Did you get a smart speaker as a gift? Don Frederiksen will help you make the most of this great technology. 

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What Do I Do with this Smart Speaker?

with Don Frederiksen

Did you get a smart speaker as a gift during the holidays? Or maybe you have had an Amazon Alexa or Google Nest device for years but don’t feel you are making the most of this unique technology as it sits on your counter.  This workshop will help you explore this fantastic technology and its virtual assistants.  

This workshop will help you explore the capabilities of your smart speaker/personal virtual assistant.  

1.   Explore, compare, and contrast the family of products from Amazon and Google. (Hint both are good, have different strengths but share a ton of standard capabilities)

2.   Get to know the virtual assistants, Alexa and Google Assistant.

3.   Understand basic setup and management functions for each platform.

4.   Explore standard capabilities, including questions, trivia, communication, information, productivity, music, and home automation.

5.   Identify how these smart speakers might work in your new smart home beyond sitting on the counter. How do they connect and work with other devices? 

6.   Examine the privacy concerns around the platforms.

This class is for all users of smart speakers from Amazon and Google, including the Amazon Alexa/Echo and Google Nest/Home products.

After the session, you will have access to relevant resources found on the website.

DATE: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

TIME: 6:30 - 8:00 PM

COST: Members $15 / Non-Members $25

WHERE: Online via ZOOM

Your Presenter


Don Frederiksen

Don is the founder and principal of,

the online club that helps older adults stay connected and engaged by learning, sharing, and exploring technology. Don could be a SHIFT poster child with his encore experience. After 35 years working as an IT leader and manager, trainer, data analyst, and developer, his position was terminated in 2017 due to a corporate acquisition. He learned about SHIFT during his outplacement exploration. continues to be a work in progress with a mission to help older adults be active lifelong learners. Don started his professional career as a school band director, discovered personal computers in the early ’80s, and never looked back. He traveled the country teaching IT professionals, started two companies, and led corporate IT teams. He has a BS from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He lives in St Anthony, MN.

Please note that this is STEP ONE of a TWO-STEP Registration Process.

Step One: Register for the session through this event page. Once you click on the register button and pay for your virtual seat, you will see both a confirmation page AND our booking system will send you a confirmation message to the email you used to register with us, providing a link to our ZOOM conference system.

Step Two: The ZOOM link shown on the confirmation page and within the confirmation email will take you to a second page, which is the registration process for our ZOOM Virtual Meeting Room. That page will ask you to re-enter your name and email to confirm. This second registration will then generate an invitation email containing your UNIQUE MEETING LINK AND PASSCODE for logging in to the workshop.

Yes, we realize that a double registration process can be a bit frustrating. However, the goal is to ensure a safe, secure, and private online workshop experience.


If SHIFT cancels a program, you’ll receive a refund of your registration payment. 

SHIFT will not issue credits or refunds in the following circumstances: 

  • You cancel your registration
  • You register but do not attend
  • You attend but leave early
  • You do not attend all sessions of a multi-session course

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