Using Flipgrid and HyperDocs with Hapara Workspace

by Randy Fairfield, 2/14/18

Ever since last spring, Flipgrid started showing up all over my Twitter feed. Prior to #FlipgridFever, it seemed like every other tweet I saw had something or other to do with HyperDocs. So what is it about Flipgrid and HyperDocs that educators find so appealing? I think the draw is that they can be used to empower students by providing them with voice and choice in the classroom which, in turn, leads to increased engagement. For teachers already using Hapara, where do tools like Flipgrid and HyperDocs fit in?

With Flipgrid, teachers add a grid (basically a class) and post some topics or questions. Students then click on a link to get to the grid and reply to the topics or questions with short video clips that are shared to the grid. If a teacher has students who are not yet comfortable with speaking up in front of the rest of the class, Flipgrid can be used as a scaffold to make sure that all student voices get heard. So, what is the best way to lead the students into Flipgrid?

Well, in Hapara Workplace, teachers can create a card in the Resources or Evidence column and include a link to the Flipgrid they’ve created for their students. Workspace gives a nice jumping off point for students to get to Flipgrid, and linking from Workspace also helps students see their Flipgrid responses in the larger context of a learning cycle that includes standards as well as a rubric for how their Flipgrid response can be assessed.

HyperDocs isn’t really a tool per say—really, it’s more of an idea; and the idea is this: teachers can facilitate learning by engaging students in the 5E’s (engage, explore, explain, extend, and evaluate) by providing them with links on a Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets file to all kinds of different online resources. Since teachers using Hapara Workspace can already post a variety of links to their Workspace, should they be using HyperDocs as well? Really, the answer to that question really depends on how the teacher feels the content they are linking to can best be organized to meet the needs of their students. If there’s just a few links, posting them to Workspace as resource cards would be sufficient; but as the list of resources grows, organizing them in a HyperDoc and then linking to the HyperDoc from a Workspace card might be the better option.

If you’re excited about starting to use HyperDocs and Flipgrid in your classroom as a way to give students voice and choice in your classroom, a great place to start is to consider your students’ interests. You can grab a free copy of a Google Form with a Student Interest Inventory on my website, see what your students are interested in, and then start creating some Flipgrids and/or HyperDocs that take your students’ interests into account!


Tips and Tricks for Providing Formative Feedback in Your Digital Classroom

by Randy Fairfield, 1/8/18

Providing quick and meaningful feedback is one of the most important strategies teachers can leverage to propel student learning. One of the most powerful examples of the role that constructive criticism can play as a feedback tool in improving student outcomes can be seen here in “Austin’s Butterfly.”

It’s easy to be enamored by the transformation of the butterfly, but think for just a moment about how Ron Berger used the example of Austin’s Butterfly to build a classroom culture of learning, based on the giving and receiving of critique. Students must be in a place where they truly understand what it means to have a growth mindset towards failure before they are ready to receive and grow from formative feedback—yet far too often, we as educators are quick to apply the red pen without doing the necessary work of framing the way students receive our feedback.

Another fantastic video for helping students understand what a growth mindset looks like is Audri’s Rube Goldberg Monster Trap video. If you’re feeling like your feedback is falling on deaf ears, hit the reset button and show these videos to your students at the start of next semester!

But you might be wondering—what are some effective twenty-first century formative feedback strategies that do not involve butterflies and monster traps? I’m glad you asked! If you are fortunate enough to work in a school that has adopted the G Suite for Education and Hapara, here are some ways you can provide students with helpful and timely feedback:

Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets Comments:
You may already know that you can highlight and comment on learners’ work in Docs, Slides and Sheets, but did you know that students will get an email notification if you type the “+” button in the comments and add the student’s email address? This is a great way to make sure your students receive your feedback in a timely manner.

Suggesting Mode:
Sometimes a comment is useful for giving students feedback that is just vague enough that they need to figure out their mistake for themselves. But, when that kind of feedback is not enough Suggesting Mode allows you to explicitly show your students what they ought to do to move forward.

Video Feedback
With the Screencastify Chrome Extension, teachers can quickly and easily take a video of what their screens look like and include a voice-over as they review student work. Once the teacher is done recording, the video goes straight to Google Drive, and the teacher can quickly share the feedback with the student by adding a direct link to the video as a comment inside the Doc, Slide or Sheet the teacher is reviewing.

Hapara Dashboard
While Dashboard itself is not a feedback tool, it is incredibly helpful in providing teachers with a quick and easy way to access students’ files in Google Drive. Instead of spending time looking for files, teachers can spend their time giving students meaningful feedback on their work!

Hapara Highlights
Highlights provides similar visibility into student work and can be used to see what browser tabs students currently have open. If a student or group of students are working in Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets, the teacher can jump into the mix and provide real-time feedback using some of the methods shown above!

Highlights also has its own feedback tools built in and enables teachers to send messages to students that appear right in their Chrome browsers. Whether you notice a student is struggling, off task, or you just want to offer some encouragement, Highlights messages can be used to send in the moment feedback that students can incorporate into their learning.

Want to learn more about providing timely, effective digital feedback? Sign up for my live webinar next Tuesday (1/16/18) at 4:00 PM PST / 7:00 PM EST!


Randy Makes Hapara Certified Champion Trainer

by Randy Fairfield, 3/30/17

Since becoming a Hapara Certified Champion Educator, I decided to make the leap and join the first a cohort of individuals to go through Hapara’s Certified Champion Trainer program. Lindy Hockenbary (@lindyhockenbary) was a fantastic facilitator, and I appreciated that I learned just how much about how to effectively integrate Hapara into the classroom as I did about the basic how-to’s!

When it’s all said and done, I’d have to say the best part was the animated GIFs. 🙂


How to Create Interactive AVID eBinders Using Hapara and Google Apps for Education

by Randy Fairfield, 3/22/17

If you’re an AVID school that’s gone or is going 1:1 and is using Hapara and Google Apps for Education, check out this brief tutorial I created on how you could create eBinders at your school! Having eBinders either replace or supplement traditional binders can be a great way to teach students the digital organizational skills they will need to be successful in a 21st-century economy.


Join Randy for a Webinar on Authentic Writing and Literacy!

by Randy Fairfield, 2/15/17

Join me on 2/22/17 at 1:30 PST as I partner with Hapara to host a webinar on Authentic Writing and Literacy! For more information, click here!

If you missed the webinar, you can still check out in the Hapara webinar archives.


Randy Becomes a Hapara Certified Educator

by Randy Fairfield, 1/24/17

Over the past couple of months, I have been participating in a cohort of educators going through Hapara’s Certified Educator program. It has been a pleasure to learn more about the platform, and the facilitators were great! Here’s a special thanks to Evyan Wagner (@evyan_of_hapara), Heather Panitch (@heatherpanitch), Eleni Kyritsis (@misskyritsis), and Amy Harris (@MsharrisEDU) for doing a great job with facilitation.

I am looking forward to going through their certified trainer program and learning more about what I can do to spread the Hapara love! One of the things I appreciated most was that our facilitators emphasized that Hapara is not a “do everything” tool, but rather can be used in a complementary role alongside other tools when it comes to supporting student-centered outcomes. Innovating and imagining where Hapara fits in as a tool for facilitating best practices such as those outlined in John Hattie’s Visible Learning has a lot been fun—particularly exploring other public Hapara Workspaces and seeing how other educators are using the platform.