An image of Alexa (voice user interface) device
Author: Samantha Goldman;
info@ciddl.org

Have you ever wondered what would make your cooking time more interesting? How about learning something new while cooking? To spice up your cooking time, CIDDL’s Christine Parsons and Dr. Ling Zhang brought contestant #3, Dr. Richard Carter, assistant professor of Special Education at the University of Wyoming, to the Cizzle Ctadium to explore the use of Voice User Interface (VUI) for at-home learning. As an emerging technology, VUI enables users to interact with conversational agents (e.g., Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, and Samsung’s Bixby) to search information, make purchases, check on weather, or engage in other activities personalized to user needs. 

In this Cizzle competition, Dr. Carter introduced an Alexa skill that was developed to support families who needed to support learning for their children while maintaining other duties at home during the pandemic. The Alexa skill, “Effective Feedback,” provides parents and other in-home support providers the opportunity to explore what effective feedback is, key points on the topic, and examples. The skill has embedded reflection questions and checks for understanding. Dr. Carter pointed out that VUI devices are prevalent in many homes, serving as an accessible way to deliver instruction. 

Dr. Carter stated that VUI is gaining traction in education because it takes away barriers to learning, providing personalized learning experiences accessible at any time and place. In particular, Dr. Carter explained that Alexa can help implement 14 out of 16 components of Explicit Instruction, which is an effective teaching methodology proven to be effective at enhancing learning for students with and without disabilities. While working at home or independently in the classroom, learners may not have access to immediate teacher modeling or guidance. VUI-based instruction has the potential to provide learners with modeling, guidance, and other quality learning experiences. As Christine Parsons said, imagine the “pastabilities” of this technology to support at-home learning for both educators and students!

Dr. Carter demonstrated the Alexa skill “Effective Feedback” while cooking a dish, “Noodles A La Carter.” The challenge he set for himself was to complete the dish in the amount of time needed to complete the skill (12 minutes and 45 seconds). Did Dr. Carter finish his dish in time? Watch the complete Cizzle to find out! The competition isn’t over yet! After you finish watching, you are invited to be a judge of the Cizzle by rating the chef in the areas of connection, preparation, and aesthetics at the bottom of this page: Cooking and Learning with Dr. Richard Allen Carter, Jr. More CIDDL Cizzles can be found on the CIDDL Events webpage. Please visit our website for more resources about innovative use of technology in special education and related services personnel preparation programs.

To access the Alexa Skills created by Dr. Carter and Colleagues, click below:

  1. Home Learning
  2. How Do I Teach

Ingredients

  • Lo Mein Noodles
  • Zucchini
  • Feta
  • Bell Pepper Variety
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Seedless Grapes
  • Creamed Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Olive Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Soy Sauce

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set water to boil
  2. Slice vegetables and layer on baking sheet and “cizzle-drizzle” with olive oil
  3. Top zucchini with feta crumbles
  4. Spread grapes on baking sheet and “cizzle-drizzle” with creamed honey or maple syrup and dust with cinnamon
  5. Roast veggies and grapes for 10 mins in preheated oven
  6. Boil Noodles (5-7 mins) and drain
  7. Layer noodles, vegetables, and grapes in mason jar
  8. Pour soy sauce in jar to taste
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