Amazon Echo: Could It Transform Teaching?

I received my Amazon Echo last week after waiting a very long time. I was so excited to open up the box and start using the Echo.

As I continue to experiment with the Echo in my house and continue to be both amazed and somewhat scared by the device I keep thinking about the education aspect to this type of device.

I know we have Siri in our pockets, but what if there was this device such as the Echo in which anytime a student or teacher had a low level question that did not require much thought (really just rote memorization) the device could spit out the answer? How much wasted time would be saved by a quick rapid response?

Perhaps you are thinking well why not use your phone or computer or tablet? I am thinking in much larger context of eliminating the barriers to technology. One device per room that could be used any time such as class instruction or tests. It would be that smart, know it all kid that always has the answer, but cannot be picked on because it is not human.

How would this change education? Teachers would have to change their teacher to deeper learning and more project based where the answer is not rote memorization, fill in the blank, memorizing of facts that lead us to places of blah, uninspired learning, and not ready to tackle the obstacles of life.

I am not quite yet ready to move my Echo to my classroom. Who knows what would end up on my grocery list or shopping cart, but the idea intrigues me. It startles me to have a device with a name that responds in seconds to what you ask for, but if this would save minutes each day in the class on waiting and superficial learning perhaps an answer awaits inside Alexa.

In the meantime I will continue to work in the nerd cave and hold conversations with an inanimate object.


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