Tag Archives: ipads and technokids

Annotate a TechnoKids PDF on an iPad

tablet

With distance learning during COVID being our reality, making sure your students can complete tasks is not without its challenges. For the foreseeable future remote learning is essential. Which device a student has available to them at home may be out of your control. If your students are using TechnoKids and iPads, they will still need to be able to annotate the workbook assignments and submit them. TechnoKids’ resources can be used with an iPad. See iPads and TechnoKids Projects to read more about which TechnoKids titles to pick for use on an iPad.

Not all PDF editors are the same. When selecting one, an important consideration is that it must open and annotate a secured TechnoKids PDF document. Typically, we recommend using either XODO and Kami to type answers into a TechnoKids worksheet. These apps are a viable option for both desktop and Chromebooks users. However, XODO does not work well with TechnoKids and iPads. Read my review below to learn more.

XODO PDF Reader & Annotator

XODO is a fantastic application. I was hoping that I could get it to work with an iPad. However, I encountered lots of frustration.

First, I thought I could add Google Chrome to my iPad and add the extension for XODO just like desktop or Chromebook users can do. However, extensions are not available for the iPad. This was a disappointing discovery.

Next, I checked out the App store and installed the PDF Reader & Annotator by Xodo. I found that I could open and markup a TechnoKids PDF file, but the file needed to be available either On My iPad, from iCloud Drive, or OneDrive. Google Drive did not seem to be an option. If your students are working with Google Classroom, or sharing assignments through Google Drive, you will find XODO limiting.

Not willing to give up completely, I visited xodo.com and signed in (free registration). I then opted to retrieve a document from my Google Drive. This resulted in a Network failure error. I was unable to resolve this.

In my opinion, XODO was not a viable option for annotating TechnoKids PDF documents on the iPad. If you’re fine with moving files all around the device and not working directly with Google Drive, then the App may still work. Maybe as an adult this is doable, but for the average K-8 student, it is not an easy-to-use option.

Kami Your Digital Classroom Hero – Recommended

Kami is a PDF editor TechnoKids has been recommending for many years. It has annotation tools that make it simple to type answers into worksheets. For desktop or Chromebook users, Kami has an extension for the Chrome browser that works well. Unfortunately, extensions are not available on the iPad.

I could not find Kami in the App store. So, I opened my browser and visited kamiapp.com and signed in (free registration). From there I was able to tap OPEN FROM GOOGLE DRIVE. I did need to sign into my Google account again and give Kami permission to read my files. I could then easily get to my Google Drive files and open the desired TechnoKids PDF assignment.

open from Google Drive
Choose a file to open directly from Kami

Using the Markup highlighter, I could emphasize important text that I might need to refer to again later. I could fill in the blanks or make my own notes using the Text Box tool. I could even use the Drawing tool to write on the page using my stylus. I was able to move these things around the page or remove them with the Eraser.

Show markup Kami
Showing markup on PDF assignment

Saving and Sharing with TechnoKids and iPads

When I was finished, I was able to save the changes back to Google Drive directly from Kami. Keep in mind, that in order to continue working on the file you would need to reopen from Kami. When ready to submit your work, you have 2 options:

  • You can upload the document to your Kami account and then share with a link.
  • If you use the Google Drive App, you can display your files and share without having to open the file first.
Save annotated file
Save annotations back to Google Drive.

The person receiving the file then has 2 options as well, they can view the annotations simply when previewing the file, or they can choose to open it in Kami as well to add their own comments.

Can annotations be seen in Google Drive?

When I went back to open my assignment directly from Google Drive, the document opens in preview mode. It showed all the annotations that I had made. However, in order to continue working on the document it still needs to be opened through the Kami website.

Is Kami Free?

Yes and no. I was using the free version and was able to highlight, comment, add text, draw, add shapes, and erase anything I had done. I could save the changes I had made and even share the file. Some features, like inserting images, adding a signature, equations, accessing the dictionary, or text to speech come with the paid version. According to their website, the Teacher Plan is a yearly fee that supports 150 students and includes these additional features. School/district pricing is also available.

TechnoKids and iPads – Our Recommendation

In my opinion, Kami is a suitable option for annotating a TechnoKids PDF worksheet on an iPad. Students can type in their answers and submit the file to their teacher. It is a PDF editor that works with any device. Kami, TechnoKids and iPads are a powerful combination to make distance learning succeed.

iPads and TechnoKids Projects

With so many different devices being used to teach technology skills, we are often asked whether iPads and TechnoKids resources are a good fit. The simple answer is Yes! But… there are cautions and qualifications. Here are a few common questions.

ipads and technokids

Which TechnoKids projects can I use on an iPad?

TechnoKids has over 25 projects that iPad users can complete. To determine which options are best for your students, view the TechnoKids Project Matrix. Any TechnoKids project which has a version for Google Docs can be done on an iPad. In addition, some Office Online, Internet, and Programming projects can also be completed but with slight modifications.

Should I use the iPad Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps?

TechnoKids has many projects for Google applications. If students have a Gmail account, they can access all Google apps online from Google Drive. TechnoKids has lessons that use Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, Sites, and more.

For the iPad, Google has created specific apps for Docs, Slides, and Sheets. While these apps are easy to use, they are limited in their features. They won’t work for TechnoKids projects. For example, in the Slides iPad app, a user can create a slide show, apply a theme, set slide layout, present, and share work – but not much else. The limitation in features, means that TechnoKids instructions will not match.

In most cases the Google iPad apps are a bare bones, disappointing alternative to the full app. The iPad Google apps are best used to work offline, make edits to a file, or to view a completed document. In our opinion, they are too ‘light’ to create an appealing, powerful project from scratch.

But there is a solution….students you can still use the full version of Google apps on an iPad. Keep reading!

How do I access Google apps on my iPad?

The best way to access Google apps on an iPad is through a browser. Open Chrome (recommended and must be installed) or Safari and go to Google Drive. From that starting point, all TechnoKids instructions will match what you see on your screen.

This method is highly recommended for accessing Google apps on iPad. Students get complete versions of Docs, Sheets, and Slides with all tools. As well, they can also create projects with Forms, Sites, Drawings, and more! And, all Google apps are free.

Can I use Microsoft Office versions of TechnoKids projects on my iPad?

Yes, students can use the Office Online version of a TechnoKids project. As is the case with Google projects, you will be working online through a browser such as Safari or Chrome. Like Google, you must have a Microsoft account, but it’s free too.

Please note, if students must work offline, Microsoft does offer apps for the iPad similar to Google’s. These include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The apps can be used with a Microsoft account, but I would caution teachers to first check the instructions in the TechnoKids project that is being used. Note the similarities and differences as some tools may be unavailable in the iPad app. Using an iPad app for Microsoft Office is likely only a workable alternative for TechnoKids Primary or Junior projects which have fewer features than the more advanced titles.

Which TechnoKids programming projects can be done on an iPad?

TechnoKids has many programming projects that can be completed on an iPad. Some require slight modifications in instructions.

technowhiz

TechnoWhiz uses Scratch Jr. This free app is perfect for use on an iPad with its touch screen and drag and drop features. Teaching young students to code? Scratch Jr is definitely an ideal starting point.

technotales

TechnoTales also uses Scratch Jr. and is an ideal follow up to TechnoWhiz. Students design an animated fairy tale as they use visual programming blocks to learn coding basics.

ipads and technokids

TechnoCode uses Scratch. This is a great next step after Scratch Jr to spark an interest in computer science. Instead of an app, Scratch 3 is used online. Just sign up for a free account and you will be programming games, puzzles, mazes, animations, stories, and more.

technoturtle

TechnoTurtle, which is a beginner’s Python programming project, uses the Turtle library. To use it on an iPad, use the website Trinket and your Google account. You can input the code and see the result beside it on the screen.

technopython

TechnoPython, a new project that teaches Python programming to middle and high school students. It can be done on an iPad. You will need to download Python for an iPad. To learn more visit Python.org.

TechnoHTML teaches students to become web designers using HTML and CSS. You will need an HTML editor for the iPad. Visit the app store to see what is available and free. I would recommend trying out one or more of the free apps to see which works best for you.

How are TechnoKids PDF Workbooks annotated on an iPad?

When using an iPad, students will need a PDF app or account with an online PDF service. This will allow them to type answers, highlight text, and make notes in TechnoKids assignment sheets. If you are looking for a free option, TechnoKids recommends KAMI, which is a free online service that works with Google Drive. See our next post Annotate a TechnoKids PDF on an iPad to get specific directions.

What are the drawbacks to using an iPad and TechnoKids?

  1. Any project that requires writing more than a few sentences is inconvenient on an iPad without an external keyboard. TechnoKids intermediate projects such as TechnoNewsletter and TechnoBiography have students write extensively, so an iPad would be a deterrent to producing one’s best work.
  2. A smaller screen does not allow students to have TechnoKids pdf workbooks open on a split screen while they are completing a project in another app. Instead, they must toggle back and forth between screens. That may be a source of frustration for younger students. A solution would be to print the workbook.
  3. Internet access is almost a necessity. As mentioned above, most apps work best and have the most features when used through a browser.

What are the benefits to using an iPad and TechnoKids?

  1. School districts have embraced the portability, ease of use, and affordability of iPads as compared to desktop computers. Parents have also valued iPads as educational tools as well as sources of entertainment for their children. As a result, iPads are commonplace, and many students are very familiar with using them. They know the touch screen gestures to open, close, move, drag, tap, and more. What they do not know is often intuitive and easy to figure out.
  2. Collaboration, a valued strategy, is easy with both Google Docs and Office Online. Students can readily work together, edit each other’s files, and share finished documents.  
  3. iPads and TechnoKids projects, in either Google Docs or Office Online versions, can readily be used for both physical and virtual classrooms. Whether it’s the ideal device is a debate that will continue. But in a time when educators must contend with online learning using a variety of devices, an iPad will definitely work well!
ipads and technokids