I’ve talked to many about using an app called Voxer. It is my favorite new tech toy you might say and it is something I’ve tried to share with others. The best way to describe Voxer is to say it is very much like a walkie talkie, except it is more. Leaving a voice message is not the only thing it is capable of. You can also text message and attach documents from your hand held device. On top of that, it is free (of course you can buy the pro version which offers more options, but free is sufficient). I would like to share three ways I use Voxer, and then focus on one. 1. Voxer is another way to connect with students in the school. I do not follow students who have Voxer. In an elementary, that really isn’t a problem. I have encouraged my teachers to use it. I will occasionally send a “vox” to a teacher that uses it asking a question to the students about what they are learning. The great thing about it is I don’t have to be in the building to ask. One time, I was on a trip to St. George for the UAESP Mid-winter Conference. The sun was in my eyes, so knowing my 6th grade has been studying space in science, I voxed a question about if the Sun is the largest star in the sky. An easy answer, but I received some great responses from students about names of stars that were larger via the teacher’s Voxer app. It was really fun.
2. Throughout the year, I have tried to make time to visit classrooms everyday. Often times I have not been able to visit as much as I want, but one thing my teachers have wanted when I come in is feedback. Voxer provides an easy way to give immediate feed back by voice even to those who do not have the app. After I leave a class, I will vox a note to myself addressing the teacher and what I saw in the classroom. I then will email that voice message to my teacher all while I am walking down the hall to my next stop. Very easy and it is immediate.
3. I’ve had the opportunity to have live conversations with some amazing educators from all over the nation via Voxer. I am able to ask questions and in turn attempt to answer questions for the educators I am talking to all in real time or when I have a chance to listen to my voxes. Currently, I am in a book club with around 40 educators from East Coast to Hawaii. We are just finishing up Digital Leadership and I will be starting up a new club with another group (many from the same group) during the summer. We will be reading Beyond the Bake Sale.
As administrators, we are always asking our faculty to learn better methods, be innovative, and take charge of their own professional development. As lead learners, we should be doing the same thing. I have been using Twitter for the past three years as an avenue for my own personal PD. I will continue to use Twitter, read educational journals and blogs, participate in edchats, and reflect through writing my own blogs. I now have another amazing way to grow as an educator and administrator through my conversations on Voxer. Again, I would encourage anyone with a handheld device and a desire to grow as an educator, to give Voxer a try. Get involved in some conversations with other educators in real time. Try a book club. It is worth taking the time. You can connect with me on Voxer via khoope856.