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Students Get Amazon Alexa – Electronic Voice-Controlled Assistants in University Campus Housing

It is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

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The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA
The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA
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One American university is putting Amazon-electronic voice-controlled assistants in every student housing room on campus.

Saint Louis University recently announced it will equip every student living space with Amazon’s Alexa system. The school in St. Louis, Missouri, will place about 2,300 Echo Dot “smart” devices in all student dorms and other university housing.

Officials said the university will be the first in the world to put the devices in every student living space. The devices and the Alexa service are being provided at no costs to students.

The Amazon Echo is a speaker with the ability to listen and “talk” to users and can perform some operations. The Alexa assistant competes with similar systems made by Google and Apple.

Devices linked to the systems have become increasingly popular in homes in recent years. They can be used for things like looking up information, playing music, ordering food or buying things on the internet. The devices can also complete actions in the home. These include turning lights on and off, and controlling systems for heating and cooling and security.

Amazon calls these different tasks Alexa can perform “skills.”

Amazon said in a website post that Saint Louis University chose the Alexa system after carrying out a test program. The program involved the Echo Dot and a device from a competing company. It said the students had a better reaction to the Alexa system.

The Echo Dots will include a special skill developed especially for Saint Louis University. It will provide information and answer questions about local school activities and campus life.

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In this March 2, 2016, file photo, David Limp, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices, pushes down on an Echo Dot in San Francisco. VOA

Next year, the university plans to add more personalized skills, such as providing information about classes and grades.

The university said it did not increase student tuition to pay for the project. Instead, officials said, it was financed through the school’s general fund, as well as partnerships with Amazon and n-Powered. The company, based in Los Angeles, California, helped develop the parts of the system that are related to Saint Louis University.

David Hakanson is Saint Louis University’s vice president and chief information officer. In announcing the project, he said it will fit well with students who are “highly driven to achieve success in and out of the classroom.”

He added: “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.”

While the devices are being placed in every university housing space, students do not have to use them. For those wishing not to take part, the school suggests students just remove the devices from their rooms and put them away in a safe place.

Other universities have also experimented with voice-controlled assistants in student living areas.

A year ago, Arizona State University announced a program that provided Echo Dot devices to a special housing area for engineering students. In the program, all engineering students moving into the special housing community were given the choice of receiving an Echo Dot if they wanted one.

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Bhavik Patel, a mechanical engineering senior and peer mentor at Arizona State’s community housing center Tooker House, demonstrates use of an Amazon Echo Dot while working on formulas. VOA

As is the case at Saint Louis University, Arizona State students are able to use the system to get the latest information on university programs and events. However, the Arizona students also have the chance to sign up for classes that teach subjects related specifically to creating new uses for Alexa devices.

Octavio Heredia is a director with Arizona State’s Fulton Schools of Engineering. He said he thinks it is a good idea for students to get as much experience as possible with the voice assistants to improve their development skills and prepare for future jobs.

Also Read: Google Releases ‘Go Edition of Android 9 Pie’

“Once they are familiar with the devices, they are going to want to further develop their own skills and begin integrating that technology – the hardware and the skills – into other projects,” he said. (VOA)

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Avery Ranch Golf Club Is the Pride of Central Texas

With everything the Avery Ranch Golf Club has to offer, why choose anywhere else?

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Avery Ranch
The club has a fantastic view of Brushy Creek and other beautiful areas nearby.

The Avery Ranch Golf Club, in central Texas, is a renowned golf course that hosts yearly tournaments. The ranch is consistently one of the best rated sites in the state thanks primarily to the great course conditions, fabulous local attractions and accommodations. Many companies and fundraising organizations use the course because of the locale and hospitality. Avery Ranch’s local golf tournaments are an experience to remember.

The Avery Ranch Course was designed by Andy Raugust, former architect for Jack Nicklaus. At Avery Ranch, golfers can enjoy the rolling hills, panoramic view and a 50-acre lake, all on an 18-hole course. The course can be a bit of a challenge in the beginning, but it ends with a 477 yard 4-par on the 18th hole.

There are many benefits to using Avery Ranch Golf Club, with the group benefits being among the best reasons.

Avery Ranch
Call them today for additional details. A convenient online store is also available.
  • Enjoy reduced rates on green fees, range balls, cart fees and practice facilities.
  • Onsite food and beverage liaisons will help you and your guests with banquet room accommodations after play.
  • Full service restaurant for your catering needs.
  • PGA golf assistants will help with pairings, room assignments, charts, court set up and scoring.

The Pro Shop offers the highest quality equipment and apparel in the area. Find some of the best gear in the business by Nike, Titlest, Under Armour, Addidas, Foot Joy and much more.

The practice facilities are complete with a two-tiered Tee Box with manicured grass. The box measures 100 yards wide and 75 feet deep. Two separate putting greens, with over 20,000 square feet of area, are available for your short game. The area is maintained to duplicate course conditions.

 Avery Ranch
The Avery Ranch Course was designed by Andy Raugust, former architect for Jack Nicklaus.

The onsite Sunset Bar and Grill overlooking Avery Lake offers scrumptious burgers and fries, as well as appetizers, entrees and salads. Enjoy cold beer on tap and choose from a long list of other alcoholic beverages. The grill can also be rented out for corporate events, parties, weddings and other private activities.

The Player’s Club is a great option with two membership levels, giving you the opportunity to work on your game according to your schedule. There is a Bronze Level and a Silver Level that you can enroll in based upon the benefits you need. In the Bronze Level, the player has unlimited use of practice area at a small monthly cost with one free golf round per month. Bronze members also receive a 20% discount on any additional green fees, tee time reservation for five days and two free beers after each round. The Silver Level has the same benefits as the bronze level, but with two free golf rounds per month rather than one. The Player’s Club also offers discounts and state of the art chipping, putting and pitching areas for your convenience.

 Avery Ranch
The practice facilities are complete with a two-tiered Tee Box with manicured grass.

Make your dreams come true with a fairytale wedding at the Avery Ranch Golf Club. The club has a fantastic view of Brushy Creek and other beautiful areas nearby. Your wedding will take place at the 4,000 square foot Lakeview Event Center which holds 200 guests. The Lakeview Room is also equipped with a private, tree-covered deck that overlooks the Infinity Pool. The Sunset Club House, which holds 60 guests, is the perfect place to hold your reception.

With everything the Avery Ranch Golf Club has to offer, why choose anywhere else? Call them today for additional details. A convenient online store is also available.