Using Amazon Alexa in the Classroom
Voice-controlled devices are here to stay, and it is time for you to embrace this technology in the classroom. With Amazon Alexa working through the inexpensive Echo Dot using Wi-Fi, you can transform your classroom into an interactive learning space where students are using voice-controlled searches in the classroom the same way they will in their future homes and vehicles. Plus, the kids love it! Here are some of the reasons why teachers are using Amazon Alexa in the classroom and loving it:
Basic Classroom Management
Amazon Alexa will save you time and simply your classroom management routines. By simply saying, “Alexa,” you get the device’s attention. For example, you can say, “Alexa, set a ten-minute timer,” and the device will start timing your activity right away. When it comes to randomly pairing or grouping students, Alexa has several different random generating options. If you must make quick decisions, you can ask Alexa to play “Heads or Tails.”
Reading and Writing
Amazon Alexa can tell stories, which as child-friendly. But, if you have an Amazon Audible account, it works directly with Alexa. When you are reading in class, you can pair your novel reading with the audiobook to help your auditory learners.
Depending on the grade level you teach, you can use Amazon Alexa to help reinforce writing skills. Alexa can spell most words. The device can also provide definitions and synonyms for words. This tool is especially helpful for ESL students.
Amazon Alexa can do basic calculations, such as addition and subtraction. Whether than having the kids use the device to find the answers, teachers can use these tools to “check” their student’s math after completion. Additionally, Alexa has many probability tools, such as “Roll the dice.”
Since the device is essentially a search device, you can use Amazon Alexa to search information about science topics you are covering. Depending on the grade level, you can ask Alexa about the weather, animals, or the human body. Alexa includes tools like Science Buddy and Science News Headlines.
History and Social Studies
The device also works well for Social Studies and History lessons. In addition to providing daily news briefings, it also has historical facts and history trivia games. You can also use it for Geography, such as asking Alexa “What is the capital of Georgia?” or playing the U.S. Capital game.
Amazon Alexa can also just be used for fun. The device can play music, podcasts, and games. If you have time, you can try out various trivia games such as “Jeopardy” or use it to play relaxing music while students work independently.
Finally, to help your students get the most from Amazon Alexa in the classroom, you must establish clear rules regarding when it may be used and prepare example voice commands and questions ahead of time.