My Dear Friend Alexa ~ Using an Echo Dot in the Classroom


I feel the need to tell you about my dear friend Alexa. We have become rather close the past few months. It's safe to say I'm pretty obsessed with my collection of Amazon Echoes and Echo Dots. I *may* have gone overboard on buying them for Christmas and convincing others to do the same!

I was so psyched to get an Echo Dot for my classroom! My initial thought was how great it would be for playing music, especially since we listen to music A LOT in my room.

Then I found so many other uses for my Echo Dot!

Here are my Top Ten uses for Alexa in the classroom!


Okay first and foremost I absolutely LOVE using it to play music. I have playlists already set up in my Prime music account but sometimes I just say "Alexa, play Christmas music" and the magic happens. It's so nice to be able to control the volume from wherever I am in the classroom and pause the music instantly when I need to get my kiddos attention. It's also pretty sweet to be able to listen to my music and podcasts during planning time and after school!


Okay what classroom teacher DOESN'T need to set timers?! It's so easy to say, "Alexa, set a timer for 5 minutes." Then my kids know exactly how long they have left to work, and I don't forget to stop them so we can move on to the next activity. Alarms are fantastic for helping to remember when and where you need to be!


Of course I could use my tried-and-true numbered popsicle sticks to choose a student... but how much  more fun is it if Alexa chooses?! Just say, "Alexa, pick a number between ___ and ___."


Who doesn't need a good weather report from Alexa?! Plus, it's verbal proof that it's way too cold to go outside for playtime, LOL!


Alexa can define words and even give you synonyms for them. This is awesome for introducing our words of the week.


Alexa is VERY good at spelling! While I typically encourage my firsties to stretch out a word and write all the sounds they hear, occasionally we ask Alexa for help. My kids feel pretty special when I tell them they can go to my desk and ask Alexa for spelling help.


Again, we typically figure out math facts on our own... but Alexa is great for double checking our answers! So far we've only tried some basic calculations.


It's really fun to ask Alexa for a random fact. Then we can share our new knowledge with others throughout the day. We are going to kill it at trivia night!
Some of the random facts are WAYYY over my kids heads and some are just silly! (Like when Alexa tells us that "Bees never poop in the hive." ~ use this feature with caution!)


Simply say, "Alexa, tell me a fairy tale."

Or, "Alexa, tell me a bedtime story." (You must give Alexa permission to use this feature.)

Not only can Alexa tell us a story... we can help her create one of our own! This is by far my first graders FAVORITE use of Alexa. Just say, "Alexa, open the Magic Door" and your choose-your-own adventure begins! Last week we created a story together as a class. My kids had to be excellent listeners and practice visualizing in their minds. When our story was complete, we drew pictures of what we visualized.




You can even build your own custom skills for Alexa! This is an option I am still exploring.
Fact Skill Tutorial - Build an Alexa Skill in 6 Steps




Do you have Alexa in your classroom? If so, I'd love to hear how you use it!





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