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Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
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Edtech Advocacy &
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Hey Google, Is There a Role for You and Alexa in Classrooms?

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Tuesday, June 25, 1:15–2:15 pm
Location: 201A

Dr. Maureen Yoder  
Artificial intelligence is now an attainable technology present in millions of American homes. Smart speakers, such as Google’s Home or Amazon’s Alexa, can rapidly retrieve factual information. Come hear how educators are extending their usefulness and discovering creative ways to use them to challenge students and organize their classrooms.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None required or needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Creativity and productivity tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, Social studies
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital age learning.
  • Provide learner-centered environments equipped with technology and learning resources to meet the individual, diverse needs of all learners.
For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation, Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Artificial intelligence is now an attainable technology present in millions of American homes. How can this powerful tool be incorporated into educational settings? Can the extensive fact retrieval abilities be channeled into productive activities that promote inquiry and original thinking? Can smart speakers be used to assist teachers and librarians, providing an alternative to traditional classroom organization and routines? YES! Educators are discovering ways that digital assistants can make their professional lives easier and their instructional efforts more interesting. Participants will learn about the lesser known Amazon “skills” and Google “add-ons”, which come in the form of learning games, single purpose tools, and hundreds of specific applications. Issues such as privacy will be addressed, along with the positive and negative results of personification, when your “intelligent” smart speaker becomes an increasingly more human like presence. The session will end with five classroom scenarios that may leave you wondering how you have gotten by without this remarkable technology.


I. Introduction – 2 minutes
o Introduction to Artificial Intelligence; supportive research
o Format: fast-paced and quick overview
o Participants will receive link to the presentation for further exploration
II. Artificial Intelligence: technologies and resources – 50 minutes
o Overview of smart speakers, including Google’s, Amazon’s, and others
o The vast array of topics and resources available
o Going beyond information retrieval
o Classroom suggestions for thought provoking activities, constructivist in format
o Exploring Amazon “skills” and Google “add-ons: learning games and resources
III. Promising AI technologies not available yet – 2 minutes
IV. Conclusion – 6 minutes
o Instructions for accessing link to presentation
o Inspirational words; looking to the future
o Comments, questions, Raffle! Door prizes!

Supporting research

My research is grounded in constructivist and experiential learning theory, developed and influenced by John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, and Jerome Bruner. Information about the technology and resources will also have been gathered by electronic sources and will include articles, manufacturer’s sites, and blogs. Given the nature of the emerging, and rapidly changing field of artificial intelligence, the majority of the articles and web sites cited will be less than three months old at the time of this presentation.

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Dr. Maureen Yoder, Lesley University

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