10 ways to use voice-activated devices in the classroom

By: | Issue: February, 2019
January 11, 2019
VOICE-ACTIVATED QUESTION BANK—In this fifth-grade classroom in Mansfield, Massachusetts, the teacher appoints a “Googler of the Day” to plug in the Home device when someone has a question, to ask that question, and then to unplug the device so it does not continue to record classroom activities.

Experts and educators offer tips on how to use Alexa, Google Home and other voice-activated devices in the classroom. These suggestions cover instructional uses and security:

  1. Allow students to ask the device (not the teacher) basic factual questions.
  2. Practice math problems, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
  3. Set up the weekly spelling list and practice it.
  4. Set timers for completing tests or attending appointments outside of class.
  5. Record a morning announcement with plans for the day.
  6. Schedule a daily or weekly journal writing prompt.
  7. Allow Alexa to read passages for reading comprehension lessons.
  8. Start a daily, two-minute mindfulness activity for student self-regulation.
  9. Try a brain break to transition students from one subject to another while keeping them engaged and focused.
  10. Use the language function for students to practice foreign language conversations.

Main story: Voice-activated technology sounds better in education