The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote learning a necessity for millions of students. However, that doesn’t mean it is enjoyable or easy. Today’s technology can make things a little easier by keeping track of tasks, managing screen time, and offering reminders when things are due.
Digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa excel at lending a helping hand to remote learners. These five tricks, identified by CNET’s David Priest, make it easy to stay on top of things.
It goes without saying that reading is an essential part of learning. Without it, students aren’t able to seek new information on their own or develop their critical thinking skills. Of course, it can be difficult to teach children to read—especially if they don’t have an interest for it.
Alexa can be a great help thanks to its compatibility with Audible (which is also owned by Amazon). Any Alexa-enabled smart speaker can read books to children. The technology aspect may be enough to get them interested in “reading.”
Amazon Kids+ is a terrific subscription for parents with children that like listening to audiobooks. It has a library with countless titles that your kids can listen to and even follow along with if you have the physical copy.
Many students like to have some background music while they’re studying for a test or writing a research paper. It’s no secret that Alexa is good at queuing up songs. Smart speakers that support Amazon’s digital assistant put millions of songs just a request away.
Although many people assume that Alexa only supports Amazon music, it can also play songs through services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. The same goes for podcasts for those that want to enhance their learning outside of the virtual classroom.
This one may be pointless for older students. However, young children often learn as much from the social aspect of going to school as they do from the curriculum. Practicing their speech is one thing that many kids are missing out on in today’s remote learning era.
As David Priest notes, Alexa can be a great tool for teaching kids how to talk. Practicing conversations in question-and-answer format lets children flex their vocab skills and use those vocal cords.
Remote learning can feel very isolated if you aren’t able to interact with others. For students that are forced to stay in their room for long periods of time, Alexa offers a respite thanks to the Drop In feature.
This lets you connect two Alexa-enabled smart speakers and use them like an intercom to chat with someone else in your home. It’s a fun way for kids to connect with their parents and a useful means of checking in from time to time.
Question and Answer
Distractions abound in remote education. Eliminating them whenever possible is a helpful way to keep students on track. Although interacting with Alexa might seem like a distraction, it’s better than pulling out a phone or opening a new browser tab.
By asking Alexa a question and getting a quick answer, students won’t fall down the rabbit hole of their other devices.