ProblemPal: Generating Autonomous Practice Content in Real-Time with Voice Commands and Amazon Alexa
According to a report by K-12 Market Advisors, teachers spend an average of twelve hours weekly searching for instructional materials and making practice content for students. This amounts to over $1.75 billion in annual costs for online content subscriptions and instructional materials. At the same time, the increasing need for personalized learning has rendered many of these instructional materials too general and unspecific. To solve both these problems and save teachers time and money, this study involved the development of ProblemPal, an Amazon Alexa Skill that enables teachers to automatically generate practice content with voice commands. Alexa is a popular virtual assistant developed by Amazon, allowing for voice recognition. Teachers can query ProblemPal with phrases such as “Make some questions about the Boston Tea Party” or “Make 20 derivative practice questions”, and it uses machine learning to produce practice content, which is then automatically shared to students via a Google Classroom API integration. Moreover, ProblemPal is integrated with APIs from Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, and Khan Academy, allowing the creation of practice content for virtually any topic. Ultimately, ProblemPal can reduce the content generation burden on teachers and simultaneously provide personalized learning experiences.