Understand the new benefits Amazon Echo Dot

There is no doubt that the Echo Dot (Alexa) is becoming a larger and larger presence in today’s classrooms. Amazon released a new Kid’s Edition Echo Dot that might be a good solution for your classroom. Affiliate links contained in this post.

Totally not here to debate the privacy/security concerns that some have with Alexa in the classroom. This article from EdWeek has some good points if you want to read further about that piece.

Kid’s Edition Echo Dot Upgrades that benefit the classroom!

  • Kid appropriate language and controls – now might not need the full parental controls but they are POWERFUL. It is nice to know the vocabulary is catered to younger age and able to be comprehended along with APPROPRIATE! ( I know we have all been waiting for that one!!!)
  • *BONUS* It does have a “Drop In” feature you can use to listen to “intercom” with other devices which is SO PERFECT for home – definitely a little incentive to buy another!

Dot Helping Tasks/Classroom Management

  • Alexa, pick a number….flip coin, pick card, roll dice, rock paper scissors, (great probability connections)
  • Alexa, set timers – so awesome for transitioning
  • Alexa, add to calendar – easily link to Google Classroom calendar and add events, homework, field trips, parties, upcoming dates!
  • Alexa, play (music) – even instrumental or waves, thunderstorm, birds, ocean, white noise or birds
  • Alexa, ask the Magic 8-ball = great for quick decisions, “Can we have 5 more minutes of recess?” “Is this homework?”
  • Alexa, play the podcast …. – really great ones for school

Echo ELA Tasks

  • Alexa, how to spell
  • Alexa, tell a story
  • Alexa, Open Magic Door (like choose your own adventure series)
  • Alexa, play Simon Says – great for fluency as Alexa repeats what you say.
  • Alexa what is the definition for….
  • Alexa, what is the synonym for….

Echo Dot Math Tasks

  • Alexa, count by
  • Alexa, what is (# + #) for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division

Alexa Classroom Lessons

  • High school: Research Privacy concerns around smart speakers. With such an upcoming topic of listening into conversations and now classrooms, are we safe? what is protected? This would make a great research topic!
  • K-12: Guided Meditation or Mindfulness. This would be great for school counselors or any teachers to use as a brain break and get students focused and ready for the day.
  • Grades 3-5: Imagine what smart devices and speakers look like now and how they function as part of “smart” home. What improvements could you make? What will be a part of our future in five years?
  • Spelling Bee – Alexa will test you on spelling words.

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