Using Kami as your digital notebook
Remote Learning,  Teacher Tips

Using Kami as a Digital Notebook

Let’s face it, traditional notebooks (or folders, or workbooks) have a lot of downsides. Pages, or even the whole book, can be lost, damaged, torn out, or simply neglected. Once completed, work in a physical book is also difficult to edit preventing further insights, feedback or peer interaction. And in today’s world of hybrid or even fully digital teaching environments, physical books just don’t cut it for giving fast feedback. 

So what’s the solution? Kami based digital notebooks of course! 

Our Kami Heroes have been championing the ways you can create and maintain digital class notebooks using Kami’s functionality. Special thank you to Alexander L. Samia, ELAR educator at Salyards Middle School for his excellent selection of explainer videos attached below. 


Creating student notebooks in Kami

First things first, how can you create notebooks for your students on Kami? Here are the steps:

1.Create a front cover: Every notebook needs a cover and you can make yours as fun as you want. You can use separate graphics programs here (Alex uses Canva for its range of functionality and it has a good free version). Simply create your cover and save it as a PDF. Then open the PDF in Kami. An alternative would be to simply open a new blank document in Kami and get creative with the drawing and design tools to make a cover you love straight into Kami.

2. Add pages: Once your front cover is in place you can create the pages of the book by simply clicking the plus icon at the bottom of your Kami screen. Choose from blank, lined, grid, or even music sheets!

Add pages in Kami

3. Assign to your students: With your standard notebook now created you will need to assign it out to your students. 

    • For paid Kami users using one of our integrations, this can be done by creating a normal Kami assignment. Include the notebook in the assignment and send it to your group of students. Remember to tick the box to give each student their own copy, otherwise they will all be trying to edit the same notebook.
    • For those not using an integration, you can still get the digital notebook to your students using the Share function. You can learn how to do this here

Now your students all have their own blank copy of their digital notebook.


Creating digital Kami notebooks with premade notes

Following the steps above you will have created and distributed your blank Kami notebooks to your students. Blank notebooks are great if what you want students to do is answer written form questions, write stories or simply take notes, but it’s less good when it comes to filling in worksheets and completing premade exercises. 

If you are in the very organized position of having all your notes and exercises (or the majority) that you wish to be included in your student’s notebooks completed and ready prior to assigning them the book, you can quickly and easily add them in using the Kami Split and Merge tool

1.Save your premade notes into Google Drive or onto your computer: You can use scanned textbook pages, PDFs, or notes you have made digitally using Google Docs or even tools like Photoshop. Make sure they are all saved (separately or together) into your Google Drive or locally onto your computer. 

2. Open Kami’s Split and Merge Tool: You can do this by clicking the button in the Kami app starting screen page, above your document options, OR in the Kami app menu bar, specifically the menu icon at the far right of your screen. 

3. Select the files you want to combine into your student notebook: Once into the Split and Merge Tool you can select all the files you wish to include in your student notebooks from either Google Drive or your computer files. Remember to include your front cover if you have made one!

4. Rearrange your pages to make the perfect order: Once you have all your notes added click the Next button. The next screen allows you to rearrange, duplicate, rotate, or even delete pages – so you can create the perfect notebook.

5. Export your file: When you are finished arranging click the Export all button. From there you can choose to download the file locally, into your Google Drive or open it straight into Kami.

6. Assign to your students: With your standard notebook now created you will need to assign it out to your students. 

    • For paid Kami users using one of our integrations, this can be done by creating a normal Kami assignment. Include the notebook in the assignment and send it to your group of students. Remember to tick the box to give each student their own copy, otherwise they will all be trying to edit the same notebook.
    • For those not using an integration, you can still get the digital notebook to your students using the Share function. You can learn how to do this here

And there you have it, a digital Kami notebook full of premade notes assigned to your students. 


Creating notes or activities that students can add into their digital Kami notebooks 

If you aren’t in the lucky position of having all your notes and activities ready off the bat, then you can have students add in exercises as you go. In this section, we will cover how to make premade notes and exercises that students can then add to their own digital Kami notebooks.

1. Create your notes: You can use a variety of programs for this like Photoshop or simply Google Docs. The important thing is that they can later be saved as an image file.

2. Save them as an image file: Save your notes as a PNG or JPEG file as image files can be easily uploaded by students into their Kami notebooks and it also provides a transparent background to make annotations on the notes easier. If you are using Google Docs to make your notes, this requires first saving your notes as a PDF and then converting it to an image file using a converter like PDFtoPNG.com. 

3. Save your notes into Google Drive: Upload your image file into your Google Drive.

4. Remove any share restrictions: Right-click on your file in Google Docs and select the Share option. Remove any restrictions on the file by selecting anyone with the link can view. 

5. Create downloadable link [optional]: To create an easier process for your students you can convert your file link into a download link. This means when students click on the link the notes will immediately download rather than just opening and requiring them to navigate to download the file. 

    1. Copy the share link for your notes.
    2. Find a trustworthy download link generator (such as Google Drive Direct Link Generator).
    3. Paste your link into the generator and receive the downloadable link. 

 

6. Send the link to your students: You can do this via an email, instant messenger or using a presentation file like Google Slides. When students click on the link they will receive a copy of your notes which they can then insert into their Kami notebooks.


The student view – inserting notes and completing work in Kami

Now you have your notes in downloadable image files, how can students add them to their notebooks and complete them using Kami’s tools? Let’s go through the student steps.

1. Open your digital Kami notebook: Click on the assignment sent by your teacher and select the purple Open with Kami button at the top of the screen.

2. Open a new tab: Alongside your Kami notebook open a new tab.

3. In the new tab, click the link to your teacher’s notes: Click on the notes or exercise link your teacher has provided.

4. Download the notes file: This may happen automatically if your teacher has created a download link. If it doesn’t automatically download:

    • Open the notes file
    • Click the download icon in the upper right corner

5. Drag the download file into your Kami notebook: The downloaded file should appear at the bottom of your screen. Simply drag it into your Kami file and it should appear. 

OR

    • Insert the notes file using Kami’s Image tool: Click Image in Kami and select Computer. Find the downloaded notes and select them.
    • Resize the notes to suit you: Click on the image to move it around the page and drag the corners to resize to suit you.

Following these steps students will have their notes ready to annotate on in their Kami notebooks. They can resize, crop, or rotate the notes image to make it a perfect fit for their notebook. 


Check out the video

To watch all of these steps in video form, check out Alexander L. Samia’s brilliant step by step Youtube guides: 

 


👋 Learn more

At Kami we see it as our duty to support schools, teachers, and students during this tough shutdown period, and beyond. To learn more about how Kami could help you with remote learning check out our resources here.

Learn more about kami with the Kami Handbook

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