Android : how to set up additional Google accounts
  3. IPhone: How to set up additional Google accounts.


Take advantage of the Google Account: consider a Chromebook, where you can set up your student as a supervised user, then you will have access to their web activity at home.

Be involved

Like everything in your student’s life, it is important to be involved. Ask to see what they are doing on the internet. Chances are that they can’t wait to show you. Also consider the Keyboarding Without Tears app if your students are not receiving instruction in keyboarding.


Coming up soon:

Fourth Grade National Parks Pass Activity