As a history teacher I often found myself pulling primary sources for students to read or reading work that my students turned in to me and while google classroom does have the ability to suggest edits and give feedback Kami provides a few more features that I have come to love.
First of all Kami works with PDF's as well as text documents and includes the ability to highlight, underline and draw on documents so as students are reading a text for class they can take notes or mark things they would like to talk about once the class pulls back together, and with Kami's integration in google classroom each student will be able to save their edits to their drive!
Kami also offers the ability to record audio or video feedback on a document. This is a very personal touch when it comes to leaving students feedback on a paper they wrote. I saw in my classroom that students were more likely to take my corrections when they saw that I had placed extra effort into giving them all individual feedback. On my end, recording a short video did not require a lot of time because I was able to articulate more accurately why I was suggesting a word change or other correction.
In class Kami gave me a surface that provided the students with a "teacher" copy of notes that I could easily upload to google classroom. In the event that a student was out of class or needed to check information before a test Kami provided a very effective way for me to capture a lesson.
Kami does have a paid version but the free standard does come with a lot of features and is well worth looking into if you use PDF's or google classroom in your school. This simple piece of software packs a punch in it's engagement potential with students and I have seen first hand how Kami enhanced student voice!
Bitmoji, a simple cartoon representation of a person, the idea of using this social media craze was one of the best things I did in my high school classroom. Using my Bitmoji in classroom materials such as lectures and activities gave me one more way to interact with students. Collecting Bitmoji from my students to use on review material and feedback opportunities gave them a more personal experience in the classroom.
The first time a cartoon version of my redhead showed up on a slide my students were taken aback, their teacher had a Bitmoji! Images are always more interesting than text to look at so it is important to remember that where you place Bitmoji's on content will draw students attention to that information. There are many different poses and props to display a bitmoji with for pretty much any occasion; reviewing, magnifying, starting discussions or quizzing students!
Besides using my own Bitmoji I had a open invitation for students to email me their Bitmoji and have the chance their's would be used in class. When I did use students Bitmoji I did tend to keep it to review sheets, tests and feedback. This was done to make a distinction in how students saw those forms of communication with me as the teacher. Seeing their classmates faces on worksheets did enable some students to open up more to me. The process of sifting through their submissions also gave me a chance to learn more about them. I asked students to send me Bitmoji's of their characters doing activities they enjoyed; through this I learned about a few that were in sports and others that enjoyed reading. These were introverted students that I had been having difficulty connecting with but I was able to form better relationships with them and seeing their Bitmoji on the materials made them feel more a part of the class because finding out who's Bitmoji was used was always a topic for a quick class conversation!
To get started I would recommend installing the Bitmoji Extension for Chrome and Android or Apple. Once you have created your snapchat account you can log on to these Bitmoji apps and download the Bitmoji as images. The best part with the Bitmoji images is they all have clear backgrounds which means they will easily fit in whatever resource you are creating. One thing to keep in mind is make sure when you are looking for a Bitmoji you need to type the emotion or verb you are trying to find a representation for. For example if you want to find one of you holding a magnifying glass you cannot just type in "Magnifying Glass" you need to type something like "Hmmm". So consider what expression you are looking for if you cannot find the specific pose you want.