Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Since Kami is an open-ended tool, the possibilities for use are diverse and far-reaching. Students can look at a piece of art or literature, write a critique, and compare their critique to published ones. Or they can annotate a poem alongside supporting historical documents and pictures in order to gain contextual understanding. Challenge students to be more information-literate by comparing different headlines for the same event and identifying bias, or provide historical documents followed by a close reading of critiques or editorials of the time period. Teach expository writing by having students pair up to write descriptions of objects, and have their partners draw the objects on a blank page. Upload a PDF of a famous inventor's journal and have students collaboratively annotate the scientific process the inventor used.
Need documentation? Students can easily demonstrate their understanding of the writing process via peer-editing or self-editing while teachers add feedback via the Comment feature. And weekly article annotations about high-interest topics allow students opportunities to interact with text and spark engaging classroom discussions. No more running to the copier!
PDFs can be added, split or merged, and pushed out or linked in minutes, as long as you can find the PDFs. That said, adding search capabilities to find and add PDFs right in the tool would be a great addition. Although some of the features may take some getting used to, the tool is fairly easy to learn, and there are plenty of ideas and information available on Kami's website, community forums, and social media pages.Continue reading Show less
With Kami, teachers can share PDF files with students, and students can annotate the files via track pad or keyboard shortcuts using several different features, including Highlight, Add Text, Draw On, Add Shapes, and more. Users can either upload PDF files from their computer or from Google Drive, or create blank documents or assignments via Google Classroom (with the paid plan). Kami automatically saves all files as they're uploaded, so this is a great option for teachers who want to go paperless. Teachers can also merge PDF files so that students can work with multiple files on one screen.
Certain features do not work on a tablet, such as moving the text boxes, highlighting phrases, or changing colors. In the basic version, teachers can send or embed a link enabling students to annotate a document, or they can save PDFs for students to access in Google Drive. Premium features include syncing with Google Classroom to send out to or collect documents from up to 150 students. Additional premium features include adding images and blank pages to open documents along with a text-to-speech tool, which reads the PDFs to students.
In the right hands, Kami provides a way to bring context to lessons for nearly any subject. It supports critical reading by allowing teachers to guide and comment on students' annotations and by giving students a way to make connections between different documents. This is a fantastic way to provide visual aids to texts and allow students to interact with material and make meaningful connections. Add to that the fact that it's easy to convert documents to PDF files, and teachers have a very real tool to enable them to run a paperless classroom.
With Kami, teachers can upload any PDF file within seconds and share it with students. For this reason, teachers should avoid using Kami as a worksheet substitution tool. Having students simply fill out online worksheets does them and this tool a disservice. Lessons that promote critical thinking and creativity can be quickly and easily uploaded, but it will take some thoughtful planning to ensure that students are getting the most out of the materials; it would be nice to see Kami develop a lesson repository where teachers can share and vote on effective lessons.
Drawing is easier on a tablet versus a laptop or desktop, but for most other features, mobile devices are not ideally suited for Kami. The user experience can be a bit clumsy, but overall Kami's easy to learn and use.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Reading Informational Text
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.