Going Beyond Your Blended Classroom with Kami

Kami Connect Speaker Sessions | Steve Martinez

I think we can all agree; one of the biggest challenges around blended learning is establishing an environment that is just as effective out of the classroom as it is in the classroom.  

Which is why I love Kami. 

Kami provides features that allow us teachers to flex our capabilities and talents, without the barriers of time and place coming into play and slowing student learning. 

Let’s take a look at one of my favorite ways to teach that just makes sense with Kami.

The Noteworthy Notebook

Rewind to the start of the pandemic, I wanted my students to have a notebook for recording their learning – especially if I was going to implement flipped learning. I then thought, “what if Kami could offer the same type of support as a digital notebook?” But I quickly realised it could!   

There are plenty of predesigned digital notebooks available online, usually in the form of a Google Slides doc – I’ve used these heaps myself. But my digi-notebook use skyrocketed when I converted them into Kami documents. Here, I was able to really make it my own before assigning it through my LMS.

What’s most impressive is the fact that a Kami notebook can come alive through student expression! They can anonymously reach out to their teacher, use the comments (video, audio, screen capture) to chat through the exercises and make use of Kami supports (dictionary, text-to-speech, speech-to-text, markups and shapes) to master their work. 

Gamification

As a Flipped Classroom teacher, I’m constantly finding new ways to address student motivation – but my favourite solution so far has been gamification. 

Kami’s welcoming interface and collection of features have allowed me to build a system for easy gamification.

First up, select stickers from the great range on offer, in my class, now represent a “level of mastery”. This replaced the traditional letter grade or score.
I don’t want students definition of their potential to begin and end at a letter, but instead, see the opportunity to level up by knowing where they’re at on the spectrum of their mastery – giving them the option to level up if they don’t get the sticker they desire. 

But now, we can have even more fun by providing sticker incentives. Collect a certain amount of mastery stickers and students could:

  • Be exempt from the midterm
  • Buy “real estate” (aka sit somewhere else in the class)
  • Leave 10 minutes early for lunch
  • Pick their project partner etc.

There are so many possibilities. Just get creative! 

This kind of gamification helps us meet students where they are—socially and culturally. From a very young age, we want to play, we want to game. This curates a bridge from their learning to their own world through the usage of Kami.

Digital whiteboarding

With each student having their own copy of a Kami notebook, I wanted to introduce more collaboration in my blended classroom. 

I logistically achieved this by first building a collaborative space in my LMS, Schoology. Then I take that URL and paste it into the Kami notebook – keeping this as the central hub for my class, while allowing students to navigate to a space that has digital whiteboarding docs in the form of other Kami docs. Each Kami doc is assigned to a group of students by personalising the restrictions so only a certain number of students can see and edit that doc. 

With the whiteboarding itself, my goal has been to include The 4 C’s when designing digital whiteboarding instruction:

  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking 
  • Communication

Because Kami provides a high range of accessibility, it allows students to express their thinking and brainstorming in a variety of different ways, which lends itself well to the collaborative process. Students can brainstorm by adding media, highlighting text, creating hyperlinks, adding shapes, etc.

The end game would be to have students talk through the connections being made between their idea, giving them a deeper understanding and meaning of the task.

Tying it all together

The Kami notebook was a game-changer for myself and my students as we were navigating the challenges of remote learning during the pandemic. The notebook provided a one-stop-shop for my content, but also the ability to receive support regardless of whether they were physically in my class or miles away. There are notable accessibility features in Kami that assist with all types of basic annotations, to those that help give even more tangible explanations as students seek clear answers from a distance. 

Kami’s ability to give every student a voice breaks down equitable barriers, while tool accessibility empowers students to communicate, collaborate and curate their own ideas in a notebook, as they please. 

The living notebook, that is the Kami Notebook, breaks down a classroom’s four walls to promotes an endless amount of student access to resources and teacher guidance. 

Thanks to Kami; location, time and lockdown status are no longer barriers to student growth and learning.

Resources

Slides:  kami.app/go-beyond-blended-learning

Speaker: Steve might be a new Kami Hero, but he has no shortage of incredible Kami tips and tricks to share. As an expert in flipped classroom learning, Steve is focused on exploring ways to maximize student engagement by introducing unique teaching methods.

Twitter: @martinez_edtech