Google has added a few new “experimental’ websites to its list of cool tools and I wanted to share a couple of them, while they are still “hot off the presses”.

The first is an Interactive Periodic Table which you may have stumbled upon when doing a regular google search. If you search for “Periodic Table” one of the results in the right sidebar looks like this.

Click the Explore Elements button and you will be taken to the the 3D Interactive Periodic Table.

Google’s Interactive Periodic Table

Each element is featured with a 3D animated model. You can turn the element around and see the orbiting electrons. Notice the spelling of Aluminium! As a former science teacher from Australia, it is good to see the 13th element is spelled correctly! read more

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In the past few months I have been doing a lot of training sessions in schools on the Kami tool. Some schools have adopted Kami as their distance learning tool of choice.

Kami is a digital classroom app that allows you to transform any existing document into an interactive learning experience.  Students can use the built in tools to write over the top of (annotate) documents that you share with them in google classroom.

The Kami website is located at kamihq.com

To get your students started with using Kami will depend on if you have the free or the paid version. I will describe the process for the free version and make mention of what the paid version brings to the table at the end.

At the heart of the Kami experience is the Kami Chrome Extension which can be added by going to the Chrome Web Store. School managed chromebooks may restrict this feature so your tech department may have to add the Kami app to the whitelist or push it out to student chromebooks.

Once installed the Kami extension will detect when you have a PDF open for preview in Google Classroom or Google Drive. A blue Kami icon will appear in the top right corner.

Alternatively you can use the open in menu and choose Annotate with Kami.

The first time you connect your account to Kami it will ask a bunch of questions as it gains access to your Google Drive so it can make changes to your PDF (the annotations) and save them to your Drive. Younger students will need help from the teacher to complete this first login.

Kami loads into a screen with a blue menu bar at the top and a black toolbar down the left side. The tools are clearly marked and the ones you will use the most include:

Select (arrow) 

Use this to select text boxes and other objects you add to the annotation.

Text Box (T icon)

Use this to create a text box to type over your document.

Drawing (paintbrush)

Use this for freehand drawings.

Eraser (eraser icon)

Remove annotations and drawings from the document.

Students will draw over the top of the PDF you share with them and when they are finished they use the Save Now button to save changes to Drive.
Once complete they close the Kami window and they will return to the PDF preview window.

The main difference between the free and paid version is in Google Classroom integration. In the free version, as a teacher you create a regular assignment for your students and share the PDF (make a copy for each student). Students open the PDF as described above, annotate and use the Save Now button to save changes.

In the paid version teachers will have a new Kami Assignment option in the create menu in Classroom. Students will have a Turn In button that lets them submit their assignment without having to return to Classroom. (Nice because turning in the assignment is something easy to forget).

Kami is worth a look if you need a way to put your worksheets into assignments for remote learning.

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This tip comes indirectly from the good folks at Seesaw who use the technique I am about to describe to keep their Seesaw Ambassadors up to date with the latest changes to the Seesaw Ambassador program which is tracked in a Google Sheets document.

A little known feature to most people is that you can enable notifications via email for any Google Sheets document. To enable the feature you use the Tools >> Notifications Rules

On the set notifications rules screen you need to choose to see when either a change is made to the form (by Editors of the sheet) or when a form is submitted (Linked Google Form). read more

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NOTE: It has come to our attention that the tip we shared yesterday may not work in every district. Each school district is responsible for their own web filtering according to their district policies. We apologize for any confusion that this may have caused. You should always contact the individuals responsible for filter management and policies for any issues related to access to websites you need for classroom instruction. read more

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