Monday, May 25, 2015

Google Voice : Guest Post Ashley Kincannon

Google Voice:
By: Ashley Kincannon, Teacher--Lake Hamilton Junior High School

Are you tired of having to find a phone to call parents? Do you wish that you could just use your cell phone to call parents? Would you like having access to multiple devices when calling parents? I don’t know about you, but I can definitely answer YES!!! to every one of those questions. Last year, if I wanted to call parents, I would have to go find a phone. I found it extremely awkward to call parents from the office or from the conference room because there was always someone nearby. To be completely honest with you, I just decided that unless I absolutely had to, I was not going to call parents because it was just not convenient. I know what you must be thinking-- this would have gotten me a “Basic” or “Unsatisfactory” rating in TESS. Oh no! Thankfully, I found a great solution to my problem: Google Voice.
Google Voice is a free telephone service powered by Google. By using Google Voice, I am able to contact my parents safely without using my personal number. I can even call my parents using my:
Cell Phone iPad Chomebook     Desktop Laptop  Landline (and more!)

The best part about Google Voice is that it is absolutely free! All you need to have is a Gmail account and access to the internet! You also have access to customizable features such as the following: voicemail, call screening, call forwarding, contacts, text messaging and more! I absolutely love using my Google Voice account to call parents. It is so convenient and safe.

Here is what you need to do to get started:

***Please note, you only get one free number, so you cannot change your number after you select it unless you pay to change it. Additionally, it can be very challenging to select a number via the “Area, zip code or city” option due to availability issues. It is usually easier to find a number via the “Word, phrase, number” option, and you can be most successful by sticking to a 4 letter phrase such as your school  or subject abbreviation such as (LHJH/Math).

Dive in and get started!