Leveraging Virtual Assistants in the Classroom

Wednesday, January 31 | 10:15AM–11:00AM CT | Preservation Hall, Second Floor
Session Type: Poster Session
Delivery Format: Poster Session
Virtual assistants facilitate online activities such as searching the web, playing music, listening to podcasts, scheduling tasks, and controlling other technologies. Virtual assistants are the "brains" within products such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. When a user addresses one of these devices with a question ("Who is Ralph Nader?") or a command ("Play the latest news"), the device speaks the answer or performs the task. This poster session will explore the pedagogical potential of these devices: how they can enhance classroom learning, what their current limitations are, and where they are headed in the near future.

Outcomes: Learn what virtual assistants/smart speakers are and what they can and cannot do * Explore the key differences between 4 different kinds of virtual assistants/smart speakers (Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and Lenovo Smart Assistant) * Identify how you, or instructors you work with, can use a virtual assistant/smart speaker to enhance your students' learning in the classroom


  • Mark Morton

    Senior Instructional Developer, Emerging Technologies, University of Waterloo

Resources & Downloads

  • Leveraging Virtual Assistants in the Classroom ELI 2018 Mark Morton

    5 MB, pdf - Updated on 2/5/2018