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15 May 2017

An Edji New Tool

At #EdCampTC on May 6th, the DLCs learned about a new (Minnesota created!) tool called Edji. We are really excited to share this tool with all of you as it has a lot of potential uses.

 

Edji is a unique, collaborative annotation tool. Students and teachers can highlight portions of text and leave either emoji comments or text comments. They can also place a hotspot on a picture and leave a comment as well. Teachers have the ability to control whether “Heat Vision” is on, which allows you to either turn on or hide student comments and hotspots. When you turn Heat Vision on, areas of the text that have been highlighted by students will appear yellow to dark red depending on how many other students highlighted that area. Most teachers will likely leave the Heat Vision feature off until students have had time to highlight and comment. Once they are done, you can turn on Heat Vision to show common highlights and comments.

 

 

Creating a reading for students to complete is very easy. You can copy and paste text from other sources such as Newsela, CommitLit, The Tween Tribune, Project Gutenberg, or any other preferred source of texts. You can also upload PDFs that you have, but they must have machine-encoded text (that you could normally highlight on a computer) to work properly. So basically if you scanned your resource into the PDF format, it will act like an image file, not a PDF so students won’t be able to highlight.

 

 

Another feature is adding images to a reading. In fact, you can use Edji exclusively for collaboratively annotated images. Imagine students pointing out features on a map or commenting on the process of a math problem. The possibilities are endless!

 

 

Once you have created a reading, students access the reading by entering a 4-digit code. They can sign in as a guest or create an account so they can get back to the lessons they have completed. You can also create readings groups. This helps so that the comments are manageable. If you use the same text for 30 (or 150) students, it might be difficult to navigate the comments.

 

(As a bit of a disclaimer, we would currently recommend this only be used on MacBooks or Chromebooks. Occasionally when trying to highlight on an iPad, the comment buttons do not do anything when clicked on. It appears that holding your device in portrait mode works consistently, but not always when in landscape mode.)

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