I think it’s only fair since posting about Amazon’s Alexa to explore the options Google’s Assistant can provide for the classroom. The Google Home and Home Mini that have been highly advertised during the holiday shopping season are powered by Google Assistant, a personal concierge much like Siri.
The question is: “What can your Assistant do?” Now you can search a database of over 1 million things to try with Google Assistant. Many of us in education are head-over-heels into Google with Classroom, Docs, and all the other awesome products that help to integrate technology in meaningful ways within our classrooms. Naturally, it makes sense to explore the possibilities Google Assistant can bring to the classroom.
One large drawback is Google Accounts set up through K-12 schools, non-profit groups or .edu email address are not going to be able to use Google Assistant. You will need to use a personal account in order to use Google Assistant. [See Google Assistant Help explanation.] Don’t let this drawback stop you from using Google Assistant in your classroom -- easy enough work arounds - let’s face it, most of us all have a personal Gmail account; if not please go here to get yourself one set up.
Let’s explore what Google Assistant can do right off the bat Google suggests:
Create your own Apps (or actions) for Google Assistant
The idea of creating my own app for Google Assistant is intriguing, but also sounds very daunting all at the same time. After reading you can quickly and easily create an app within minutes using Google Sheets templates, I felt like it would be much more attainable. The easiest one and most applicable to education is a quiz/trivia template. There is also a flashcard option that would be helpful for review.
Here’s to trying new things in 2018, including a new teacher’s assistant with either the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. I think finding the right balance of what you need is key before making a decision on purchasing a Google Home (runs Assistant) or an Amazon Alexa.