I haven’t ever come across a web-based tool that’s anything quite like Edji.it. This is new territory in the world of EdTech, and I like it. As you can tell from the title, Edji.it is a brilliant tool for close literary analysis, and the content you analyze can really be anything. You can create your own readings, copy/paste from other sources, and even include images and PDFs. In addition to being able create an in-depth close read and easily share it with your class, thoughtful and purposeful annotations can be made in the form of highlights, text comments, and even emoji reactions.
As the admin, you import or create the text. That’s done very simply by clicking the “New Reading” button and inserting text (which you can format.) You can also insert images and even PDF’s – all of which can be annotated.
When you’re satisfied with the text, you save it as a draft and finally hit “share”. It creates a join code (also called lightning code) for your students. They, in turn, access your text by going to the edji.it main dashboard and typing in the simple code where it says “Join”.
This is where it gets really clever. As each of your readers are doing their own text analysis, their comments are private only to them. You, as the admin, have a handy toolbar on the left that lets you see how many users are accessing the piece, and you can open your “feed view” sidebar that shows you all comments/annotations from all users. The neatest feature in that toolbar is something called “Heat Vision” – when you click on this, it allows all users to see all annotations. It’s the ultimate instantaneous, simultaneous sharing button. Imagine the in-depth class discussions that can ensue based on this diverse collective annotation!
I taught Literacy for years, and I adored it! I loved being able to teach all of the nuances and sub-skills that went into the understanding and synthesizing of various texts. As any Literacy teacher knows, the obstacles and points of confusion are different for every single student on every different piece of text. Students may struggle with vocabulary, colloquialisms, understanding irony, theme, tone, or even just decoding. With a tool like edji.it, a teacher has a remarkable looking glass into the insights, reflections, and understandings of every single student.
Would you like to try it from the “student view”? Feel free to use my join code (jbvn) and play around with the text and emoji commenting. You’ll see how easy this is for your students!
Any teacher of Literacy and especially content area literacy will want to explore this clever tool with small groups (I really love this for Special Ed and ELLs) and even as a whole class. It can be assigned for homework, and tracking/data is automatically saved as long as students enter their real names (or student ID numbers). Edji.it is a winner for sure!
Addition: After I posted this, I found this handy slideshow called Getting Started With Edji
You can also follow them on Twitter at @edjinotes.
As always, I love to hear feedback and learn from you as you use the tools I share. Please leave comments here on my blog, on my Facebook page Innovation Integration, or find me as @kerszi on Twitter!