Saint Louis University is the
first college or university in the country to bring Amazon Alexa-enabled
devices, managed by Alexa for Business, into every student residence
hall room and student apartment on campus.
The Echo Dot smart devices in each room and apartment will come with a
custom SLU skill designed to answer questions specific to the University
and campus experience.
SLU will deploy more than 2,300 Echo Dot smart devices by the start of
classes later this month.
And thanks to a custom SLU skill deployed on each device, students will
get instant answers to more than 100 questions specific to the
University — from “What time does the library close tonight?” to “Where
is the registrar’s office?”
“The students we attract are highly driven to achieve success in and out
of the classroom,” said David Hakanson, SLU’s vice president and CIO.
“Every minute we can save our students from having to search for the
information they need online is another minute that they can spend
focused on what matters most: their education.”
Through the SLU-specific skill, Alexa will also be able to provide
Billiken athletics’ games
Major speakers on campus
Student events and
Service and mission
Other aspects of student life
Browse SLU Skill Questions
What is most exciting to me is the enhanced connectivity to the campus
community these devices will provide,” said Kent Porterfield, Ed.D., the
University’s vice president for student development. “The more connected
and engaged students are, the more they learn and benefit from their SLU
A pilot program with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices in residence hall
rooms was conducted last spring. Since then, student response to the
idea has been positive.
“I think it’s really innovative,” added Katlyn Martin, president of
SLU’s Student Government Association. “By interacting with technology in
a cool way, our students will have another resource to find things to do
on campus, to meet other people and to take advantage of the holistic
Jesuit education that Saint Louis University offers.”
other colleges have placed voice services in select student living
spaces or are making them available to students upon request, as early
adopter of this technology, Saint Louis University’s approach is unique
in that every student living space will come equipped with an Amazon
Alexa-enabled device made available to students at no cost.
The SLU skill installed on
Amazon’s Echo Dots was created by n-Powered, an Alexa skill development
firm, and will be hosted on AWS. The University is using Alexa for
Business to deploy the custom skill, to set up and manage the devices,
and to enroll new users at scale, or campus-wide.
“Amazon Web Services is proud to work with SLU to provide students with
quick access to important information, making them feel more comfortable
and confident around campus and in the classroom,” said Andrew Ko,
director of education at AWS. “We applaud SLU’s commitment to using
technology like Amazon Alexa to enhance campus life for its students.”