I am a HUGE fan of Google Voice. I use it in my personal life as well as my teaching life. For those who do not know that this fantastic Google goodie is, let me enlighten you. Google Voice is an add-on already in your Google account that allows you to give out a local phone number that will connect to any existing number you already have. Let's put it this way. You know you have to call parents after school hours or on the weekend. You can call from your home or cell phone, but how many of you think before you dial, "Do I really want this parent to have my home/cell number?" In most cases, this is never an issue, but there is that one time you may regret having given out your personal number. This is where Google Voice is the answer. Once you set up your Google Voice number you have the choice to connect it to any phone you have access to (you can have it associated with multiple numbers). I use my cell number. Then you give this new number out to parents. When they call you have the option in the settings to have it ring to the cell, or just go right to voicemail (this is what I do). But this is even better than just a voicemail. If you the IOS/Android app installed, you get a notification you have voicemail, and you get the voicemail transcribed and played though audio. This is a perfect record of any call from a parent. You can then choose to call the parent back (using the Google Voice number so they still do not have your cell number) and life is good. Personal life separated from work life with the use of a new cell number. Also, if things were to ever get "difficult" you can record and transcribe the actual phone call. I use Google Chrome and there is an extension that lets me know when I have new voicemails and an easy link to view pone call transcripts and texts.
Things you can do with Google Voice:
- Make calls and not give out personal numbers
- Text others without giving out personal numbers
- Record phone calls
- Have parent voicemail transcribed (keep for records)
- Download parent voicemails (MP3) if needed
- Free long distance calling nationwide
- and MUCH more...
There is so much to Google Voice. I use it daily and have come to rely heavily on it. Give it a shot! Below are some get resources to check out how to set up and use Google Voice!
Here are some links to learn more: