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AWS EdStart releases new voice technology course and digital badge

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As screen time dependence has increased, education technology companies (EdTechs) are looking for new ways to engage students and create a more natural interaction with their products. One way to do so is using voice technology to help students, teachers, and administrators stay informed, be productive, and create more meaningful learning opportunities. To help, the AWS EdStart and Alexa in Education teams are launching the AWS EdStart Voice Builder course and badge. The AWS EdStart Member exclusive offering can help EdTechs build voice-first experiences that create fun and engaging learning experiences, reach new users, and save time by streamlining access to their products with Amazon Alexa.

The AWS EdStart Voice Builder course includes over 15 hours of content featuring EdTech-specific training and hands-on modules. After completing the course, AWS EdStart Members who build an Alexa skill will receive support from the Alexa in Education team including monthly calls for voice ideation, skill feedback, and guidance on building with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). Members will also receive a voice user interface (VUI) review, an AWS Well-Architected Framework review, and an Amazon Alexa policy review. When an AWS EdStart Member submits and launches their new skill, they earn a digital AWS EdStart Voice Builder badge along with marketing support to help promote their new offering. Additionally, earning the badge includes benefits like skill discoverability, marketing support, and the ability to participate in a roundtable with team members from Amazon Alexa and AWS. AWS EdStart Members can access the course through the members only portal.

“This feature was created based on feedback about the importance of voice to our EdTech customers and is an impactful new addition to an already robust program. This is exactly why I love being a member of AWS EdStart,” said Jennifer Larson, founder of SchoolBzz and an AWS EdStart Member.

What’s possible for EdTechs with voice technology

EdTechs have a track record innovating with voice technology and AWS EdStart Members are no exception:

  • ROYBI Inc, a startup dedicated to transforming early-childhood education, combined robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) to create the ROYBI Robot, one of Time magazine’s 100 best inventions in 2019. Built on AWS, the team used the deep-learning technologies behind Amazon Lex to build a conversational interface and Amazon Polly to synthesize a natural-sounding human voice.
  • Ecree is a web-based writing assessment and evaluation platform that provides students with real-time feedback to improve their writing. The Ecree skill helps students with spelling, grammar, style, sentence simplifications, quotes, and citations. Ecree uses voice as a natural extension of their platform and Amazon Alexa as a way to bring this technology to life.
  • NuMoola is an educational, family-focused consumer banking financial technology platform with child-focused tools to teach about personal savings, goal setting, investing, and gamified financial education. As a finalist in the 2020 Amazon Alexa EdTech Skills Challenge, Numoola created a skill that helps children and their families learn about fundamental financial literacy concepts through interactive lessons and games.
  • SchoolBzz is a communications platform designed to help parent group leaders simplify how information is shared with families—streamlining how they intake data from different sources like websites, email, and messaging apps. SchoolBzz for Alexa allows schools to broadcast their morning announcements to families to keep them connected throughout remote learning, hybrid schedules, and an ever-changing virtual environment.

Get started with AWS EdStart and Alexa for Education

Learn more about AWS EdStart, the AWS EdTech startup accelerator designed to help EdTechs grow. And check out the course on the AWS EdStart members only portal.

Want to know more about how EdTechs are using Alexa to deepen engagement, improve student learning, and make life easier for teachers and administrators? Visit Alexa in Education.