Showing posts with label Google Voice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Voice. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

Voice Recording Tools

Our voice is one of the most powerful tools we possess, but many times we default to writing instead of talking. There are definitely times when writing is the way to go, but there are other situations when spoken words can have a dramatic impact.

Here are some tools that work well to capture voice. Some of these work directly inside of Google Docs while others capture voice and can then be downloaded and shared.

Talk and Comment is a Chrome extension that allows users to provide voice comments. This is a great way to provide feedback students.

Vocaroo is a website that allows you to make a voice recording without creating an account. Simply make your recording then when you are satisfied with your recording you can save it. You must download the file if you wish for the recording to be available for longer than just a couple of months.

Twisted Wave Audio editor that allows users to capture their voice or upload files from their computer or Google Drive and edit them.

VoiceRecorder is a simple tool that allows users to create and trim audio files then save them to their computers.

Google Voice allows users to set up phone number. When people call this number they can leave a voice message which is also transcribed. This is a great option for teachers who need students to create a short recording because all of the recordings are captured in one location making it easier for teachers to access.

Here are some additional resources for making audio recordings on Chromebooks and recording tools that work in your web browser.

Applications for Education
Imagine how powerful it would be to capture the voice of a student who is just beginning to read then record them again reading the same material and hear how much they have grown as readers. Or what if you captured students reading a passage in the first year of a world language class then recorded their progress throughout all four years? It is incredible to document things like this using voice recordings. Recordings are also a powerful way for students to explain a process or reflect on their learning.

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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kikutext - Keep Parents Updated About Your School Through Text Messages

Kikutext is a new service for keeping parents informed about your classroom and or school through text messages. The service is an opt-in service for parents. When you create a Kikutext account you're assigned an opt-in code to distribute to parents. Parents then send that code in a text message to register to receive messages from you. Kikutext keeps the phone numbers of parents and those of teachers and principals hidden from each other.

Applications for Education
The preferred method of communication for many people today is text messaging. Text messages are quick and easy to work with when compared with emails or phone calls. Using Kikutext could be a great way to take advantage of that communication preference to keep parents informed about important information from your school.

A couple of services to look at are Class Pager and gText. And through Google Voice you can do something similar to what all three of these services offer. Click here to read about how I have used Google Voice.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How You Can Connect With Me

From time to time I like to post this information for people who have recently started following Free Technology for Teachers. If you're interested in connecting with me outside of this blog here are the places that we can connect.

Facebook page for the blog - I generally don't accept friend requests on my personal account from people that I haven't met in person or virtually worked with in some capacity.

Of course, you can also get in touch with me in two old-fashioned ways email and phone.
Email: richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com
Phone (Google Voice): 1-207-619-3291

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two Simple Things You Can Do To Increase Communication With Students and Parents

1. Blog consistently. Every year I help teachers create new blogs and every year by the time winter holidays roll around some of those blogs have withered and died on the vine. That happens because teachers get discouraged when their blogs aren't an instant hit with students and parents. Even if they already read other blogs, checking your blog for updates is a new habit for your students and their parents. Give them time to get in the habit. You also have to give them a reason to keep coming back. Post important content consistently and with time you'll have students and their parents checking your blog consistently.

2. Text message. Give students and parents the option to reach you via text messaging. If your students are anything like the under 30 crowd mentioned in this USA Today article, they prefer text messages to email. Give them the opportunity to communicate with you via text through a service like Google Voice (read about what I'm doing this year with Google Voice) or Class Parrot. Both of those services allow you to text from your computer without revealing your personal cell phone number.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Class Parrot - Text Students and Parents for Free

Class Parrot is a new service that enables teachers to send text messages to groups of students and parents. Using Class Parrot teachers send text messages from their computers. Class Parrot keeps the students' and parents' phone numbers private.

Here's how Class Parrot works; teachers create a different group messaging program for each class that they teach. Each group that a teacher creates is assigned a unique opt-in code. Teachers give that code to students and parents. Then if a student or parent would like to receive messages from the teacher, they can simply opt-in by texting the opt-in code to Class Parrot.

Applications for Education
Class Parrot is still in beta so you do have to register and wait for an invitation. That said, Class Parrot could prove to be a great way to send reminders and other important information to students and parents. Class Parrot claims that recipients open 98% of text messages compared to 22% of emails, that alone is a good reason to give their text messaging service a try.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Google Voice on My Syllabus - Texting Encouraged

Tomorrow, after two days of canceled classes, I am finally going to meet my new students. The first day always has me handing out my syllabus in each class. This year I have put my Google Voice number at the top of my syllabus with a note for students and parents to "please text me if you have a quick question." From my Google Voice inbox I can reply to text messages and the other person never sees my real cell phone number. Furthermore, it's free for my to send text messages back to anyone who texts via my Google Voice number. Watch the short video below to learn how this works.

This YouTube playlist walks you through many of the other Google Voice features.

On a related note, Wes Fryer recently wrote a post with detailed directions on how to send text messages from a Google Docs Spreadsheet.

Applications for Education
One of the reasons that I have put my Google Voice number on my syllabus this year is because I know that students are much more likely to text a question than they are to email me with a question (nevermind call, that's so 20th Century). The other reason is that I am hoping parents too will prefer the text option over the calling option because I am notoriously slow at checking the archaic voicemail system at my school (I think it still uses actual cassette tapes). If I'm at my computer I can provide almost instant responses to my students' questions.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Updated Google Tutorials Page

Readers who primarily read Free Technology for Teachers in RSS or email, may have forgotten that I have some static pages listed at the top of the blog. One of those pages is dedicated to Google Apps Tutorials. Today, I spent a bit of time updating that page to include some videos to help you get started using Google SketchUp and Google Voice. I also added a video about a neat application that will help you map your family tree on Google Earth, while not free (it requires a small licensing fee after 30 days) it's still a cool application.  In all there are now 37 tutorials posted on the Google Tutorials page and I'll continue to work to add more.

Please note that because of the quantity of multimedia elements, the Google Tutorials Page can take a little longer than average to load completely. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Google Voice Opens to Everyone in the US

Today, Google announced that they are making their free Google Voice service available to everyone in the US. Google Voice provides you with a phone number that can ring all of your landline and mobile phones simultaneously. Google Voice also offers a slew of other features that you might find handy. I think the free conference call service could be very handy for conducting parent-teacher conferences over the phone.

Learn more about Google Voice in the video below.

Learn about the free conference calling feature of Google Voice in the video below.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Voice - Voicemail to Text Conversion

All of the big tech news blogs are reporting today on Google's newest service Google Voice. Google Voice is not publicly available yet, but according to the Google Voice help center it will be available to all in a few weeks. One of the most promising features is automatic transcription of voicemail messages to text. To learn more about this new service check out Mashable's or Read Write Web's reviews with screen images of the new service. The short video embedded below gives a brief overview of Google Voice.

Applications for Education
Google Voice could be used to quickly dictate substitute teaching plans in a manner similar to the way in which I've used the voicemail service to dictate substitute teaching plans.