Kami Connect Speaker Sessions | Ben Sondgeroth

21st-century classrooms allow students to learn and express themselves in ways they never could’ve imagined, or as we like to call it – voice and choice. With tech and connectivity comes endless amounts of information in endless forms. 

It’s an overwhelming thought to wrangle, but with the right approach comes a unique opportunity for teachers to expand the knowledge of students in and out of the classroom.

As soon as we starting talking about integrating tech like Kami for daily use, important questions start flying. Luckily, I have some answers!


How does Kami empower voice and choice?

As some students learn better from reading text, while others thrive on video content; there’s clearly no “one way” to teach. So, when looking to empower voice and choice, Kami’s your go-to. 

Kami’s packed with tools to create new and exciting activities, while also providing ways to lift and shift existing lessons to really bring the magic! Just upload your files and instantly convert them to Kami docs. Kami’s ability to read PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoint slides and more, creates a unique space for students to explore heaps of new ways to learn. 

Another bonus is Kami’s ability to open Google files and integrate their own tools with existing ones. Meaning students can now voice their learning with audio, video, and screen sharing comments. Plus, Google docs can be read to students using Kami’s text to speech tool, and students who struggle to type can use Kami’s text to speech option. 

These tools give students a chance to voice their learning in new and exciting ways, shaking up existing lessons for the better. But it doesn’t stop at the above:

Add Media: With this tool, teachers are able to insert YouTube videos directly into their documents. 

RTE Text Box: This feature provides students with heaps of fun ways to demonstrate their learning e.g. Emoji writing activities using the emojis that are included in the text box option, even mix up text and emoji storytelling – hello creativity! 

Blank Documents: These empty pages are perfect for capturing notes for students in real-time. 

Screen Capture Comments: Make a recording of your note-taking to give students the choice between reviewing the notes, or watching the video of your lesson.

What about once assignments are done?

The idea of voice and choice isn’t reserved for while students are learning. With Kami, teachers can provide feedback in a number of ways for a number of special preferences:

Media Comments: Teachers can verbalize feedback for students who prefer this style, or as a simple way to get more elaborate comments across. 

Annotation Bank: This feature speeds up the marking process by saving repeatable feedback notes to an easily accessible area. Simply record or comment once, hit save, then use it multiple times – timely feedback will help students with their learning. 

Export Annotations: Students can export annotation-only files. This style of export is super helpful for those studying for exams or annotating large documents, as it creates a much easier read end product.

If you’re still looking for the “why” when it comes to integrating tech into classrooms, take a moment to ask yourself: “How do I best learn information as an adult?” 

For me, I sometimes prefer to watch YouTube videos. Other times, I need the info in writing, like a blog or article. Yet, every now and then, I need a physical demonstration to fully understand the concept. 

Adults are given full control of voice and choice, like right now; this blog is the written, more condensed version of my Kami Connect session. But, you’ve had the choice to watch me live with a Q&A, recorded (without the distractions of a full event), and now in written form – all thanks to tech. No doubt you’ve had a preference with how you initially absorb the info, to how you come back to it later on. 

Students don’t always have this flexibility – they rely on the methods and access supplied by their teachers. So, I’ll leave you with one last important question, if integrating tech helps us learn so well as adults, why not support our students with the same voice and choice in their learning?


Slides: kami.app/Kami-for-student-voice-choice

Activities: Notice and Wonder Notes, Emoji Summer Vacation

Speaker: Ben began his career as a history teacher where he initiated and coordinated the district’s iPad and Chromebook integration. He now works for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois, focusing on helping districts leverage educational technology effectively. Ben has been a Kami Hero since 2017.

Twitter: @Mr_Sondgeroth