Saturday Suite Tip: Okay Google - Google Assistant in the Classroom

Saturday GSuite Tip

Need someone to help with all those awesome questions children come up with in the classroom? Want to find an answer quickly or play a game for that five minutes before the bell? Check out
Google Assistant

What is it?

A great often overlooked feature is Google Assistant, it works to varying degrees on Google Home, mobile devices and Chromebooks and can be a very useful addition to a classroom. 

There is an ever increasing number of things you can ask Google just by talking to Google Assistant.  On most Android phones it's just a case of saying 'Okay Google' or 'Hey Google' within ear shot of your phone and then asking your question.  There may be a little more setup required if you're using an older version of Android or a device that defaults to the manufacturers setup.  If you're in posession of a phone that already has Google Assitant you wont need to install the app.  If you don't have it here's a link to it on the Play Store and in the App Store

What can it do?

Ask it a question 
Google Assistant will attempt to answer it.  Some useful questions for the classroom:
What is 205mm in centimetres?
What is the capital city of New Zealand?
How do you say Have a great day in Italian?
Why is the sky blue?
What is the weather like tomorrow?

It's learning, it's not perfect every time but that's also a great discussion starter in a classroom situation prompting discussions like - should we believe all the answers the assistant gives us?  why? why not? How do we check those answers?  

Give it an instruction
Need to give students a specific time frame to complete a task, ask Google to do it for you.  Things like 'Hey Google count to 100' are as easy as that just ask and you shall receive.  It also remembers things for you so you could say hey remember there are 20 students here today and later recall that information by saying 'what did I ask you to remember' to use in a different situation.  

Play a game
Want to have a go at a built in game just ask 'what triva games can you play' there are quite a few to chose from including maths, geography, entertainment or vocabulary quizzes.

There are plenty of things Google Assistant can do check out the list here

There are even a few experimental features around like the Story Speaker add on for Google Docs - note this works better with Google Home than a phone or Chromebook.  Basically Google Assistant will read your pick a path story out to you and you can interact with it.  If you're keen to try the experimental take a look at Voice Experiments for a few great ways to use voice commands 

If you want to look into machine learning check out this little experiment by Google that allows you to look into teaching your very own machine.