Alexa and Siri as schoolmates: studying and learning through intelligent personal assistants

Intelligent personal assistants, conversational agents that can dialogue with humans through speech, have quickly entered the homes of people around the world, as smart speakers. Thanks to the use of the voice channel instead of the visual/tactile one, they allow people to perform many hands-free activities in a simpler way. Due to their characteristics, it is possible to imagine their use also for learning objectives, both in the school/university context and at home. This paper, starting from the analysis of the most recent studies in this sector, aims at identifying the main use scenarios for intelligent personal assistants in the educational field, in order to highlight their teaching potential, together with the problematic aspects linked above all to privacy and acceptability of their use in classrooms.