Friday, June 27, 2014

Use Google Voice or Speak Pipe to Hear Students Proofreading Their Papers

This morning at Hack Ed 2014 I heard Jen Roberts share a good proofreading activity for students. The idea that Jen shared was having students call into her Google Voice number to record themselves reading their papers aloud. The intent of this is to have students provide proof that they have read their papers aloud as part of the proofreading process. As Jen pointed out, you don't have to listen to the entire recording because you can view the transcript to make sure that your students have read through the entirety of their papers.

Google Voice provides you with a phone number for people to call. It masks your real phone number and you can choose to have all calls go straight to voicemail. The transcripts are not always accurate, but as Jen pointed out she was only using it for the proof of process. I have put my Google Voice number on my course syllabus in the past. Click here to read about why I did that.

SpeakPipe is an alternative to Google Voice to consider using for this same kind of activity. SpeakPipe is a service that allows visitors to your blog to leave you voice messages without picking up a phone. With SpeakPipe installed on your blog anyone can click on the "send voicemail" button and leave a message for you. When a visitor clicks the "leave voicemail" button she will be prompted to allow access to her computer. Then the visitor can start recording a message for you. Visitors can, but don't have to, enter their names and email addresses for you. You can listen to and download the messages left for you in your SpeakPipe inbox. SpeakPipe has easy-to-install plugins for Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr. It took me about two minutes to install SpeakPipe on a Blogger blog. For use on other blogging platforms SpeakPipe has a script that you can install manually.