More on Google Voice

I’ve been experimenting a bit more with Google Voice. In the process I’ve found a few limitations and discovered some more potential uses.  If you’re intrigued with it and want to try it out I have 3 invitations that I’m happy to give out – first come, first served.  Send me a note at mike |at| jesuitmso . org or go to mrmansour.com and click Contact Me.

My biggest disappointment was discovered when I had my students make calls to businesses a couple weeks ago for our Green Monkey Project .  My hope was to have students record their conversations so we could review them later and fact check all the answers to their questions.  Like they had done during our practice calls (see previous post on Google Voice), the students pressed “4” on the keypad to record the conversation (after asking for permission).  After the call, I’d check my Google Voice box, but the call never recorded.  The first couple times I thought the students had made a mistake, but after a little investigating I found that you can’t record outgoing calls.  You can only record incoming calls.

This doesn’t help much when my students are calling businesses.  It didn’t seem right to have them call someone and ask them to call back so we could record the conversation.  This is disappointing, but makes sense from a legal standpoint since it’d be pretty easy to record an outgoing phone call without someone’s knowledge.

On the positive side, I realized another potential use for Google Voice while preparing for a presentation.  It had been my intention to use polleverywhere.com so people could text questions or comments during the presentation.  Polleverywhere.com is limited to 30 responses for the free version, which is restrictive if you have a large audience.  You can expand this with a paid version, but the pricing seems a little high to me.  With Google Voice you could accomplish the same thing for free with unlimited responses.  People in the audience could text in whatever they like and it would appear right on screen if you have your Google Voice page up.  To get instantaneous responses you’d have to hit refresh from time to time, or you could just wait for a break and check things out then.  I ended up scrapping it because my audience was small enough to just ask questions, but I think it has potential for those presenting to a larger audience.

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