Last Updated: May 11, 2023
What is Kami?
Kami is an online document annotation and markup tool. You can highlight, underline, and strikethrough text in PDF and other document formats. You can also add text boxes, shapes, and images. Kami works with Google Drive and Google Classroom.
How does it work?
Students login to Kami, through their web browser (or Chrome extension). From there, they can open files from Google Drive as well as other locations. It is from within the Kami platform that students can listen to books, work on PDF’s and more on multiple devices.
How does this help students?
Kami has many different features that give students the ability to take control over their learning by using the tools they need, when they need them.
These tools include:
- Text-to-speech - with the click of a button, students can select the text they want to read, whether it’s the entire selection, a sentence or just a word.
- Sometimes, the amount of work it takes for some students to decode is so great, the effort detracts from the student’s ability to read for understanding. TTS takes the weight off so the student has access to learning the content. The students can read for meaning and participate in discussions at school. For some students, TTS is a tool they can use to help them while they are building their decoding (sounding out words) and encoding (spelling) skills. For others, these reading skills may not be as easily attainable making TTS a critical key for their access to content that is at their developmental level.
- Another critical reason we teach our students these tools is because it gives them the ability to be independent in their learning. Mom, dad, big brother or sister, grandma or teacher are not always going to be there at their side, especially when they get into the high school, college and years beyond. Our mission is transition and this means providing tools that help our students be independent learners.
- TTS offers students more control over their reading. They can choose the pace and highlight words as they read reinforcing the speech-to-print match.
- TTS also serves as a model for helping students understand correct grammar, vocabulary and punctuation. All of these are important parts of the revising and editing process of writing.
- TTS gives students more exposure to text. For students who struggle with decoding and comprehension, this gives them more opportunity to hear how language works. This includes listening to correct sentence structure, learning new vocabulary, listening to different genres of writing and how they are written differently as well as learning about content through realistic fiction and nonfiction text. This increased exposure supports their ability to learn and independently use the reading skills being taught by their teacher.
- A student’s ability to communicate their thinking is a very important part of school. Kami offers 3 ways for a student to do this.
- A simple text comment as indicated by the yellow circle. Speech recognition is embedded into Kami for students to add comments.
- Voice comments give the option for teachers and students to listen to directions, questions or thinking.
- Video comments give the option for teachers and students to hear and see each other while giving directions, asking questions or explaining their thinking.
- A student can learn the meaning of a word that may be too difficult to sound out or unfamiliar. This gives students the ability to move through the text without losing their train of thought. And this helps them comprehend text. Being able to use the dictionary supports fluency and comprehension.
- Helps students choose the correct definition within the word’s context
- Annotations and Highlighters
- Students use highlighting as a way to create meaning from what they are reading. Highlighters enable students to deliberately select text for a specific purpose. This includes, but is not limited to finding the main idea, character traits, and vocabulary.
- Students also use highlighting to find evidence to support their answers to comprehension questions. This technique teaches students to pay closer attention to certain parts of the text as it is relevant to what they are trying to understand.
- A third way to use highlighters to take notes of important information while reading informational text.
- Making comments, or annotating, helps students engage with and understand what they are reading. It is also helpful for research papers.
- This is probably the best feature in Kami for math worksheets. A student can draw lines on a graph or plot points and they can make shapes for geometry.
- Screenshare - Students can record their screen to show how they solved a problem or answered a question. Teachers can record their screen to model a process or show directions.
- For more information about Kami’s features, go to https://www.kamiapp.com/why-kami/
What are the steps to using it on your child’s HPDS laptop?
Our students use Kami by logging into their account through the Chrome browser.
How much does it cost?
There is a free version of Kami that gives students the ability to use text to speech. The features that most help our students are available through Kami Premium. HPDS pays for the subscription to Kami Premium through the tuition fee while your child is enrolled at Hyde Park Day School.
Pricing for school and for personal use can be found here: https://www.kamiapp.com/pricing/
Non-education pricing - https://www.kamiapp.com/office-pricing/
Does it work on other devices?
Yes. Kami can be used on a variety of different devices including PCs, Macs and mobile. The trick is discovering which format works best with the tools the student needs and on the device s/he is working. Here is more information about the different devices that are supported by Kami - https://help.kamiapp.com/en/articles/3056987-device-compatibility-for-kami
What else is good to know about working with Kami?
- Students can download books from Bookshare and then upload them into Kami.
What do I need to know when my student transitions?
- Reflect on your child’s use of Kami and think about whether this is something you would like to continue on a personal basis or talk to your child’s transition school about providing.
- If you decide to continue to use Kami, consider having a conversation with your child’s teacher about how to integrate it into your child’s learning.
Where can I find more information?
Kami Voice - https://www.kamiapp.com/
*Please note that technology and pricing is always changing. This document reflects the most recent known information as indicated by the Last Updated Date at the top of the page.