App of the Week: Kami

Versatile annotation tool helps users critically connect with content

Ed. noteApp of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.

What’s It Like? 

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 Or they can annotate a poem alongside supporting historical documents and pictures in order to gain contextual understanding.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to be more information-literate by comparing different headlines for the same event and identifying bias, or provide historical documents followed by a close reading of critiques or editorials of the time period.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.

Price: Free to try with basic annotation and in-app ads; Teacher version is $99/year with school/district pricing available

Grades: 4-12

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Easy to upload and share files; promotes collaboration and a paperless classroom.

Cons: Some features are awkward to use and will require practice; limited use on mobile devices, and the free version may frustrate some.

Bottom line: Kami is an effective way to promote student interaction with texts, authentic documents, and pictures.

Laura Ascione

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