Collaboration is not intuitive, often it appears easier to figure things out on our own. However, when we do collaborate we are reminded again of the multiple mutual benefits of learning with others. As a learning coach most of my work with teachers is face to face, either in a group or one on one. Now by using Google Docs and Slides I can learn and plan collaboratively in the moment with teachers who are 30 kilometers away.

After I took a course on learning to use and build Hyperdocs (simply a Google Doc with links) I started looking for opportunities to try them out in classrooms. Many teachers have been gracious in allowing me to use their students to try out the Hyperdocs I’ve created. Then I had the opportunity to create one with a teacher. We met once face to face then went back to our own communities and both started designing. By leaving comments in the Google Doc we could “talk” to each other, work on the Hyperdoc simultaneously and ended up creating something that was far better than either could have accomplished on our own. I wanted to collaborate around the question – what are the benefits of leveraging digital to deepen the learning of students doing a novel study?

I wondered if using a Hyperdoc could build background knowledge, vocabulary and understanding of complex themes in a way that low tech could not? Working alongside a skilled and caring teacher allowed me to find out that yes, a Hyderdoc is a powerful tool in the classroom. I was also reminded how powerful collaboration can be. My teacher partner was creative in ways I wasn’t, knew of resources I didn’t and had perspectives and ideas that made our product much richer.

Using the Hyperdoc with students expanded the learning partnership. Students could give us feedback on what worked, what didn’t work and how to make ourHyperdoc better. By including students in the collaboration they had the opportunity to teach us more about designing rich learning experiences. When we collaborate, either face to face or digitally, we build learning partnerships that make the learning richer for all.

Special thanks to Jennifer Armstrong, Gr. 6 Teacher, LES
Barb Galessiere, MY Learning Coach

in: LM Articles