Engage Any Audience with Google Voice Texting

12/1/2014 12:00:00 AM
Innovative educators love presenting to tech-savvy audiences. It's backchannel galore with as folks Tweet, tag, and hashtag away. It's great fun to live Tweet from the stage and pull audience polls up while on stage. However there are times when I speak to an audience that simply isn't quite that savvy. Texting to Poll Everywhere, Cel.ly, or asking folks to use a hashtag leaves audience members scratching their heads. 

But, there is a way you can engage audiences even if they are not tech savvy. 

Today, everyone knows how to text. So, simply ask them to text your Google Voice number. Why Google Voice verses your regular phone number? Because with Google Voice the texts go to your Google Voice account so you have the ability to project the texts for the audience to see. See the below screenshot for an example:

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If you plan to show a short video you can even respond to the texts, and copy/paste the questions and answers in your Google Slides presentation so everyone has the answers.  
A nice benefit of this strategy is that there is no one who leaves your presentation frustrated that their burning question or thought is left unheard/unanswered and everyone can be involved.  
If you don't have or know how to set up Google Voice on your phone, read this.  

Watch the below video for directions on texting via Google Voice.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

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