Creating Your Virtual Library

Valenza, J. (2020, May 14). Creating your virtual library (quickly) using Slides and Bitmojis as Hyperdocs. School Library Journal.


With the potential for virtual learning on the rise, Valenza shares and gives reasons to support providing students with digital options that are rich and engaging. She proposes that we need to rethink how we provide digital learning to our students and create more personalized experiences. In addition, tutorial videos are presented to show step by step processes for instructors to incorporate hyperdocs, bitmojis, virtual classrooms and backgrounds into Google Slides and Docs, in order to engage students in a digital learning experience. Using Google Slides, Valenza creates a first slide as a hyperdoc with links to various sections of her digital learning classroom. Valenza is a librarian and created a digital library for her students, however, there are many options for the English classroom as well.

Quotable Quotes

“Having a rich, digital presence is no longer optional.”

“Whether or not we are planning for a physical or a virtual school experience in September, it is clear that we need to translate our practice. We need strategies for personalizing and enriching the remote learning experience.”

“It is essential to translate practice in order to communicate with our communities and to support and inspire learning. It is also tangible evidence of our practice, especially in unstable times.”

Above is a copy of Valenza’s hyperdoc slide which is personalized to fit her library and offers links to various resources for both teachers and students.

Notable Notes

While Valenza is a librarian and shows examples of a virtual library, this idea would very easily work in an ELA classroom. For example, as someone who is interested in using hyperdocs, this is a great way to personalize and enrich that experience by using bitmoji and adding other elements.

Another example of how this could translate into the ELA classroom is by creating digital mini lessons. It seems that many schools (including mine) are moving toward longer periods and block scheduling. One year I was told to prepare for 80 minute classes, (which is still being run by the way), and in order to keep students engaged, I began weekly mini lessons like Silent Sustained Reading (SSR), journal writing, podcast units, and word of the week. All of this could be incorporated into a hyperdoc that could serve as a one stop for students when teachers want to engage in mini lessons.

It’s always helpful to find ways to personalize a digital or online experience for our students. Valenza also mentions that using a Google Slides hyperdoc could be a way to create galleries of student projects. As we move toward more digital work, we should still be showcasing student work and this could be a way to do so. Other suggestions she offers that could translate to the ELA classroom are, reading lists, video tutorials, and collaborative lessons.

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