Parent contact is one of the easiest ways to make a positive impact on student engagement. Every educator knows (or should know) that when parents are kept in the loop concerning student behavior and grades students perform better and have less discipline problems.
There are always barriers. In this post I will share how using Google Voice will save the educator time and provide valuable documentation that can be used to meet parent contact requirements.
In every Google Account located directly in Gmail is a fully operating telephone.
There is only one exception to this. If your Google Account administrator will allow the phone to be turned on then it will appear in your school Gmail. If not, then please contact your technology coordinator and ask for it to be turned on. It is one simple click, he or she may not even know it is possible.
Google Voice is slightly different from Call Phone in Gmail. Review the blog post: Call Phone in Gmail to get an idea how to call directly from Gmail. The rest of this post will be about voice.google.com
In Google Voice you can register your own unique telephone number that you can use to call parents inside the US for free. This number will ring in Gmail if called and it can even text message phone numbers. This is a great resource for parent contact. Google Voice logs every call with the option to make text transcripts of the call. Other options include:
- Record the call
- Text transcripts
- Call log
A teacher at our school has even setup office hours in which she will give her students her Gmail phone number, which is different than her personal phone number, and she will login and accept calls between a certain period of time so students may receive homework help.
go to voice.google.com to get signed up and receive your new phone number!