Earlier this year, Amazon and the Alexa team had launched a pilot with NAB in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to introduce Echo smart speakers as teaching aids for educators in three districts of UP–Lucknow, Gorakhpur, and Basti. Over 2,000 students – with and without disabilities – benefited from this.

Girls in a UP school with Echo Dot devices
Using simple voice commands makes interactions convenient and accessible for students with visual disabilities at Government Girls Blind Inter College, Gorakhpur, UP

93 additional schools
The success of this pilot will now see Amazon continue its work with NAB UP to reach 93 additional schools, touching more than 34,000 students from schools and Bachpan day care centres where NAB runs its inclusive education program. This will introduce more students to Alexa and help improve their learning outcomes.

Makes learning fun and engaging
Children thoroughly enjoy learning with Alexa. The simple use of voice commands to ask questions on a vast range of topics from general knowledge, mathematics, science, and history to spellings and meanings of words helped them learn better and hone their English communication skills. Educators used Alexa features like quizzes, timers, and reminders to make studies more engaging and fun. They also used Echo smart speakers when providing home-based services to students having multi-disability including blindness.

Increase in classroom attendance
“By having Alexa in classrooms, teachers have noticed a substantial increase in attendance in the classroom, habit of actively asking questions, confidence in young students and a significant improvement in spoken English,” says SK Singh, Managing Trustee, National Association of Blind UP Head. “The simplicity of voice interactions with Alexa to ask for information and to get things done has proven to be of more assistance for people with mobility and vision disabilities.”

Children at a Bachpan daycare centre interact with Alexa on an Echo Dot smart speaker in their classroom
Children at a Bachpan daycare centre interact with Alexa on an Echo Dot smart speaker in their classroom

Amazon Alexa is used in several schools around the country and is a testimony that using voice technology can address varying learning styles and needs of students, and more so for students with disabilities. The story of Amir Khan – a student who is blind and used Alexa to prepare for his board exams – emerged from the initial pilot, serving as a catalyst to double down on using voice technology like Alexa to help make learning accessible and inclusive.

“NAB’s proactiveness to pilot the Alexa program in their network of schools is very encouraging. We are glad to be a part of their inclusive education programme and make learning more fun and engaging for children,” says Dilip RS, country manager for Alexa, Amazon India. “Alexa has a number of resources and features that make it a useful aid to support learning. The simplicity of just asking for information makes it very easy to use.”

If you have a story of your own about how you use Alexa, email us at alexastories-india@amazon.com. You can also use #AlexaStories when you share your experiences on social media. Learn more about how Alexa is helping people in different ways here.