**Disclaimer- this blog post can offer help to more than just teachers, really anyone who uses PDFs and wants to edit them online**
If you don’t know this already, aside from photography I am a teacher! And I love this first dream of mine. Being a teacher has added so much value to my life because I just absolutely love my kids. As a teacher one of my main goals and priorities is being as efficient as possible. Why? Because time is scarce and I need to use mine the best way possible. Plus I physically can not multi task so since I can’t do two things at once, I need to be faster in my tasks so I can optimize my time.
Ask any teacher, what is the most time consuming task and they will tell you… grading. It is an inevitable part of being a teacher and it’s true, it takes a long time. Truth time- my first year teaching I would spend an ungodly amount of time grading. I would stay at school until 10-11pm most school nights until the custodians would physically kick me out. Now looking back I think to myself – what in the world was I doing? The problem was, I didn’t have systems, I wasn’t efficient and I was wasting a lot of time.
My most recent problem in grading time management was PDFs. You see a few years ago I realized that if my students saved their work as PDFs and turned the PDFs in digitally then when I click the file something amazing happened, it didn’t download. You may be thinking … why is this good? Well… because if it downloads the word document then you have wait for it to finish downloading and then you have to open the word document. Believe it or not, this takes a lot of time and when you teach 130+ students all that downloading and opening time adds up. But! When you click the PDF file it just simply opens in a new tab, brilliant!
The problem is that you can’t edit the PDFs from the new tab…. or so I thought. You see I like to write on my students work, give them feedback, explain how they can improve etc. It really erked me that I couldn’t easily and efficiently comment on these documents and then easily return the document with the mark ups…. until I found Kami!
Kami is a add on to Google Chrome and you can add it to your Google Chrome by clicking here: Google Web Store – Kami Make sure to click “Kami – formally Notable PDF” and click “Add to Chrome”. Now that you have it in your Google Chrome you can start to play!
Now I use Google Classroom so all my submitted files go into a folder in my Google Drive, but regardless when you open your PDF through drive (and potentially just through the web as long as your in Google Chrome) you can select “Open With – Kami”
**Disclaimer – all names were removed from the work shown as examples here**
Now once it opens in Kami you have a lot of editing options that range from underlining, highlighting, writing, drawing etc.
The best part is that after you finish editing these PDFs you can easily save the document back to the drive and now when students open the PDF file that they submitted, they can see all of the comments and mark ups!
To save the work you just click the sync button and click on “Save Now”.
This may not seem useful but believe me it saves so much time than downloading the PDF, commenting, saving and then re-uploading the work with feedback to each student! With Kami I can just open the document, provide as much feedback as I wish in a clean and easy way and then easily save it back to the students with just a few minor clicks!
Note: You do have to refresh the screen and reopen the document if you want to check that the feedback saved but believe me 🙂 it does!
Try it! I swear by it and it has saved me loads of time in grading!! It also helps me give feedback to my students that I know they can see! Let me know what you think!