Distance learning hasn’t been a choice for many parents and students, but the good news is that your smart speaker may be able to help. Using smart speakers for distance learning can help you with everything from maintaining a more structured schedule to finding obscure facts for a research paper.
All of the tips below will work with most smart speakers that are compatible with the Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa, although individual skills and commands vary.
1. Add a structure to the school day
One of the easiest ways to use smart speakers for distance learning is to structure your child’s school day. Even while learning at home, it’s a good idea to keep the kids on a schedule. Use your smart speakers to set alarms to help them get up on time, change topics, take breaks, and start homework.
Devices with the Google Assistant have just added the Family Bell feature for this purpose. However, you can configure Siri and Alexa to do something similar just by adding alarms and reminders.
2. Help answer children’s questions
Did your child just ask you what a word meant and you had no idea? What about a random mathematical formula they need? No problem. Ask your favorite virtual assistant. While your kids shouldn’t be using smart speakers to answer all of their homework questions, you can use assistants as a teaching aid to answer things you aren’t sure about. Plus, kids can get extra help if you’re in another room or at work.
3. Listen to Focus Music
Studies have shown that the right kind of music actually increases productivity and focus. Have your smart speaker play focus music for your kids. Classical music and the sounds of nature are always useful, although they may just annoy some children. However, if that doesn’t distract them, let your kids listen to their favorite music, especially if the beats per minute (BPM) are between 50 and 80.
4. Learn new words and facts
A popular way to use smart speakers for distance learning is to add extra words and facts. This is especially useful if you are trying to help your child with a specific topic, like history, or if you want to improve their vocabulary to help them read.
Have your virtual assistant teach you new words or ask for facts about a specific topic or time period. The three main assistants all have various skills, such as a specific skill for building vocabulary. With Alexa, you can search Amazon directly to make it easier to find and activate what you need.
5. Train with games
The educational games were has proven to be an effective learning tool. The great thing is that your smart speaker has access to lots of educational games. All you have to do is ask your virtual assistant to play a specific type of game, such as vocabulary, trivia, math, etc.
Take breaks during your child’s school day. Use this time to allow them to play trivia-type games based on what they have learned. There are also puzzle, escape, and board games to help you with the soft skills. It gives your child something to look forward to and breaks the monotony of traditional learning.
6. Register your children
If you are at work, how do you know if your kids are actually doing something? Use your smart speaker to quickly randomly record yourself. Echo devices have a “drop-in” feature, which works well for this. Of course, if you’re at home, you can make an intercom system with most smart speakers or even old smartphones and bluetooth speakers if you want. This allows you to check in without having to constantly enter.
7. Do some quick research
Searching isn’t always fun, but it’s easier if you can just ask what you’re looking for and write down the results. For example, if your child is writing an article about mountain ranges, they might ask for Alps Quick Facts to get them started. Or, if they’re not sure what to write about, they can ask for topic ideas.
It’s no different than typing into a search engine, but it can help them stay more focused on their word processing software rather than clicking random search results and getting distracted.
Take advantage of all the skills and features that smart speakers offer for distance learning. Having extra help is always helpful.
Is this article useful?