Circling words. Underlining sentences. Drawing arrows. Highlighting text. Making T-charts and scribbling words in the margins.

Back in the day, we teachers called these close-reading exercises taking notes or marking up the text. Today, the shapes, lines, arrows, and color-coded highlights festooning paragraphs are known affectionately as annotations.

Whatever you call it, the process of drawing lines and shapes across words or jotting reminders at the paper’s edge are intended for one purpose – to help readers identify or recall significant details within a work.

These days, note-taking has gone high-tech thanks to Kami, a free and easy-to-use extension available in the Chrome Web Store.

With Kami, learners can annotate a PDF using push-button tools that:

  • Highlight
  • Strikethrough text
  • Underline
  • Add comments
  • Add text
  • Draw (think arrows linking ideas)
  • Create shapes (including circles, squares, rectangles, and lines)

Annotations are available in a vast array of colors. Best of all, students can download doctored PDFs and submit them to teachers seamlessly through Google Classroom.

Steer your cursor here to test drive Kami before directing your students to access it via the Chrome Web Store. Elementary and middle-school teachers note: Kami’s terms of use prohibit students under 13 from using the resource without parental permission. But fear not: Simply download the following form, and have each learner return a copy signed by parents prior to installing Kami.

For more information on how you can use Kami in your classroom, contact your BISD Learning Technologies Coach.

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Matthew Kitchens

Learning Technologies Coach at Burleson ISD
Matthew Kitchens
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