I love Spotify. I’ve created a number of cool playlists. My music is known to get guests moving at parties. Most of my playlists consist of songs from my younger days…1970s and 80s R&B. My wife enjoys much of my music, but not all. When I do chores around my house, I often put on my headphones and listen to some of my more ostentatious old skool jamz that I’m certain my wife won’t like. In other words, I personalize my musical consumption. That’s the beauty of the playlists. They provide anytime anywhere jamz on demand. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could personalize tomorrow’s lesson in the same way?
Tracy Enos and her twin sister Heather Roberti are two outstanding middle school educators from West Warwick, Rhode Island. Tracy teaches ELA and Heather is a Math teacher. Both enlightened your humble narrator about the beauty of class playlists. The idea is simple, elegant, and contemporary. Teachers craft a menu of playlists that are tailored to various student needs and abilities and then each playlist includes a number of tasks. Teachers can then suggest kids gravitate towards a playlist best suited to them. The tasks inside their selected playlist represent rungs of a ladder leading to higher levels of thinking.
Essential to the creation of magnetic playlists is beautiful templates. And that dear reader, is where HyperDocs waltzes into this narrative. HyperDocs are souped-up Google Docs that can include links, images and more. HyperDocs provide a template that makes the creation of beautiful and well-organized playlists possible. Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis are the HyperDocs Girls. They’ve created beautiful templates that are available to educators for free. Thank you dear ladies!
The traditional one size fits all lesson undermines personalization.
Introduce class playlists to facilitate epic personalization.
What You Can Do Tomorrow?
- Make a list of at least three activities for your playlist.
- Adapt your playlist to make a version for advanced students and one for students who may struggle.
- Navigate to the HyperDocs Girls website and choose an attractive template.
- Tomorrow, to begin class, display one of your iTunes or Spotify playlists on your smart-board and then play some old people music.
There’s an old saying that when in Rome, do like the Romans. So in attempting to engage contemporary young people, use things they like to use, like playlists.