Amazon’s Alexa Turns Teacher for School Kids in Indian Villages


In interior parts of India like villages and remote places we face unstable internet connectivity and low bandwidth or poor speed have not quelled students’ desire to learn poetry, mathematics, general knowledge, and history from their new “third teacher”, Amazon’s Alexa.

A new teacher on the block. Amazon or Google could start a school or university whenever they intend to.

A government school in Waruda, a small village in the Amravati district of Maharashtra, has been helping to teach 42 students a wide range of topics and subjects, ranging from mathematics to poetry, without formal classroom sessions with in the flesh teachers, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper. The third teacher is Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant device, powered through an Amazon Echo encased in a mannequin.

The school has two real life human teachers, Sushma Kapse, who also caters as the school’s headmistress, and Amol Bhuyar. Mr Bhuyar had the idea of integrating Amazon’s Alexa Device into the classroom to enable and support teaching and education in rural areas.

Isn’t this the real power of technology – providing equal access to knowledge & information and bridging the gaps across socio-economic divide?

Lovely to note how kids bring stuff and do makeover to their favorite ‘alexa teacher’

The two teachers had made an amazing effort to gather all their resources and bought an Amazon Echo device, while Mr Bhuyar built a mannequin case for the device to give a human-like face to Alexa.

It is unfortunate to be resorting for a bot, especially for teaching kids. It might look lucrative initially but I am sure that the values a human or a teacher can deliver cannot be replaced by using alexa. Today we use technology where we exactly should not be using it. That is real problem of India.

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Although the children’s in rural India at first could not communicate in English language, the two teachers taught them how to ask Alexa questions in English.

The teachers believe the technology makes learning more effective and interactive and fun for the children.

“Chapters like the one on country’s renowned cricket player Sachin Tendulkar have generated lots of interaction,” Mr Bhuyar said.

Brilliant! Kudos to the people who came up with the idea and implemented it. It’ll help transform (for better, in multiple ways) the life of kids and even adults in rural places.. I wish more and more schools and institutions make use of such ideas.

Applying technology in an area where it is required most – primary education in rural India. Really hope that this becomes successful in coming times.

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