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Live Forum-Enhancing Learning with Alexa Skill Blueprints

Leading our discussion today is Karla Rivas-Parker from the Arizona Independent Living Blind (ILB). Karla will share how the ILB is using interactive technology to assist clients in learning new skills, and we welcome your questions and suggestions of other uses as we proceed.

Using Amazon Alexa Skill BluePrints, ILB staff created accessible and educational games for adults with vision loss. These games can be designed to improve the students learning abilities and knowledge at school or home. During this forum, the ILB staff will cover creating a new game, utilizing existing templates and questions, and how to make it available to the clients or students via Amazon Echo Dots or the Amazon Alexa App on their smart phone.

Now, Karla, please begin sharing what you all have developed!

 

Comments

Karla Rivas Parker's picture

So far we have My JAWS flash cards, Magnifier flash cards (ZoomText), Windows shortcuts and word shortcuts.
Kendra Farrow's picture

How do I access the skills you have created?
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

Go to the Alexa app on your phone and under skills search for the desired skill. Then you can ask Alexa to open the skill and start playing.
Sylvia Perez's picture

What gave you the idea to create the flash cards Karla?
Kendra Farrow's picture

We wanted to have a way to help reinforce the skills that were being taught during lessons.
Diane Gray's picture

How to I participate in this form? It is not clear.
Emile Creel's picture

Please type any questions that you have about the topic and Karla or others will respond.
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

Just add a comment or reply to an existing comment.
Karen R Hatcher's picture

i have the same question. I have an account but can't access this...
Emile Creel's picture

This page is the forum, and information will continue to be added over the hour. If you have any questions, please type those out.
Kendra Farrow's picture

If you are posting questions, you are on the forum. There is no audio, just text.
Mark Armstrong's picture

I had to sign in to my account and then access the Forum tab. It took a couple of times.
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

Go to the following website:BluePrints.Amazon.com
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

1. Go to the following website:BluePrints.Amazon.com 2. Select a skill templet such as: - Trivia - Flashcards - Facts - Question and answer Once the skill template is selected click or push enter on the button “create your own” 3. Edit the given examples. 4. Add your own questions 5. Save and finish 6. Test the skill 7. Make it public
Mark Armstrong's picture

BPs opens the door to many possibilities including service delivery. Not only can skills be created to benefit the consumers, but as a tool for communication.
Kendra Farrow's picture

Hi Mark, yes, we could show consumers how to set up appointments, reminders, and store contact information for important services using this device. I have even heard that the Library of Congress is working to make BARD books accessible through the Echo.
Adele Crudden's picture

Could you please explain how the game works for those of us who do not have access to it?
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

So basically you will open, for example, the My JAWS flash cards. Then, Alexa will say "Welcome! Ready to play or do you want to review the information?" You verbally respond and what ever your answer is. Alexa will proceed. If you pick play, she will ask you questions like "what is the shortcut to print?" and you have few seconds to answer. If after 3 trys you don't get it right, she will give you the answer. If you answer correctly, she will play a sound and make a positive comment about your answer.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

Do you need to have technical expertise to create a game like this?
Emile Creel's picture

No technical expertise is needed. You really just need to select the template (multiple choice questions, flashcards, ect.). You then fill in your questions in to the template, and the game will be ready.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

Thank you. I saw the other answer after I posted my question. I also see that the website has a video about how to create your own game.
Emile Creel's picture

Hope you can find uses for this in your state!
Mark Armstrong's picture

I have heard concerns about the microphone and privacy on the Echo's. How secure is the skill and the Echo in general? Thanks!
Kendra Farrow's picture

The skill does not require any personal information from the user.
Mark Armstrong's picture

Thanks Kendra!
Adele Crudden's picture

Are we able to access the games you have already created?
Emile Creel's picture

Yes, go to the Alexa app on your phone and under skills search for the desired skill. Then you can ask Alexa to open the skill and start playing.
Sandy Neyhart's picture

could you offer some examples of games that have been created for the OIB consumers?
Emile Creel's picture

Yes, the Arizona ILB has created flashcards for My JAWS , Magnifier (ZoomText), Windows shortcuts, and word shortcuts.
Emile Creel's picture

Karla has some ideas for additional uses that she explains in a comment below also.
Kendra Farrow's picture

The skill or game will quiz the user about their knowledge of a topic like JAWS. It is an interactive way for the adaptive skills being taught to be reinforced between appointments.
Sylvia Perez's picture

How many clients or people have accessed the skills you created?
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

Not too many. We want feedback to make sure the questions and answers are clear to all. I think there are 10 people using them, and they like them. One person with more experience in the use of shortcuts gave us some feedback already. We need more testers and more feedback.
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

We have the potential to create supportive games for any topic we teach to our blind or visually impaired students. From safety cooking tips, to braille, to O&M, or the use of special aids/devices. We just need to organize ourselves and divide the work among a work group. Each member could develop a skill for an a specific topic.
Karen R Hatcher's picture

Our AT Unit is currently doing a pilot with the Echo Dot. 30 of our consumers are testing it out in their homes. With the pricing trending down, this might be an option for us to provide as an aid. I will definitely share this information on the "games"and the "blueprint" site, so thank you!
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

Sounds good, this group of 30 people could be the additional testers we are looking for.
Karla Rivas Parker's picture

We need more skills and the more people we have in the team the more skills we can create. Any volunteers?
Emile Creel's picture

Our time is expired, so we are ending the formal part of the “Live” Forum. We will keep an eye on this thread and answer any questions or comments that appear. Remember that you don’t have to be present during a “Live” event - we look at the forum on a routine basis and answer comments as they come in. We encourage you to do the same, or to post questions/comments that you would want to share with your peers.
Matthew Haynes's picture

Do you have a flyer or other document that makes it easy to share your Alexa skills? It looks like a great learning tool.