Online learning has driven educators to find innovative ways to connect with students to continue their education. With the restrictions that online learning presents, some subjects can be more difficult to teach via remote learning than others. Math is a visually driven subject that requires lots of teamwork, one on one time, and explanation. With today’s technology, educators like Misha Feigenson have leveraged tools like Amazon Alexa and other similar tools like Google Home to drive voice learning in online and in-person classrooms. This blog will look at ways that educators can use voice learning to teach math online.
What is Voice Learning Technology?
Voice learning technology can be used in many ways to help students with reading and writing as well as creating alternatives to learning for visually impaired students. The concept behind voice learning is that students are able to hear material instead of seeing it. This way students are able to learn through conversation and interaction that is almost one-on-one. These tools can be utilized in so many different ways and educators are just beginning with this technology.
Benefits of Voice Learning
Misha got into voice learning when his son started first grade and needed help with math. He wanted to figure out how he could maximize the usage of the technology in his home to create a great living-learning environment at home. Misha stated how he was fascinated by the multitasking flexibility Alexa provided. He shared some observations about what he noticed while using Alexa for learning:
- Fun time and work time are in competition
For students at home, the luxury of a fun time is all the time. When school is at home kids have a harder time settling into learning. With Alexa, it doesn’t have to be this way.
- Child interaction with Alexa
Misha noticed how his children talked to the device. His children spoke to the Alexa like it was a real person.
- No Screen
Since Alexa does not have a screen, the negative effects of screen time were removed while still being an effective way to learn.
How to Teach Math Online using Voice Learning Technology
When Misha began experimenting with voice learning technology he had a group of students with learning disabilities as well as visually impaired students. He had them try his app Thinking Cap Innovations that is compatible with Alexa. The original response was overwhelmingly positive. Shortly after he began to work with 20 schools with visually impaired students to help with reading, writing, and math. The structure of the lessons was through station rotations. Teachers would take two to three students to work on a 10-minute audio lesson with Alexa. During these, they were able to focus on concepts like addition, subtractions, counting, etc. Misha stated that people often don’t realize that they can use Alexa from their phones and don’t necessarily need an echo device just by downloading his app.
An example of using Alexa to teach math online or in the classroom is:
Alexa asks, “How much is 6+7”
The student replies, “15”
Alexa responds, “Well, let’s see. If 6+6 is 12, then how much is 6+7?”
The student replies, “13”
This gives students the opportunity to assess, reevaluate, learn, and try again.
Misha wants to make sure that educators are extremely focused on making sure students learn from our questions. He believes that voice learning technology can be especially powerful because of the ‘teacher’ feature Alexa can play. Teach math online with more support by downloading Thinking Cap Innovations and integrating voice learning technology into your classroom.
Listen to the full conversation with Misha Feigenson on our Tackling Tech Podcast!
On this episode of Tackling Tech Podcast, powered by Dyknow, Brett McGrath talks with his first international guest, Misha Feigenson, co-founder of Thinking Cap Innovations. After having kids, Misha developed a curiosity in app development, white noise, and voice-learning. He is passionate about screen-free, touch-free progressive learning, especially as a way of teaching math and language.
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