collaboration,  Teacher Reflection,  Technology in PE

Communication – new idea to try

This past year Osama Abujafar has been kindly asking me to join a Voxer group that involves a number of PE teachers.  I have been putting this off as I had limited time to investigate a new app or tech gizmo and felt that I had enough going on – but thanks for asking Osama!  However, the PhysedSummit team asked that all presenters be involved in Voxer for important communication sharing.  And now I have been involved in Voxer, I would like to advocate for how it is changing my work space.

I am not a fan of App sharing just to get good at an app so I want to start off with some of the questions I had when looking at Voxer:

  • What is Voxer?  Why would I use it?
  • How would Voxer assist my communications with others when I already do so many different things?
  • What are the advantages to me?
  • Will it be hard and time consuming?
  • Do I need to pay for something?
  • Will it work across multiple devices?
  • Will it drain time or help give me back precious time?

Voxer is an app that you install on your phone.  It works on iPhone and Android and is free for the standard use model.  Voxer is another way to communicate with others – it is like a walkie talkie and it allows you to talk to one person or to form a group that can all be a part of a conversation together.  You can choose to text message or to leave a voice recording that others can then listen to when they are ready.  The great part about communicating with a wider group is that it doesn’t matter what the timezone is, you can leave a message or photo or recording and then the other members can pick it up as they are ready.  You can choose to listen to all of a message or scroll through and paraphrase longer messages.  You can play them again to check information as well.

This is what a Voxer screen looks like.  You can see the person who has left the message via their profile picture and their name.  You can then see what time the message came in and the recording is there for you to play.  It is very easy to use – the menu on the bottom allows for you to take a photo or record a voice message or write at text.

As for my pre-Voxer questions, I can share that a few weeks in and I can see that as a person with family, friends and colleagues all over the World, this is going to be a neat way to share information with them.  I can communicate quickly (no emails) and read the naunce of the voice message quickly to interpret what is needed or going on rather than guessing from words on the screen.  This has been a clear way to share the same information with lots of people (PhysedSummit) and would be a great way to share if you have an event or just wanted to share with a colleague in a different time zone something you were collaborating on.

There is a paid ‘pro’ version that allows for you to work on the web-based part of Voxer too, and this would allow you to quickly get to links in the text messages but I haven’t tried this yet.  It is $2.99/month to progress to the paid version.  I can see that if you were working with a group of 50 people then the paid version would certainly offer lots more options for you.

Voxer may be a great way for you to work with colleagues or to share ideas with a wider network that isn’t public (like twitter).  I have found that it is quicker for me to Vox (!) then to write copious emails and it is free so I am not paying to call people up and I can share with many people rather than a person at a time.  Voxer will assist me for this style of communication and I wonder if it would be a useful communication program if you didn’t have a way to mass communicate with your students too to remind them of work going on or what to bring to class next lesson.

So, what do you think?  Could this work in an area of your Communication?

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