No matter how much our classrooms become inundated with technology, there will always be teachable moments that take place at the chalkboard. This “ready to write” space gives both teachers and students the ability to instantly express, erase, and then express again.

But, what happens when the classroom is virtual, and the online students can’t see or write on the chalkboard? What happens when students are absent and miss the teachable chalkboard moments? What happens when you want to recall chalkboard notes after you’ve erased them?

Imagine a chalkboard that travels with you.

Imagine a chalkboard that students can access anytime, anywhere.

Imagine a chalkboard with the ability to do much more than annotate.

Kami can do all of that and then some, and that’s why I use it as one of my go-to whiteboarding apps. First things first… I know what you’re thinking…I thought Kami was for writing on your PDFs? True, Kami can do that, but it can do much, much more.

So, to use Kami as a whiteboard:

Step 1: Simply go to, sign in, and create a blank white page.

Step 2: Then, click the menu at the top right and rotate the page to landscape.

Step 3: Boom. It’s a whiteboard LOL.

You can also keep the page tall if that fits the way you teach.

While I can use the blank Kami page to mimic the traditional annotation of writing on a physical chalkboard, I can also enhance my annotations with Kami’s built-in whiteboard innovations.

For instance, if I’m leading a grammar lesson emphasizing the importance of coordinating conjunctions, I can:

  • Broadcast my lesson with Sharing. This is also where I choose Drive settings and allow individual students to come up to the board and work with me.
  • Use Voice Typing to write down the sentences that students share in class.
  • Highlight correct student modeling with the Highlighter Tool
  • Provide immediate feedback with Stickers
  • View the Annotation Summary to document who did what on the page
  • Use Add Media to insert YouTube videos for further explanations

And when it comes time to employ some of Kami’s whiteboard innovations, I can monitor student engagement and progress by:

  • Assigning them the blank page and getting a birdseye view of their whiteboards. This can be done directly through Kami’s LMS integrations.
  • Posting Kami Whiteboard links to an LMS. Remember that you can always share Kami pages through the sharing feature.
  • Controlling student tool access with Kami Assignments in Google Classroom

Also, sometimes, my annotations aren’t enough. While I love my on-the-fly, explanatory doodles, it’s not always the ideal way to get my point across to my students. That’s why I intentionally include the following when I’m instructing with a Kami whiteboard or if I’m reviewing a student whiteboard page:

  • Video Comments: I can look directly at the camera and show the student what I’m explaining. The video posts directly onto the Kami page. 
  • Voice Comments: For my auditory learners, I post voice comments. 
  • Add Media: Using the built-in Google image search is so helpful for quickly importing reference images.

In the end, working with a collaborative, virtual whiteboard requires a mind shift. We have to think less about physical chalkboards that we erase and more about digital whiteboards like blank Kami pages that can contain an infinite amount of information. We have to shift our minds away from relying on teacher and student annotations for content creation and lean more into a digital whiteboard mindset where we embed rich, multimedia content like images, videos, and more.

Watch Marcus’ session here: