Teaching Kids About Alexa!
I recently started hosting Alexa development classes for kids. I teach them about how Alexa works, different methods of creating Alexa skills, advanced features to make their skills more interesting, and more. It’s a five-day camp, with an hour-long class each day.
So, why did I started doing classes in the first place? Well, one thing was that I thought it would be fun to meet new kids every week, teach them, and help them develop their first Alexa skill. However, my main motive for hosting these classes was to spread awareness of Alexa development, especially to kids my age. I personally believe that voice will be an important technology for the next few decades. While Alexa, Google Home, and Siri may eventually be replaced by smarter, smaller, speedier voice assistants, voice will be the next generation of technology. And so, it’s good for these kids to be introduced to voice at an early age, like me.
To run my classes, I had to use a variety of tools. My first step was creating the content. I decided that a PowerPoint slide deck would be the best way to go. It took a while to create the slides, but I managed to do it. Then, I had to consider how people would sign up. I put all of the information for the camps (dates, times, materials, etc) on my blog. As for actually signing up, I first considered using SignUpGenius but ended up going with a Google form. My final step was to create awareness for my camps. I posted about it on LinkedIn, and people quickly signed up. At that point, I was ready to start!
Overall, the camps have gone very well, and I’m sure that everyone who has attended has learned a lot about Alexa skill development. Currently, I have successfully taught two weeks with five kids each, and am teaching a third. However, I will be taking at least a week-long break to get adjusted to online school, and then decide whether or not to continue.
It’s definitely been great talking about Alexa, and running these classes is something I can be proud of and treasure for a long time. Thanks to everyone who has been part of the Alexa camps and everyone who has supported me throughout them. I’m very grateful for everything you’ve done for me.