{Edtech} Do voice assistants have a place in the classroom?

During the holiday season, connected devices containing voice-activated assistants from Amazon (Alexa) and Google were among the most popular gifts. This week at the giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES), lots of companies demonstrated many more future products infused with Alexa, Google, and Apple’s Siri. Including “smart” shower hardware.

But, according to the ACLU blog, you may want to think twice about placing an always-on, internet connected microphone in your home.

Source: Go Ahead, I’m Listening… – Assorted Stuff

I have four Amazon Echo Dots in my house, and I’m not worried about the Dots sending everything they’ve heard to Amazon. One, the on board memory isn’t enough to store a lot of conversation, and two, if they were sending everything someone would have noticed due to the traffic on their network. In the future, this may change.

As for the classroom, I could see a lot of use. Little things, like turning lights on/off or the projector, would be really nice. Using it to ask questions would also be useful.

The problem right now is identifying the user. Google and Amazon are working on being able to identify who is addressing their digital assistant, and this will become more important in the future.


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