Like many administrators, I carry a mobile phone with me just about all the time. I utilize a number of services and tools with that phone in order to help keep me connected with staff and families as I carry out my duties as an elementary school principal.
One type of service that I am finding very useful is CallWave. one of a new class of web-based telephone services that will take voicemail messages and convert them into email.
The service involves rerouting voicemail messages to their service rather than to a mobile carrier. I record a greeting just as I would with my carrier's service. As far as the people calling me are concerned, they hear a message indicating that I am not available to take their call and are given the option to leave a voicemail message.
Once they record the voicemail message, a copy of the recording is sent to my email account with the recording as an audio attachment. CallWave has recently added a new feature, which in addition to the voice recording of the message, also transcribes the message and sends it as a text message.
This type of service has not gone unnoticed by Google, which recently announced that they acquired a company called GrandCentral Communications that providse services for managing voice communications. The GrandCentral service allows users to integrate all of their existing phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, which can be accessed from the web.
These types of services can help to connect the disjointed messaging systems that many of us are currently forced to use. I'm looking forward to watching these tools develop from the perspective of a school leader, and will post about them from time to time.
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