Should Your Homeschool Family Get an Intelligent Personal Assistant?

Intelligent personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have skyrocketed in popularity since the holiday season, but does that mean your homeschool family should get one?

Cindy Towers, a busy, 53-year-old mother of three children, explained why her answer is a resounding “yes.”

“She’s the best assistant you could ever ask for,” Towers recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer in an article exploring what these popular technology products can truly offer families. “She’s in the top five of conveniences that have made my life easier. In my world, speed and seconds matter. You don’t have to do anything - you just talk to her.”

Voice-activated assistants have been around since Siri was released as part of the iPhone 4S in 2011. Three years later, Alexa debuted as a stand-alone device, meaning the assistant was not part of a smart phone, computer, or tablet. Now, with products like the Echo Dot and Google Home being offered at lower prices, their popularity is rapidly growing. In addition, the quality of the products is improving.

“What’s made the assistants - which are able to hear and respond after deciding on the best answer - so prevalent is the fact that the accuracy has gotten more sophisticated,” said Drew Morrisroe, CEO of CTN Solutions in Blue Bell. “They can be right most of the time.”

Most current users love the convenience of their assistants for things like music, grocery lists, news, traffic, weather, and sports scores; however, others remain hesitant about the latest technology.

“I get wary around the privacy because when you interface with Alexa, it records all of things you said to it and all of the questions you asked it,” said Morrisroe. “All that data is going up into the world somewhere.”

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