Tag Archives: pdf

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.

PDF Adobe Acrobat Reader and TechnoKids Projects

TechnoKids Teacher Guides and Student Workbooks are in PDF format. Which PDF reader will you use to view the documents? There are lots of free and paid PDF readers but you may already have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. If not, it’s a free download. Follow the link at the end of this blog to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

You can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and read files, but it has some additional features that allow you to comment, or annotate, the PDF document. Often TechnoKids assignments ask students to fill in the blanks, write a planner, complete a quiz, or check items in a checklist. With the tools in Adobe Reader, these questions can be answered digitally, a bonus for the paperless classroom. TechnoKids even includes separate digital copies of every assignment so that students can easily complete and track their work electronically.

Watch an Adobe Acrobat Reader video.

pdf and video

Here are step-by-step instructions to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open PDF files and use the tools to add notes or comments.

Open the File in Adobe Reader

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. From the File menu, pick Open.
  3. Go to the place where you saved the TechnoKids assignments. Choose Assignment 1 and click Open.
  4. Find a place where an answer or annotation is needed – a blank to fill in, a checklist to complete, a multiple choice review, or other question.
  5. In the pane on the right side of the window, pick Comment. A commenting toolbar appears at the top of the screen. Use the tools to draw freehand or type with the keyboard.

Draw Free Form

Use this tool to make a checkmark, circle, line, or whatever you need to draw.

  1. Select the pencil, called Draw free form. Draw Free Form
  2. Click the Color Picker and choose a color.
  3. Click Line Thickness and drag the slider to choose a width.
  4. Click and drag on the document.

Draw Free Form

Add a Text Box

This method adds a text box with an outline.

  1. Select Add text box. adobe acrobat reader
  2. Click in the document where the text box is to be placed. A box appears.
  3. Type the answer. Press the ESC key or click outside the box when finished.
  4. To adjust the placement of the text box, drag it to position.
  5. Use the Color Picker to change the border or fill color of the box.

textbox

Add Text Without a Text Box

Use this tool if you want just text with no box outline.

  1. Select Add text comment. add text comment
  2. Click in the document and begin typing.
  3. To format the words, select the text and use the Text Properties tools that appear: font, size, color, and line spacing.
  4. Press ESC or click away from the text.
  5. If necessary, move the words by dragging.

text

Save Your Work

  1. From the File menu, click Save As.
  2. Go to the place where you save your work. (You may want to organize your files by creating a subfolder with the name of the project.)
  3. Click Save.
  4. Close Adobe Reader.

Open and Continue Working

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. Double click on the document listed in the main window, or click Open in the File menu.
  3. Click Comment in the pane on the right. Notice that there is a list of the annotations made in the last session, together with the tool used.
  4. To make changes – edit, format, or delete – click on any comment in the list to select it.
  5. Continue to fill in any answers.
  6. When finished, click Save to overwrite the previous work.

Be sure to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the updated features. Download it here.

TechnoPresenter is a technology project animating a presentationto build public speaking skills with elementary and middle school students. Students use the digital workbook to answer questions and follow instructions. They create a slide show on a topic of their choice, add speaker notes, and then present to their peers. Read more about TechnoPresenter here.

PDF Reader for TechnoKids Files

There are lots of free and paid PDF readers and annotators out there. Finding the one that works best for you can be a challenge and of course comes down to personal preference and budget. We, at TechnoKids, have looked through and admired many, but have narrowed our top pick down to XODO PDF Reader & Annotator. It is a free option that offers many features to teachers and students.

paper with PDF reader

PDF Reader and Annotator

PDF Reader Makes Working with Digital Files Easy

  • App is available for Android, Windows, and Apple users
  • App is available online from XODO site
  • Access PDFs on Google Drive
  • Add text, notes, highlights, shapes or draw freehand using Annotation tools
  • Edit annotations with XODO or other PDF annotators such as Adobe Reader.
  • Save changes to a PDF to Google Drive
  • Print a PDF with annotations from your browser
  • Download a copy of a PDF with annotations
  • No need to sign into XODO to edit or view a PDF
  • Email or link to a PDF file (requires a free XODO account)

What this Means for TechnoKids Teachers and Students

By adding the XODO extension to your Chrome browser, installing the app on your device, or going to xodo.com, you can easily open any PDF file from Google Drive, Dropbox, or your local machine. Teachers can add their own notes and comments while students can answer questions and plan their projects using the simple text tools. Documents can then be saved back to Google Drive, downloaded, shared, or printed.

PDF Reader Instructions

View instructions explaining how to use a PDF Reader and Annotator with your students. Learn how to install the Chrome extension, add annotations, download or print files, and more.

PDF Reader and Annotator Video

Watch these videos to learn how to add the XODO Chrome extension and use it with a TechnoKids assignment:
Annotate with XODO TechnoKids Workbooks
Complete an Assignment | Connect a Chrome Extension

pdf and video

PDF Reader and Annotator Website

Find out more visit XODO.

PDF Thumbnail Maker

Recently, TechnoKids launched a new website. Our goal was to make it easier for teachers to find the technology projects suitable for their students. One exciting new feature added to the website was an advanced search tool. It allows visitors to filter projects by level, grade, subject, technology skill, and program.

Another new feature added to the website was a SAMPLES tab. It contains PDFs of excerpts from a project. This allows visitors the ability to preview assignments, sample work, and assessment tools in a window. To view each PDF file, the visitor clicks on a thumbnail.

thumbnail gallery

TechnoKids technology projects can be seen by clicking on a PDF thumbnail.

The PDF thumbnails were made using A-PDF Thumbnailer. When TechnoKids was preparing to launch our site we had to create 120 thumbnails. A-PDF Thumbnailer made the task so easy. All the PDF files were placed into a folder. We then set the width/height, border, and shadow effect. Instantly, a thumbnail for each PDF file was created. With the click of a button we had a batch of thumbnails!

The thumbnail file was the identical name as the PDF file. This made it easy to connect a link from the PDF file to the thumbnail image.

One feature we quickly came to like about A-PDF Thumbnailer was the ability to customize the page used as the thumbnail. Originally, we set Page 1 for the batch conversion. However, after reviewing the thumbnails a few of the PDFs were bland looking. In those cases, we selected a different page to show as the thumbnail. This helped to make each thumbnail colourful and interesting.

After reviewing many products, TechnoKids found that A-PDF Thumbnailer was the perfect solution to making thumbnails of PDF files. We appreciated being able to download a trial version. If you are looking to create thumbnails for a large number of PDF files or you want control over how your thumbnail appears, this software is the perfect PDF Thumbnail Maker solution.