As I was writing a post for educators selling materials and/or services online I realized the question of if smart speakers like Alexa should even be in schools was a big deal.
I broke this information into its own blog post to give some weight to this question:
Should Alexa Be in School?
This is the big question. Smart Speakers are such a new market space, but educators are asking this question right now and trying things out right now.
Twitter has an #Alexa4edu hashtag which has many posts from #ISTE18 still to check out. Ultimately you will have to decide. Make sure that you have answers to concerns about student privacy (see links to articles below).
Alexa, is it Even Educational?
Like many devices, the tool itself may not be educational unless it is used that way. By itself, this is nothing more than a browser search but used strategically this could be educational.
Alexa Skills, consider them educational voice apps for Alexa. Integration into a classroom would fall squarely on the teacher(s) of that classroom. Frankly, there are not many examples out there yet, but Amazon would like to change that.
Teachers are openly looking for classroom applications, take a tour of YouTube keyword Alexa and feel free to watch:
Does it indicate an issue if we buy a device first and then look for applications in the classroom?
Should Smart Speakers be in Classrooms?
This is a popular question. Some people are concerned about privacy issues on behalf of students. Some are concerned over the constant “listening” status of such devices. Others are concerned about the perceived disjointed act of searching for information as a student thinks about something. Here are some recent articles you may be interested in:
6/2018 How Amazon Alexa can Impact Education – Balanced
Spring 2018 Hey Alexa, can you Help Kids Learn More? podcast – Balanced
12/2017 Alexa, How Can You Improve Teaching and Learning? – Balanced
2/2017 Your New Teacher’s Assistant – PRO
Where do you keep your Smart Speakers like Alexa?
This is an easy technology to literally SEE where people stand. Do you have or are you considering, bringing a smart speaker into your classroom?
Does your school or district have a policy on smart speakers?
Will you be using your personal account for a smart speaker in your classroom?
I cannot wait to hear from you on this hot topic!