Written by Eric Hills

Last published at: May 25th, 2021

What is Edji?

Edji is a unique, collaborative annotation tool that works on any device. 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. It sounds simple, but there are endless ways it can be used.

One key feature of Edji is called “Heat Vision.” Teachers can toggle Heat Vision on or off. When you turn Heat Vision on, all highlights and comments will appear for all students to see. Text that has been highlighted by students will appear in colors ranging from yellow to dark red depending on how many 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.

Cost: Edji provides two fully-functioning readings for all users. For each reading, you can have as many reading groups (classes, lit circle groups) as you want. Once you have used two free readings, you can continue to make new readings but your previous readings become "read-only." You can get 6 months of their pro version, Hero, by completing this short training course.

Why use Edji?

Edji can be used in many ways and it is incredibly easy to get started. If you have an article, diagram, chart, image, or text of any kind, you can have an interactive lesson ready in minutes. And by giving students a place to make their own highlights and comments, you are allowing every voice in the classroom to be heard. Using Edji will enhance the face-to-face discussions that your students have in class.

Here are just a few ways you could use Edji in your class:

  • Identify the main idea and supporting details in an article using highlights. Click on Heat Vision so students see whether they highlighted the correct portion of the text.
  • Examine a historical artifact or political cartoon image and have students make comments on there observations.
  • Read a primary source document in social studies and have students highlight key vocabulary that they don’t know. Have students share the task of finding synonyms to help decipher the text.
  • Create an emoji chart with your students that represents what you are looking for in the text. For example, cause and effect. Students could use a raindrop to represent cause and an umbrella to represent effect. Having students identify the best emojis to use activates their critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

How do I use Edji?

Written Directions

1. Go to Edji.it and click on Register. Use your @shakopeeschools.org Google account to register.

2. Click New Reading in the upper right-hand corner. 

Give you reading a title and select whether you want it Public or not. Public readings can be used by other Edji teachers.

3. Add content to your reading. 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 or images, which students can click on to leave comments.

4. Once you have created a reading, students access the reading by entering a code at edji.it. They can sign in as a guest or create an account (Google sign-in available). You can also create reading groups, which lets you duplicate a reading and use a unique code for each small reading group. This is especially helpful if you use the same text for 30 (or 150) students as it might be difficult to navigate the comments and highlights.

5. It is advised to leave the Head Vision button off until students have had a chance to read and comment on the text. Then turn it on and students will be able to see each other's comments. The more a particular portion of text has been highlighted, the darker red the text will be colored.

Video Directions

Additional Resources: