An Amazon echo dot in the classroom will help you save time, and your students will be excited to use Alexa in the classroom. I personally love Alexa, and so do my students. At the beginning of the school year when I introduce Alexa to my class, I explain exactly how she works AND the rules. You can access a record of anything and everything that is asked to Alexa. So, if you are concerned your students may have asked inappropriate or undesired questions to Alexa, go into your app and check the record.
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Create and use “skills” to simplify using Alexa in the classroom by using the Alexa app. I love using the Alexa app due to the fact I can assign Alexa skills, as well as many other things, from the app. Basically, you can use the app to program Alexa to do or say what you would like.
*Teacher Tip: Using the Alexa app, you can talk through Alexa. So, next time you are absent and have a message for your students, log into the app and talk to your students through Alexa! SCORE!
Do you currently play music in your classroom? My students and I love listening to music each day. Yes, we listen to music every day! At the beginning of each semester, I survey my students to ask for their input for our classroom playlist. Then, I give the songs a listen during free time. If the song requests are appropriate, I add them to our classroom playlist. My students LOVE when a song is played that they have requested. Of course, I also add in some uplifting and inspiration jams of my own. I set my expectations for students when I am teaching rituals and routines and remind them when needed. During tests, I do not play music, because I do not want to invite distractions in any way. Alexa can play music from your playlist or favorite station through Amazon Music.
Another great feature Alexa offers is timers. This is perfect when students are working in learning centers or any other "timed" task. My students respond well to timers, and Alexa is loud enough for students to hear during center time. I also set timers with a 5 minutes warning before transitions happen. So 5 minutes before we switch from science to math, the timer goes off. This is a GAME CHANGER! Another timer goes off when the time comes for the transition.
Educate your students on how Alexa works and operates. Be sure to explain that Alexa keeps a record of what she is asked. Hopefully, this will eliminate students from asking Alexa inappropriate questions. Fortunately, this hasn't been an issue inside my classroom.
The use of technology in the classroom is very common in classrooms all over. It is so important for students to be aware of safety measures and how to stay safe online. When introducing Alexa in the classroom, talk with your students about how they can stay safe online.