Connecting the Echo Dots: An Exploratory Ethnographic Study of ‘Alexa’ in the Classroom

Cook, Richard (2021) Connecting the Echo Dots: An Exploratory Ethnographic Study of ‘Alexa’ in the Classroom. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/AX58RE21

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

Educational research literature regarding epistemic curiosity and voice technology could not be found to answer a burning question of, ‘Why aren’t my students curious?’. The aim of the study was therefore to critically analyse teachers pedagogical approaches and how voice technology was used by students as a more knowledgeable other and the extent to which it affected students’ epistemic curiosity. Using an exploratory ethnographic approach, Amazon’s Echo Dot voice technology was studied in lessons at Hillview School. Data was collected through participant observation, informal interviews and recordings of students’ interactions with ‘Alexa’. Students asked questions to Alexa in large numbers. Alexa was asked 87 questions during two lessons suggesting that Alexa was a digital more knowledgeable other. Types of questions asked to Alexa, such as ‘Can fish see water?’, were epistemic questions and suggestive of epistemic curiosity. Teachers used the Echo Dots infrequently and in a limited number of ways. Teachers relied upon a pedagogical approach and talk oriented around performance which overlooked students’ learning talk. The answer to why students might not be curious was not found. However, evidence to understand how and why they might appear not curious was revealed. The study makes contributions to knowledge through the novel use of the Echo Dots to collect data and through a new data visualisation technique called ‘heatmaps’. The study contributes to knowledge by proposing three tentative notions that emerged inductively from the research: ‘performance-oriented talk’, ‘metricalisation’ and ‘regulativity’. The study aims to make a further contribution to knowledge by suggesting evidence of a ‘pedagogy of performance’. The study recommends ‘learning-oriented talk’ and development of Alexa ‘Skills’ as a way to disrupt the pedagogy of performance and as an area for further research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Forster, Colincforster@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/colin-forster/
Bechkoum, Kamalkbechkoum@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/kamal-bechkoum/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Voice technology; School education; Amazon Echo Dot; Epistemic curiosity
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education & Humanities > Education
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2022 10:47
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 10:47
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10707

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.