Voxer has been a very useful tool for me both personally and professionally. I first started using Voxer to communicate while I was studying in Ireland last summer. I was able to communicate with family and friends back in Michigan. Voxer was a free app and it worked when I connected to wifi. I did not purchase a phone and data plan while I was abroad so this was perfect. The nice thing about it was that I didn’t need to set up a time to Skype or do a Google Hangout. I could leave messages and listen to messages on my own time. A vox had so much more meaning than a text because I could actually hear the person’s voice and the messages were much longer.
My mentor teacher, Mary Wever, still continues to mentor me to this day through Voxer. When I was in Ireland, it was great to be able to contact her for advice with coursework and job interviews. Even though I am in Hawaii now, I still am able to talk to her on a regular basis.
I’ve been able to join several educational chats like Edumatch, #satchat, #MichEd, Instructional Coaches, Drive Book Study, Beyond the Bake Sale Book Study, #AfterISTE, and Collaborative Inquiry. Actively listening to these discussions and contributing to the conversation have let me connect with passionate educators all over the globe. I enjoy being able to hear their voices and say much more than I could in 140 characters or less on Twitter. Voxer even has attachment capabilities to send photos, text, and now videos. My PLN has expanded and I love being able to bounce ideas off of other educators who share the same passions. At my district level, I started a Kumu2Kumu chat with my Kamehameha Schools counterparts on Kapalama and Maui campuses. To extend the #EdChatHI Twitter chat, Karen Corbell and I have decided to co-moderate an #EdChatHI Voxer group.
It is nice for personal use as well. I love to get messages from family and friends around the world when I wake up in the morning. Voxer has also helped me cope with moving from Michigan to Hawaii. I think I would be much more homesick if I was not active on Voxer.
I connected with Heather Gauck on Voxer through the #MichEd chat and she noticed that I was working in Hawaii. Come to find out, her sister, Karen Corbell, works here too. So, Karen and I were able to connect. I met Heather face to face when I was back in the mitten presenting at MACUL. Then I met Karen face to face when I got back to Hawaii and even got her to present at my school’s tech slam, HITC. Now, we talk often and started the #EdChatHI Voxer group! I think that this group with help Hawaiian educators stay connected across islands.
I have ideas of ways that I could use Voxer with my students. I would like to use it to connect with other students around the world that we may not be able to set up a Google Hangout or Skype with due to time differences. I wonder too if it would be beneficial for those students who are auditory learners. I also think it could be beneficial to implement the use of Voxer on a district, campus, or school level.
Last night, I had the opportunity to participate in my first Google Hangout On Air. Linda Lindsey, from Maui, let Karen and I join her on her Google Rocks! Hawaii show. Feel free to watch. I apologize now for the coqui frogs background noise!
A quick reflection on my first live GHO recording: I think I could use Hangouts as a way to teach waiting your turn to talk, listening skills, and in discussion lessons.