Whether you are part of the Google Apps for Edu domain or using your own Gmail personal account, the FREE Google Voice feature is another great way to communicate with your parents and students without giving up your personal phone number. When I used to teach in the classroom, our school gave us cell phones where students and parents could call us about homework, school issues or classroom activities. It was a great way to provide access outside of the classroom and my students used it frequently. But I was not a fan of carrying two cell phones and forwarding one to the other. Having a Google Voice number will allow parents and students to contact the teacher on a local phone number while also archiving any voicemails to your Gmail account. You could leave custom voicemail messages on your Google Voice and provide important classroom messages for parents to access. On top of that you can use the texting capabilities without hitting your wallet. Once you have a Google Voice number, you can install Google voice and chat to activate the phone function in your chat window. When calling out, your Google Voice number will appear on the other person’s phone. The teacher phone line using Google Voice is a convenient and effective option for teachers, especially if you have an iPhone/Smartphone device. Get yours today!
Our technology department just launched our new tech support request system and we built it all with Google free tools. We provided our users with two options to submit a tech support request. The first option is to leverage our Google Apps Edu infrastructure using Google Forms. We created a simple Google Form that asked for information and detailed messages about the tech support issue. It automatically retrieves their account information and populates a Google Spreadsheet shared with my technology team.
If the tech support issue is not being able to access the Internet, we provided our users with a Google Voice number to submit a request. We established a Google Voice local number that users can call to drop a message. Google Voice is feature rich and it allowed us to move away from a virtual PBX solution. Users call the number, leave a voicemail and Google Voice transcribes the message and sends an email to my technology team. It also keeps a voice record of all our submitted tech support requests.
Just another way to reduce the costs of information technology in K12. Drop a comment if you want more specifics. @franze98 has also another great alternative that integrates with Google Apps Edu called eStreamDesk.