I have become a big fan of a free resource called YouMail. YouMail is basically voicemail for cell phones. But it is so much better than my generic voicemail that I received with my Verizon phone. YouMail allows you to create unique greetings for each person calling you (or a group of people). This is wonderful for my students, because I often have them leave messages on my cell phone pertaining to specific assignments, now I can create a specific greeting that only my students will hear when they call (so people not in my student list will hear my default generic greeting) which will includes the details on their assignment. Additionally YouMail will notify me by email when a voicemail has been left on my phone, and allow me to play the message in my email. I really like this feature because I am always on email and but I do not always have my cell phone on. So I know and can immediately hear my students posting their audio assignments. The audio file also turns into a downloadable MP3 file so I can download all the assignments if I would like to. For example if I were asking students to leave an audio voicemail of their reaction to the latest presidential debate while the debate was occurring, I could download each audio piece and put them into an audio editor (iMovie or Audacity) and put the audio files together into a nice discussion piece for class the next day. Finally I can immediately send a text message back to the students (through YouMail or my cell phone) to give them feedback on their assignments.
Finally I can also send FREE group text messages! This is fantastic for parents and students on getting updates on school information (such as being late coming back from a field trip) or homework assignments.
I'll post more about YouMail as I further explore!
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