This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

VOXER - Walkie Talker & so much more....increases school security

I had tried Voxer out awhile ago, but it was new and I wasn't sure how I could use it.  It is now more robust and works more reliably, and now I think I have several reasons to use it.

The thing that appeals to me about Voxer is it's simplicity.  It is a combination Walkie-Talkie and messaging app.  It can work like a walkie-talkie where you have real-time voice communication capability with one person or a group of people.  But like a messaging app, it also saves each recording so that you can go back and review what was said, or if you missed the call, you can go and listen to it all after the fact.  It also allows you to send text messages or photos as well, but it's the voice recording that is the big feature to me.

Possible Uses:
1) 1:1 communications with anyone else using voxer.  For me this is a perfect family communication tool.  I hate texting/typing with an on-screen keyboard.  But with Voxer I can just talk and my message goes thru.  I can 'vox' my wife that I'm coming home and ask her if she needs me to pick-up anything.  It's a 5 second voice message, but would take much longer to type.  It works with Bluetooth so I can easily use it while in the car. It is an easier way to communicate than texting, but can be used in much the same way as one would use texting capabilities with any phone.

2) Many: Many communications.
We could set up groups to use for specific instances. At school, when we have a fire drill, students evacuate to various areas on campus, and usually administrators have to use their cell phones and call one another with phone messages.  Using Voxer would easily facilitate this process, and make it easy to give the 'all clear' to return to the buildings.

Another use, would be when chaperoning events, whether on-campus or off.  It would allow chaperones with a smart phone to easily and quickly inform everyone else of what is happening.  At sporting events your security/door people could contact everyone quickly.  When sports teams are traveling in multiple vans, rather than phoning one another, you can use this to easily communicate changes to all the van drivers at once, rather than just one to one communications.

This could be used in so many ways on campus, and the best thing is it increases campus safety/security.

Now I just need to get people to download the app, sign-up and start using it.  It is a different way of communicating and it could take some convincing.  It is free to use.  You can get  a professional version that will allow you to more easily manage conversations for groups, but it is more than adequate for our needs with the free version.