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Community Member

Canvas on Amazon Alexa

For the past month or so, I have been developing this Amazon Alexa to interface with Canvas API.  The app can retrieve grading, assignment and announcement information from a student perspective.  Please see the video below.  The amazon echo device is only $40 which is affordable to students.  However I think the real potential of this is from school/teacher/administrative and also the observer perspective.  Anyone has any ideas on how to make it more useful?

Canvas on Alexa voice interface - YouTube 

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Yeah, it is listed on Amazon. But the main target users are my colleagues and myself 😄

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Community Member

I just added another function to the Alexa skill.  It's to check your observees/children grades.  

Canvas on Alex - Check your children grades - YouTube 

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Community Team
Community Team

wuedward@gmail.com‌, I've shared this innovative use of Alexa with the Accessibility‌, Higher Education‌, and K-12‌ groups. More people need to see this. Smiley Happy

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Learner II

I could see a few instructor use cases related to analytics. For example, if an instructor could ask "Who failed the last assignment graded in IT-101?" or "Which students in IT-101 haven't logged into Canvas in the last [x] days?" Those commands might be difficult because of the need to aggregate data for an answer.

A related set of commands might be related to the 'Message Students Who.." functionality in the gradebook. That way an instructor could say "For Quiz 13 in IT-101, message all students who haven't submitted yet" and then the user could specify the message that goes out to students (e.g. "Just a reminder that the due date is May 30."). 

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Thank you IDS ID2.  Those are really good suggestions.  Hopefully I can spend some time this weekend to work on them.  I looked into the command you suggested, "Which students in IT-101 haven't logged into Canvas in the last [x] days?" and I was able to implement it.  I used recent_students through the API.  I think I should indicate how I use the API to develop the commands so that maybe someone can tell me a better way to go about it.

https://youtu.be/FbHBH553m4I 

https://canvas.instructure.com/api/v1/courses/xxxx/recent_students?enrollment_type[]=student&enrollm...<token>

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Community Member

This looks great! Is the skill available in the UK or just US? We are going to offer Echo Dots as a prize this month and it would be great to mention a Canvas skill! Thanks

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Hi Natalie,

Sorry for the late reply.  I just got back from a long vacation.  
The skill is not published yet.  The tricky part is that because the Alexa service is directly integrating with a single school Canvas instance (that also means there is no storing data in between), the school admin will need to provide me with a client id and client secret to setup the skill and that skill will only work for that particular school (OAuth2 - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation ).  With that said, if you are interested, I am more than happy to work with your Canvas admin and to publish a skill just for your institution (or any community members who are interested).  Publishing a skill doesn't incur any cost to me or you and for the back end processing, I use a service called Amazon Lamda which is literally free to me because Amazon provides me with promotional credit.  For my benefit, I just want to see my skill passed the skill certification processes and being published.  
Thanks,
Edward
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Community Member

Alexa is on sale today for Prime Day! 🙂 

Amazon Echo Dot - Add Alexa to any room (Dot)

Amazon Echo - Amazon Official Site - Alexa-Enabled (Echo)

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Community Member

Is the Canvas Skill live now? I can't seem to find it in the Skills Store.

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Yes, zal5010@psu.edu‌: see the reply to your question here