Picture this: You found the perfect activity from Teachers Pay Teachers for your students. It has everything you need like directions, readings, images, and questions and it correlates to your state standards. Then you realize it is one giant PDF document. So, you either print out the parts you want and make copies or scan in only the ones you want, but the copier is broken. How can this problem be solved in a timely manner? Enter the digital classroom heavyweights like Doc Hub, Adobe, and Kami.

If you are unfamiliar with digital document editors, Kami is a great starter, and it takes little time to learn and integrate into your classroom. It is a free web app, but does offer individual teacher plans and school/district plans that open up more tools.  This gives users multiple creative digital tools and allows for flexibility, collaboration, and transformation. Kami also has an extensive digital community where you can become a Kami Hero, get certified, and join live events.  They also have support available in their blog, resources, handbook, and YouTube channel.

This powerhouse of a digital tool offers integration with learning management systems including, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Google Workspaces, and Office 365 which can be connected from within the LMS or via an extension. Once connected with Kami, students and teachers can annotate text and edit documents using a number of kid-friendly tools. Students can also draw freely using a variety of colors, shapes, and text options. They can also save the document to continue editing later or turn it into their LMS directly. Best of all, teachers can mark on student documents, create discussions, and give feedback in a variety of ways. Teachers and students have text, audio, or video options open to them to collaborate with one another.

New to Kami and don’t know where to start? Take a look at these videos!

  1. For Google Classroom users, watch this video from ISTE 2019 featuring Ben Sondgeoth. He will walk you through 15 Dynamic Ways to use Kami in your Google Classroom.
  2. For Schoology users,  view this webinar recorded by Kami. Getting Started with Kami and Schoology
  3. For Canvas users, there’s a video for you as well! Getting Started with Kami and Canvas

How about some ideas on how to use Kami in your classroom?

  1. You have students who need passages or directions read to them, but you have a large caseload. Kami has the ORC function that changes PDFs so the text to speech function can read the document to your students.
  2. You have students completing math problems using the math function tool, but you want to hear their thinking. Students can use the screen capture, video, or audio tool to record themselves and save as a comment on the document. Great for students struggling with writing and those who have anxiety when sharing work to a whole group.
  3. You have a science project on animals and want students to use a PDF template. Students can add and edit text, add images, audio, and video, plus they can use the drawing tools to draw their animal on the PDF. Students can also share the same document and work collaboratively online.

Kami is an excellent digital tool that can help engage students in assignments, readings, or other previously “paper-based” activities. 

Editor’s Note: Christine Jesse is a member of the Vartek iTeam, a team of technology integration experts and classroom technology coaches. iTeam members will be regular contributors to the blog.

Vartek Services is a professional services company partnering with K12 schools to provide IT Leadership, Implementation, and Technology Integration to enhance the teaching and learning environment.

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