Google Home in the Classroom


#1

In the past, I have heard of teachers and staff using the Google Home Mini in the classroom. I got one over Black Friday, and am finding it to be a great resource. If you are unfamiliar with what it is, it is essentially a small circular electronic with a speaker. You give it commands such as ‘Hey google set a timer for 10 minutes’ and then it performs those actions. It is useful because it prevents the teacher from going to his or her computer and fiddling around with it until an online resource is found. Being an English Learner teacher, I could also use it to translate (one of the most helpful technologies)! The Google Home has a ton of languages on it. I could say something like ‘Hey Google, translate skyscraper into Korean’, and it will translate it aloud through the speaker for my student. I have also used it for playing music, checking the weather, setting class reminders, and assigning groups. It is an evolving technology that offers new developments often. Technology is changing, why would we not take advantage of using it to help our learners?
How else do you think Google Home could be used? Is it a useful technology to integrate?


#2

That sounds awesome. How much do they run? How do you use it to assign groups?


#3

They are normally $50, but I got mine for $25 on sale. They are an investment.
I have not picked groups using the system yet. Originally I was told that you could tell google to ‘pair numbers’ and it would pair numbers together (like, number 1 and 5). That doesn’t seem to work great in my testing of it. What can be done though is to ask google to pick a random number 1-x and it will. You could assign students numbers and then have google pick a random number each time to pair students. Of course, this is completely random and not appropriate for strategic grouping, but for quick pairing for a game it could work.