AWS Public Sector Blog

Helping schools stay connected to parents and students with Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa Skills API

With everyone off campus, parent and student communications are top of mind for school districts and universities. Amazon Alexa can help extend the classroom to home through integrations with commonly used education technology applications. Parents and students 13 and older can now use Alexa skills created by Blackboard, Canvas, Coursera, Infinite Campus, Kickboard, and Parent Square to ask questions like, “Alexa, are there any updates from school?” or “Alexa, what assignments does Rosario have due tomorrow?”

Part of the challenge of staying connected is that school administrators and educators use a variety of technology solutions to help manage their schools and individual classrooms: learning management systems (LMS), student information systems (SIS), and communication platforms. Across these different solutions, siloed data can make it difficult for parents and students to access critical information and stay on top of everything they need to know.

Now Amazon Alexa can aggregate information across education skills into one response, creating a faster, streamlined, more convenient way to access information. Once parents or students link an account to an Alexa-enabled device, or in the Alexa Mobile App, they do not need to worry about remembering the login or the name of each service every time they want to check for updates—they just ask Alexa a question. Parents and students also have the option to limit access to personal information when they enable the skill, using multiple factors including their voice profile and a custom PIN to ensure that only they can access certain information.

If you’re a school administrator or educator looking to help students and parents stay connected and keep learning on track, we’ve created step-by-step guides for enabling Alexa skills for you to share with parents and students, designed for Blackboard, Canvas, Coursera, Infinite Campus, Kickboard, and Parent Square. Download the guides for Blackboard, Canvas, Coursera, Infinite Campus, Kickboard, and Parent Square.

Megan Bertrand, a vice principal at the Academy for International Education said, “As a vice principal of a K12 school, I am constantly striving to identify and implement dynamic ways to promote family engagement. By connecting Amazon Alexa to Kickboard, families are now able to interact with real-time, personalized data in a convenient and stimulating way…Alexa provides families with a convenient space to navigate, engage, and explore.”

Are you an EdTech interested in building your own Alexa skill? Blackboard, Canvas, Coursera, Infinite Campus, Kickboard, and Parent Square used the Alexa Education Skills API to build these skills. The Alexa Education Skills API is a developer toolkit for building Alexa skills for education. The Alexa Education Skills API helps education technology companies build Alexa skills to solve major challenges across grades, coursework, and school communications that quickly and easily integrates across systems. If you’re an education technology company, explore documentation to learn more about building education skills for Alexa with the Alexa Education Skills Kit.

Learn more about Amazon Alexa for education.