Digital Workspaces & HyperDocs with Google Workspace for Education

Over the past couple of years, educators have been immersed in creating digital assignments and workspaces to support students in a remote, online, or hybrid learning environment.   Whether we are remote or face to face with our students, digital tools can enhance the learning environment.  However, it is important to create exceptionally high quality digital workspaces that will support students in any type of learning environment. 

There are many considerations for digital learning design.  To begin, a consistent unified location for instruction, learning materials, and activities is important.  Teachers should work to minimize distractions and maintain consistency of icons, colors, and other digital elements so that students are able to focus on the learning without having to continually decipher the environment.  Another consideration is the ease of navigation and “number of clicks.”  Keeping processes as simple and streamlined as possible will provide opportunities for student success.  

Additionally, providing instructions and content in at least two different modalities can help build a supportive learning environment.  For example, teachers could share instructions or content in written form and then also read that text to students in an audio or video clip.  Then, to check for understanding, teachers should embed opportunities for students to show what they know.  These opportunities could be a Google Form, a Flipgrid video, a Seesaw activity, or another type of formative assessment.  

One of the best ways teachers can work to ensure that the digital learning environment follows some of these guidelines and is conducive to student learning is to test drive it themselves.  Collaborating with another teacher to explore one another’s materials is ideal, but if nothing else, after creating a digital guided learning experience for students, teachers should walk through it with their “student hat on” trying to imagine what it would be like for their students.  By taking the time to explore in this way, teachers can work to minimize barriers and make improvements to the learning materials.  

For more information about all of these ideas, check out this video.  In it,  EdTechTeacher, Avra Robinson, explores how educators can adopt and integrate high-quality design principles into their digital workspace design using Google Workspace for Education. 

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