Friday, December 18, 2009

A Gift for You


As my last gift of the semester, I would like to introduce you to Google Voice (GV).  The best way to describe Google Voice is to tell you what it can do for you as faculty members.  Have you ever wanted to give your students a phone number, but didn't want to give out your home or cell number?  You also may have wanted to be able to answer that number at certain times, from certain people, but other people and other times, have it just go directly to voice mail.  You might also have needed to call students who are taking your online classes in other areas, but you didn't want to have to pay the long distance phone charges to do so.

You can do all this and more with Google Voice.  Please take one minute to view this brief video about GV

When you sign up for GV, you will be given a new phone number you can give to your students and only have it ring your phone(s) when it is convenient for you.  If it is a family member calling, you can have GV ring all your phones, anytime of day, just to make sure they can reach you.  When you have forwarding turned off, GV will record the message and even attempt to transcribe it, although it does a pretty poor job of the transcription.  Computers just haven't gotten voice-to-text conversion for the masses down yet.

Here are some other things GV does:

  • You can send and receive unlimited text messages for free.
  • You can have a different voicemail greeting for different callers
  • You can screen callers
  • You can block numbers
  • You can have callers record their names for your approval
  • You can have certain contacts only forwarded to certain phones
  • You can record calls for later listening, and have them transcribed into text. (You can't record calls that you've placed, just calls that you've received. And every time you initiate recording, GV notifies the other person on the line.)
GV is currently "by invitation only."  All that means is that you sign up, and when they have enough computer power to add people, they'll send you an email telling you how to get started.  This typically takes a week or less.  Be sure to check your spam filters.

So don't delay.  Get GV for yourself for the holidays.  Go to https://services.google.com/fb/forms/googlevoiceinvite/ and sign up!

For more information if you're not already convinced, go to http://www.google.com/support/voice/.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and semester break.  I'll be back in the office and ready to help January 11 - 15.  Just pick a time on my schedule that works for you.  During Professional Development Week I will be busy facillitating workshops, so I will not be available that week for individual support or training.  So be sure to catch me the week before or after Flex Week!

2 comments:

Oleg Bershoff said...

Tell please where to get such pattern as at you?

Anonymous said...

Rhonda,

I am alittle LATE in viewing this but checked it out and it looks like a real niffy tool! I signed up..now let's see how long it takes to get it..
:-)