Kami for collaboration
Remote Learning,  Teacher Tips

Kami for collaboration

Collaboration, good communication, and leadership are all vital life skills – that’s why Kami has been designed to facilitate engagement and teamwork both in and out of the classroom. 

Here’s how you can use Kami to promote collaboration at school or in any remote learning environment.


1. Learning from each other’s questions: remote math

Learning math remotely can be tough. Without a teacher on hand to explain concepts as you’re tackling them, or a partner to discuss with, things can get frustrating fast. Online teachers are in turn faced with an onslaught of individual questions from a class all doing the same set of questions. Explaining the same issue 30 different times while battling to give each a real-time response is undoubtedly exhausting. 

The solution? Get everyone learning from each other’s questions using just a blank Kami doc and some collaboration!

So how does it work? 

1.Create a blank sheet in Kami and share it out to all your students, as you usually would with an assignment. 

2. Set a rule that any question a student may have regarding the work must be asked using the comment tools in this blank Kami doc. 


And voila! You, the teacher, can now reply and give guidance that can be seen by everyone. Instead of responding to 30 separate queries about the same triangle problem, a clear question can be answered once and then used by the whole class. The second big upside to this method is that it helps boost confidence, and even a bit of a teamwork feeling, as students can see that they are not the only one struggling with a specific math problem. 

Bonus tip: Your blank Kami doc can also serve as an attendance, or roll call shortcut. In the Kami file, you can quickly check that everyone is present by observing which profiles are logged in – their profile pictures or initials appear in small circles at the bottom.


Roll call profiles in Kami


Thank you to Kami Hero Ile Ilijevski for sharing this magnificent strategy!


2. Create group projects with a collaborative Kami file

Any file in Kami can be shared between one or more people and collaborated on in real-time! This can be done by the file owner who is able to create a sharing link and send it to others. Or a teacher can set up specific teams and send a shared assignment using Google Classroom.   

How to create a Kami shared file: 

There are 3 very simple steps to share your Kami file once you’re inside your chosen doc:

1.Click the Share Document button – located at the right of your menubar.

2. Select which settings you want on in the Sharing Options window. Make sure that you select Anyone can annotate in your sharing options, so that everyone can collaborate together on the file.

3. Simply copy, embed, or share on social media the link produced at the top of the Sharing Options screen.


Sharing Kami files


Check out this article to learn how you can create a collaborative Google Classroom assignment. 

Once everyone has access to the chosen file in Kami, each participant can use the full set of tools to make edits or comments and see other’s edits at the same time. Students cannot edit each other’s comments or text box written text. This can help preserve what each participant is trying to say and make sure that all contributions are valued.  Here’s how that can be used for remote learning or the physical classroom:

For remote learning: Using comment threads and the reply function students can respond to each other’s thoughts and develop ideas together. If you are remote learning, the group can collaborate on a Kami doc whilst simultaneously communicating via a video chat, like Google Hangouts. That way they can talk about their work as they complete it, together.

Back in the classroom: The need for digital collaboration doesn’t stop just because you’re all together in a classroom. Kami shared files are a great way to work on tasks as a whole class. For example, Alexander L. Samia, ELAR educator at Salyards Middle School, loves using the collaboration mode to engage his whole class in interactive reading exercises: 

“When students open their reading assignments, they have so much fun playing and exploring the text through Kami’s tools (think Highlight, Underline, adding colored Text Boxes and Comments)… The Comment options help students to express their understanding of the text while also collaborating and generating ideas together.”

You can learn more about how Alexander uses Kami in his ELAR class here.


3. Work together using Kami as your digital whiteboard

Kami can be used as your digital whiteboard to create a collaborative learning experience for online learners or to simply embrace more points of view in classroom lessons. Here’s how:

Remote learning using Kami whiteboarding

Asynchronous learning is often part and parcel of the remote learning experience, but there’s nothing quite like the occasional real-time discussion and class session to keep everyone in the loop. Using Kami’s real-time collaboration feature alongside a video call service like Google Hangouts, you can host an online lesson using one or more Kami files as your whiteboard. Here’s how to do it:

1.Choose a Kami file that you want to use as your whiteboard. This could be a blank page to give you plenty of room to write on, or a pre-made sheet prepped with diagrams and facts that you wish to discuss and even Video Comments filled with pre-filmed lesson snippets.

2. Share your prepared file out to the group of students who will be joining you for the lesson. Make sure that you select Anyone can annotate in your sharing options, so that everyone can collaborate together on the file.

3. You can see which students are online in your file by looking at the profiles in the bottom right-hand corner. 

4. If you want to talk to your class at the same time, create a group call on your favorite video conferencing software.

Check out these steps in video form here:


Bringing the Kami digital whiteboard to your classroom

The Kami whiteboard isn’t just for remote learning, it can also be used to boost engagement and collaboration in your classroom. Anyone’s Kami screen can be projected up onto a classroom whiteboard for the whole room to see. The great thing about this technique is that educators can move around the room freely, carrying their portable device with them and casting their Kami notes as they go. Similarly, students are easily able to showcase their work, by casting their screen and talking the class through how they reached their answer.

You can see how this works in practice at Lompoc school district here:


4. Teacher to teacher – sharing your resources

Sharing teaching resources has always been an essential part of professional collaboration, and the upside of having great colleagues! But when physically swapping photocopies isn’t possible or you simply don’t have the time to have the sit-down chat required to fully explain the materials, how can you exchange ideas and resources?

Kami provides an easy medium by which to share out your handy resource packets to your friends and colleagues in need. 

[Skip steps one and 2 if you already have digital copies of your resources]

1.Make scans of your physical copies so you have them in a digital format.

2. Run your scans through the Kami OCR tool using these instructions.

3. Open your resources as files in Kami and use the array of tools to add comments to explain how you use them in your classroom. Tip: Video Comments or Screen Capture Comments can help make these explanations clear and allow for demonstrations.

4. Share your Kami file to all the colleagues who need it using the Sharing link function (as explained above).

👋 Learn more

You can learn more about Kami and how to use it in your classroom with the official Kami Handbook. Click here to check it out.


Need help? Get in touch with our help centre.

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