A couple of weeks ago, my friend was telling me how they had been getting eye strain from studying digital flashcards for one of their classes, and how they wished, in their own words, that they could have “flashcards that talked to you.” I did a bit of research on this topic, and suggested creating custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa as a way to help with studying. I tested this with my friend, and am excited to report that the custom flashcards worked great and helped them with studying. Here are my tips for creating custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa, using a custom skill blueprint.
WHAT ARE ALEXA SKILL BLUEPRINTS?
Alexa Skill Blueprints are a free official Amazon tool that allow users to create their own custom Amazon Alexa skills. There is no coding required and the finished skills are linked to the user’s Amazon account for use across all devices. Creating a skill is as simple as typing in a text box and skills can be customized in a variety of different ways. Information shared with the skill stays private and is not added to the public Amazon Alexa Skill website. Alexa Skill Blueprints require users to have an Amazon Echo device- my personal pick for my college dorm is an Amazon Echo Dot.
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About the flashcard skill
The flashcard skill was created to help people study and master comments by voice using audio-based flashcards. Users can create multiple different topics, though they must use a different skill name for each category. The default command for the flashcard skill is “Alexa, open My Flashcards.”
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- Flashcard skill link
When creating flashcards, users first will write the name of their topic, which will be said when the skill is opened. After that is done, users can an unlimited amount of custom cards that contain the term, definition, and a hint, with the term being the question and the definition being the answer. More cards can be added by clicking the “add card” button at the bottom of the screen.
Review Mode vs Test Mode
There are two different options for reviewing custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa- review mode and test mode. In review mode, Alexa randomizes the list of terms and reads the terms and definitions a set number of times until all terms are read out loud. In test mode, Alexa randomizes the list of terms and reads them out loud, with the user providing the definition or asking for a hint. This goes on until all of the terms are read, and then users are provided with a score at the end.
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Customizing the experience
There are a few different options for customizing the creation of custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa, including:
- Reading a welcome message and playing a sound effect
- Sharing a random encouraging message
- Customizing the amount of times a card is read in review mode
- Reading a exit message
Some potential uses for creating custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa include:
- Helping students with print disabilities to study for a test
- Preparing for a certification exam
- Learning new technology terms or how to use a device
- Memorizing important information
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I love creating custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa as a way to help prepare for exams, and think that this would be an amazing tool for students with visual impairments preparing for a test or learning information everywhere from elementary school to college/professional programs. I wish you the best of luck in creating custom flashcards with Amazon Alexa!