Managing Student Calls with Google Voice

I just got my Google Voice invite and have been doing a little experimenting with my students in mind. I decided to put the below widget on our class website, so students can call me if they have something urgent they need to talk to me about.

There are a few things I like about this solution:

- It allows students to get in touch with me without knowing my number.
- I can set a custom voicemail greeting that only my students using this widget will hear.
- I can choose to have these calls go directly to voicemail, so that I'm immediately alerted but not interrupted, when a student needs something.
- ONLY my students will be able to call me from this widget, as our site is only accessible to them and to the other German teacher.

The other settings for widget creation and the overall interface for Google Voice are in the screenshot below:

If you'd like to try out Google Voice, you can request an invite from Google here. And if you want to fool around with a widget, I made one just for this post for you all to try out. It'll go right to voicemail and messages are very easy to listen to and delete, so feel free to test it out.

Views: 300

Comment by Deb White Groebner on August 28, 2009 at 8:19pm
Hi, Chris. Thanks for sharing this info about Google Voice; I'm probably going to give it a try. One question: It was my understanding that GV is free; why is there a monetary balance displayed in your screen shot?
Comment by Chris Fritz on August 28, 2009 at 9:07pm
Great question, Deb! Google Voice is indeed free, but you can add money to your account if you want to make cheap, long-distance calls. I recently used this when some friends came to visit me from Belgium. They gave me money and used my account to call Belgian landlines for 3 cents/min or occasionally a Belgian cell phone for 24 cents/min. They got their cheap calls to home and on my cell phone, I'm just paying for a local call to my Google Voice number. :-)
Comment by Deb White Groebner on August 28, 2009 at 9:43pm
Great! Thanks for clarifying, Chris. Best wishes for a great fall semester!

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