Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Voxer...Another Great Collaboration Tool

Have you ever connected with some great minds on Twitter and wish you could pick their brain for more than just 140 characters?  Voxer is a great tool to make that happen.  I just found out about Voxer last week.  Like Twitter, I wish I had known about it sooner, but better late than never I guess.  So what is it?  It is a little bit of everything.

You can download the Voxer app for your iPhone (also believe it is available for Android) and sign-up.  From there, you can add contacts that you know (or encourage them to sign-up).  I know what you are thinking, "How is this different than Twitter?"

Voxer allows me to send the equivalent of a text message to any contact I add.  Those people can then respond without the entire world seeing.  I can also send or receive a photo.  But perhaps the greatest feature is the "walkie-talkie/voice message feature.  If the person is available, he or she can listen as I am talking.  If they are not available, they can listen and respond when they have time.  You can also see if the text was read or the message was listened to.

How can I use it?

It is a great tool to communicate and collaborate with an individual or a group of people.  As you can see on the left, Eric, a principal in another part of the state, left me a 13 second voice message, I responded with a 21 second message of my own and then a text.  It keeps it all in one timeline similar to your text messages on your phone.  I like that it is not all just voice or all just text.  If you need to talk- great.

Voxer is also a great way to collaborate with multiple people in a group.  A few educators take turns hosting #ohedchat on Monday nights.  This is Ohio's weekly Twitter chat.  Rather than rely on one person to be responsible for coming up with all of the questions and then hosting it at 9 PM, we decided to use Voxer to collaborate ahead of time.  I was able to add the participants to the group and they could collaborate via text or voice by using the app.  I feel that we had a better experience because there was input from multiple people.

One of the great things I love about Twitter chats is the ability to learn from other educators.  The downside is the fact that they are usually during set periods of time.  With Voxer, you could create your own group of experts to discuss topics on an ongoing basis with the ability to add members to the group.

A final use for educators would be to record a message on Voxer and have the ability to upload the audio to your school's website, Twitter, or Facebook account.  If there was a message in which you wanted parents to hear your voice rather than just read your words, this would be a tool you could use.

I am sure there are other uses, and if you have some new ideas, I would love to hear about them.

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