Best Reasons That Support the Use of Digital Assistant (like Alexa) in the Classroom

Artificial intelligence has gone conventional; it’s already integrated into our everyday lives with realistic voices responding to questions and requests.

So why keep such benefits away from education?

Smart speakers or voice-controlled digital assistants are excellent at responding to questions related to facts, either directly or from referenced sources. They sound user-friendly and polite, leaving an everlasting impression in return.  

Machine learning within the education sector provides schools, colleges, and Universities with multiple opportunities to enhance and transform the heart of their services such as teaching, learning, assessment, and student support.

Just as digital assistants’ help one to navigate lives with reminders and directions; they can also help students navigate lessons. Knowing it all, are you still unconvinced? Here are six best reasons to convince you on why you need to consider using a digital assistant in your classroom.

1. Setting It Up is Easy

The setting-up process of the device is not unnerving a task and what it all takes to set it up is get the App on the mobile device, access the Wi-Fi, link the two and get ready to go. You will find the powerful functions ready to excite you almost immediately after you are done with the setting up process. You can use the built-in capabilities in creative ways and as per your convenience.

Further, dozens of websites and YouTube videos have lists of suggestions from what to ask and how to use a digital assistant. There are also add-on products which include smart plugs that enable Google Home or Alexa to control anything that can be plugged in.

2. Get Timely Assistance from Digital Assistant

One of the challenges that every teacher faces is how should they meet the needs of all students? Isn’t it? Say, when you are working with a small group, you can actually make use of the smart speaker to let other students know what you are talking about with the group.

The beauty of digital assistants is that you can set reminders, read an audio book or play tranquil music. You can also ask for a random number in a range of numbers, or a roll of the dice. You can request information about a famous person, a historical event and any topic in Wikipedia. Students can ask about weather anywhere in the world and for words to be spelled or translated from other languages. Smart devices can even play bingo.

3. Students will learn on Artificial Intelligence

You will be amazed at the fact that, what AI can’t do. Young students are curious by nature and to replenish their thirst to know about things, they will naturally ask a variety of questions. They will quickly figure out that certain questions will prompt accurate answers, while others will baffle the smart speaker or give back an incorrect response.

Children usually “test” the device, making silly requests and observing the limitations. They will gain a better understanding of the differences between fact and opinion, what a knowledge base is, and how the smart devices are dependent on the people who write the code that develops their skills.

The other side of the coin is, by slowly using such devices; students develop an understanding of how to use Digital Tools in general. Students are using digital assistants outside of the classroom, so they should take out time to teach them how to use it correctly. For instance, to get the correct responses, students must learn to ask the right questions.

4. You Can Add “Skills”

The Amazon Alexa platform supports over 25,000 third party ‘skills.’ Think of these as apps for the echo. There are games, trivia contests, and quizzes. A variety of skills have specific functions that you can use as they are designed and others that can be adapted for classroom activities. Most are free. Google Home has similar add-ons, such as Animal Trivia, National Geographic Bee and Math Showdown.

Students will Also Learn to Review, Study and Check Work. Digital assistant tools such as Alexa do basic computations and spells. For example, if you as a teacher give kids a spelling test, they can check to see if they spelled the words correctly using Alexa. Or, if you are studying certain topics, they can use Alexa to review and study.

5. Allows You to Create Constructivist Lessons that Go Beyond Just Fact Check

As teachers use the factual information access it not only helps students do their homework but to check work that has been completed. Also, with a constructivist approach, students could use the answers from the digital assistant but be required to create something original, such as a dialog between historical figures or a public service announcement. If you think of a smart assistant as a powerful search engine, then any activity you use in your classroom that requires research can be energized by a voice-activated device.

Digital assistants engage students in new ways and in addition to the resources they offer, Alexa offers fun games, trivia and more. Digital assistants are designed to make lives easier and allow students to do the same in the classroom.

6. Digital Assistants Can Be Customized According to One’s Needs

One of the most powerful uses of a digital assistant is to customize it and train it. Young students can be creative with their requests and invent their own personalized activity using the Alexa Python Tutorial.

Digital assistants are powerful resources that can be incorporated into any grade level or subject area. For young students who have grown up with technology, they are a natural extension to their world of information. For all of us, they offer practical uses for artificial intelligence and a window into the future.

The presence of digital assistant in the classroom provides a wealth of resources and it, for instance, connects the user to several news sources and well as Tune In, which is home to many educational podcasts.

Think about it and the benefits you are guaranteed to enjoy using digital assistants.

Next Read:

Can Voice User Interfaces Be The New Teaching-Learning Assistants?

About the Author
Author: Ananya DebroyWebsite:
Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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