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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Alexa Skill of the Week: Education Skills for Kids

Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions.

Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Dot, Tap, Echo Show, Echo Look, Dash Wand, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai.

This week’s skill: Well…

This week is a bit different than our previous coverage. Instead of a single skill of the week, there are a few really great skills that have been added this week that are all part of Amazon’s Alexa for education push. It makes a lot of sense that Alexa devices could be used as home educators, and with kids headed back to school the timing is perfect.

Here’s what’s available right now…

Amazon Storytime – The Amazon Storytime skill offers a growing collection of professionally narrated short stories for kids ages 5 – 12. This collection contains curated stories from the Amazon Rapids app library, soon to be joined by additional Audible short stories in the near future.

Sesame Street – Hello, it’s Elmo! When children ask to “Open Sesame Street,” they’ll be able to speak directly to their furry red friend. Elmo’s so excited! He can’t wait to share all the fun things he knows about the letter of the day. And Elmo’s always up for a good game of Hide & Seek, with silly sounds as clues to where he’s hiding.

The SpongeBob Challenge – Family night gets an extra serving of patty-flippin’ fun with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Challenge memory game on Alexa! Join the Krusty Krab crew, and take orders from the hungry citizens of Bikini Bottom. Work alongside your favorite characters, including SpongeBob, Squidward, and Mr. Krabs. Get ready to be challenged as the customers’ orders get harder and harder. Nautical nonsense awaits, so join the Krusty Krab crew today!

There are others, and more are on the way, but these represent the best of the lot so far. Our whole family has incorporated Alexa into their lives – especially our youngest daughter. She regularly plays and dances to Moana songs and when she’s having trouble finishing her meal she asks Alexa to play “Eat it” by Weird Al Yankovic.

Amazon is serious about pushing Alexa as a kids learning tool and seems to be taking the right steps to ensure that privacy is at the fore…

When a customer asks Alexa to enable a kid skill for the first time, Alexa will ask the customer to give permission in the Alexa app. The Alexa app will guide the customer through the process. To give permission, parents will need to verify their identity using a one-time SMS code sent to the mobile phone number in their Amazon account, or by entering the security code of the credit card in their Amazon account. Alexa will save the parental consent and access to kid skills will not require this verification again. Parents can view and revoke permissions for profiles associated with the household on Amazon.com.

 


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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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