Technology has become a critical part of learning and instruction. School leaders are implementing various tools and resources that enhance learning for students while supporting instruction for teachers and staff. It becomes an avenue to explore the world digitally by providing quick access to information during instruction that enhances learning.
Technology is also an easy and efficient way to share student updates and provide information directly to parents, which is important because it allows parents to be more involved. Technology can help to develop a stronger relationship with the school community and has the ability to provide immediate details about the student or school wide information.
3 Ways to use Alexa in the Classroom
Many teachers, myself included, are accustomed to contacting parents via phone and notes home. This was the traditional way of communicating but sometimes doesn’t always prove to be effective. I dedicated a lot of time calling disconnected numbers or sending notes home that never made it to the adult in the household. I was always looking for ways to communicate with parents in a timely manner.
With the age of technology and innovative tools, this is now possible! A parent’s Kickboard account can be connected to their Alexa app and using the voice feature, you can have access to details about your student’s behavior immediately.
Imagine a classroom full of engaged students who are thinking critically about environmental awareness. A student raises their hand asking a very targeted questions about the increase in air pollution over the last decade. You can ask Alexa the question and the search feature will provide some related details. This feature is great because both students and teachers can take the lead on accessing new information or getting quick answers to inquiring minds. This feature is also helpful to teachers as it provides operational support in the classroom.
The Alexa app can also set reminders and timers that can be used in different activities. This would be a great way to encourage student leadership where one or a few students are in charge of monitoring time or playing music during an activity.
During instructional time, I would often pair students with each other to work on math problems or read a story. These groups would vary by reading and math levels and I would split my time with each pair to offer support. Teachers can use Alexa to read to students or check answers to math problems. This allows some independent work time but also scaffolded instruction for some students.
In a creative writing center or during a music unit, Alexa could provide instrumentals so students can create songs or poetry that align to the topic. Alexa can be a support to both students and teachers. It is a great way to help facilitate learning during special periods throughout the day.
When using Alexa in the classroom keep in mind that this will need to be integrated with classroom rules and explicit expectations need to be set. It could be helpful to identify acceptable uses of Alexa and practice when it is appropriate to use the tool. This tool can be fun for students and this is an opportunity for them to practice commands and take ownership in learning.
Kickboard has a platform that provides a technical solution to understanding behavior management in schools and a way to increase communication between schools and home. To advance the efforts to support school leaders and teachers, the Kickboard Alexa skill creates more opportunities for families to receive student-behavior updates in real-time. This technology is not only helpful for families but it allows for the school to keep a consistent line of communication open.