My List of Favorites for Google Voice

5 Apr

With so many great features, what’s not to like? Here are a few of the things I like to do with Google Voice.

  1. It’s Free, who doesn’t want a free phone number?
  2. Are you afraid of texting? Do you not have a texing plan on your phone? Well, Google Voice has texting, and IT’S FREE.  Now, instead of sending texts on your phone, feel free to type them out on your keyboard or reply to them like an email. Many of my older friends appreciate this.
  3. Like email, set up your account to have SMS messages forwarded to your email account.  Then, reply to the text just like you would an email, the text will show up on your students phone like any other SMS message.
  4. In this age of connectivity kids want and appreciate access, in fact they expect it.  So, I teach them about when is a good time to reach me and when is not a good time to reach me.  I also have each student text me, that has a texting plan, with their name.  I then add that student’s name and number to my Google voice account.  Now, if a student is absent or if I need to see them for some reason, I can text them.  Additionally, when I get a text, I know who it is from.
  5. I can turn off my phone.  Google voice has a great feature that allows you to put a do not disturb on your number.  Normally a call or text will forward a call or text to your Google voice number, you can tell your account you don’t want any calls and you will be left alone.  It’s a lot like turning off your phone.
  6. Create a phone assignment, have your students call you and leave a one minute voice mail response to a homework question.  This is a great way to hear from all of your students on a specific item.  Then, the next day, pick your favorites and play them for the class.
  7. Record a podcast.  It’s not very fancy, but have your kids prepare a talk, call your voice mail, record what needs to be said, then download the mp3 to use however you like.
  8. For leadership, this is a great way for my kids to practice leaving a voice mail message.  The kids often have to contact businesses and business owners, I have them call me pretending they are calling a business and to leave a message for a manager or for the owner.  Then, we can have a discussion in class and review how they did with their phone etiquette.
  9. Conference call, have everyone you need to talk to contact your Google Voice number, as people call in, keep adding them till everyone is there.
  10. If you get a really good voice mail, share it with your friends or students via email.  Post it on the web as an example for students to listen to or download.  Either way, Google voice makes it easy to share media.
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