This is a quick and easy lesson plan I put together to demonstrate how searching for information online is vastly different from using a voice command to retrieve information via Amazon Echo, Google Home Mini, or another voice assistant. How do we determine which information is best when we can’t see it to verify?
Lesson Duration: 45-60 minutes
Audience: Adults, Teens, 6-8th grade
- Basic website navigation skills
- Keyboard/ Mouse skills
- Able to use voice-enabled device (ex. Google’s Get Started with Voice Access). Other instructions found on device-specific website.
- Understand how voice controlled technology impacts the understanding and selection of information.
- Brainstorm new ways to analyze information using voice commands.
- Understand why we need to verify sources.
- Computers with internet access
- Smart device with voice assistant enabled (ex. Amazon Echo, Google Home, smartphone)
- Notebook & Pen, or Electronic note-taking device
- Set up all computers and devices. Make sure the internet is connected on all devices.
- Charge devices before class, or have outlet access.
- Make sure devices have microphone and voice assistant enabled, if using a device other than Amazon Echo or Google Home.
Voice command devices like Amazon Echo are getting more popular by the day. Do we know how this new convenience will affect information seekers? Let’s find out. This activity is designed to compare the different between looking up information online versus finding and retrieving information verbally. We will explore the pros and cons to accessing information using voice commands.
Introduction (5-10 minutes):
- Introduce instructor
- Explain the popularity of voice-command enabled devices.
- Show examples of devices and how they are used in the world.
- Warm-Up Activity: Ask if anyone has used voice commands in their everyday life to find information, control devices, or otherwise interact with the world. Have voice commands ever given you an unexpected result?
Finding Information Online Activity (10 Minutes):
Whether it’s a recipe, the latest news headlines, a DIY video, or information about a health concern, we all find information online every now and again. I would like you to find a current events headline. When you find it, jot down how you know the information is real.
- How did you decide this information was real?
- What is your source?
- Can you find another article reporting similar information?
Guidelines for Real vs. Fake (5 Minutes):
Take a look at this Real or Fake infographic from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to see how the experts spot fake news. Did your news story prove to be real or fake? How can you tell? Have a brief discussion.
Voice-Command Information (15-20 Minutes):
Take out your voice-command device. Use the wake word and ask the device to find information about a current events topic. Find an article and look back at that Real or Fake inforgraphic.
- Using only voice commands, how can you tell if this is real?
- Can you find all the verification information listed on the infographic?
- Was it easy or difficult to find information to verify the source?
- Would you use voice commands as your only way to find information?
- What do you think will happen as more people find information using voice-command enabled device without a screen?
Conclusion (5 Minutes):
- Sum up what the learners discovered during the activities.
- Ask the learners if they have any questions or would like to learn more about any of the topics covered.
- Remind everyone to search safely and find good information!