Google Voice

Remember Google Voice?

We have continued to use our Google Voice number for a couple projects each year.  We are using it right now for our INternational Dinosaur Roar contest (please join us!).

No….I am serious.  Stop right now.  Take out your phone.  Call the number in the picture. I guarantee you will smile and feel better about your day.

Recently we used it as a substitute for a blog post.  My kids do P-Day each Friday (think Genious Hour or 20% Time).  After each week, they write a blog post reflecting on what they have done.  The posts right now are pretty straight forward along the lines of what did you do, what questions do you have, what are your plans for the following week.  The directions for their last post (#5) were the following:

Week #5
This week you are not going to write a post reflecting on your research.  You are going to call 203-759-8326 and leave a message.  That is the google voice number that is connected to our class gmail account.  When you leave your message please state the following.

Begin with a salutation (hello!)
State your name
What was the topic(s) you researched this week
What was the most interesting thing you learned–BE SPECIFIC
What was one question that was left unanswered? Or a new question that was formed?
Summarize your work to this point (2-3 sentences).  Do you feel like you are moving forward?  Are you stuck in a dead end?  Have you eliminated topics?  Are you close to zeroing in on what topic you will become an expert in?  Can you see a connection to a continent we will be studying?
End with a salutation (thank you, goodbye!)

You should be prepared to leave your message before calling.  There should be no silence as you think, no fumbling over words, etc.

Once they leave the message you just open up your google voice account and listen.  This morning I listened as I cleaned up my room 🙂  The files can be downloaded or embedded.  Google does try to transcribe the messages, but unless the student talks slowly and very clearly,  the transcript is useless.  There are a few examples from post #5 below:


  1. We met at University of New Haven at an event where your students were demonstrating PowToon and you also did this thing with a PowerPoint where someone throws out a topic and you speak to the topic while trying to make it coordinate with the slides (forgot the actual name of it). I loved both, but haven’t managed to incorporate them into my teaching, yet, as I have been focusing more on incorporating computer programming. I came across your business card and checked out your blog and I love this Genius Hour concept and how you use Google Voice to manage it.

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