image from icanread
I am not one to post much about new tech tools, after all, I don’t use a lot, which I know may be a surprise to many. I tend to find a few that I really, really like and then use them to death, telling everyone to use it and then helping everyone do it. I don’t review a lot of tech tools on here because that is not what this blog is about. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a post about anything new. But it is time to introduce the world to something new, that may just make your whole summer: Voxer.
What is Voxer? It’s a free walkie-talkie app. Now, you may think, like I did, why would I want a walkie talkie app on my phone? The first time I was told about it by my friend Leah Whitford, I didn’t get it. Then I forgot about it. Then the Bammys finalists announcement happened, and another friend urged me to join the conversation happening on Voxer. So I did, and I have loved it ever since.
First of all, Voxer adds another layer to my connections. I can now hear someone’s voice on my own time (the audio messages are archived for whenever you want to play them) and that matters to me. I can tell a lot simply by a tone or a quick comment. Much easier than texting, much more meaningful than a direct message on Twitter.
Second, Voxer lets you add as many people as you want to a conversation. I am a part of a few different groups that started out discussing one thing, but have since branched out into other topics. I have loved seeing where these conversations have headed and also the new people that have joined that I did not know before. (Don’t worry, you have to invite people to the conversation).
Third, I can reach out so easily now. I have reached out to several of my friends and fellow connected educators with everything from a quick hello to asking for a favor. I have also been sent messages from people I have never spoken to or met but that I have connected with through Twitter. You decide whether people can find you or not, I like that I am findable though so I can expand my connections.
Fourth, it is making my commute awesome. Because the audio and text messages are archived within the conversations chronologically, I can catch up whenever I want. All I have to do is hit play and listen.
And finally, for all of the other reasons that I left out and a much better explanation of how to use it, please see Joe Mazza’s post on Voxer and how he uses it. And a Google Doc where people have shared their Voxer names and info.
cross-posted at pernillesripp.com.
Pernille Ripp is the the author of Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students, creator of Global Read Aloud Project, and co-founder of EdCamp MadWI. She teaches fifth grade in Verona, Wisconsin, and blogs at http://pernillesripp.com.