Monday, April 6, 2009

Create Oral Quizzes & Speech to Text Transcripts with Google Voice

The voice mail web resource Grandcentral is now Google Voice, and there have been some big improvements. Google Voice is still in private beta (you can request an account), but fortunately I have been able to use my old Grandcentral account in Google Voice. After a couple weeks of using it, what I find useful about Google Voice over other uber voice mail systems is that you get a unique local phone number (thus not having to give out your personal cell phones or landline number). This is an excellent feature for teachers who would like to be able to communicate via their phone with students and/or parents but would rather keep their phone number(s) private. Teachers can now give out their local Google Voice number and set it up so that when students and/or parents call it can go directly to the Google Voice voice mail to take a message or directly to a phone of their choice (cell phone, landline...etc) to answer. Google Voice has a wide variety of free features (some of which are offered on other web-based voice mail systems) such as...
1) Unique Greetings for Callers (This is wonderful for creating oral quizzes)
2) Documentation of SMS text messages and message sending
3) Documentation of every voice mail (MP3 recordings that you can download)
4) The ability to record live phone calls (SUPER COOL!)
5) Record of all your missed and received calls
6) The ability for one phone number to ring on many different phones (great for businesses and fund raising)
7) Speech to Text Transcripts of every voice mail (Great for hearing impaired and interview transcripts, will explain below)
8) Notifications (SMS or Email) each time you have a new voice mail
9) Call Screening (you can decide whether or not to answer as you listen in on the caller giving their voice mail message!)
10) Do Not Disturb option to send all calls directly to voice mails (great for oral quizzes, will explain in the section below).
11) Create call widgets for your blog, where people can directly call from the web. (here is mine below...feel free to try it out! I have my Google Voice going directly to voice mail)



Classroom Connections
Oral Quizzes
So many foreign language teachers spent a lot of class time on individual oral quizzes (because they often do not have another mechanism to capture the quizzes), while a few schools are lucky enough to have language labs, many language teachers struggle with how to capture oral language development. Google Voice's unique caller greetings and "Do Not Disturb" features are excellent for disseminating, capturing and archiving oral quizzes. By creating a unique greeting with the quiz question(s) and setting up the calls to go directly to voice mail (no annoying rings on the teachers' cell phone or landline), students can call in to the Google Voice number, hear the quiz, and then speak their answer(s). When finished the oral quiz will immediately be documented in the teachers' private Google Voice file as an MP3 file. The teacher can receive a text message or email when there are new quizzes in her/his account. They can hear the quizzes over their phone or listen to them online. They can also send feedback (oral or text message) to the students through Google Voice. As a result, the teacher not only has a running archive of MP3 files of students' oral quiz (and improvements in language skills), but also a running record of feedback sent to the students.

Hearing Impaired Students
Hearing impaired students can take full advantage of the free transciption feature. This is a great option for HI students participating in group work (they can still get phone calls and have them transcribed). In addition, they can take advantage of using SMS texting in the Google Voice to respond to group members. A nice record of all group converstaion can be captured in Google Voice.

Document Parent-Teacher Calls
Teachers can also take advantage of the live recording feature. Where they can record any phone call when speaking spontaneously with a parent. It is important for teachers to document their conversations with parents (and students). With the press of one button, teachers can instantly start call recording (the parent/student on the other end of the line will be informed that they are being recorded).

6 comments:

Salamah said...

I think that this is an awesome tool. I especially like the way it could be used to create oral quizzes. I do not know how ideal or practical could be, but it seems it would also work nice for ESL/ELL students. I teach students now, who often know the material--however, have comprehension problems due reading words incorrectly to themselves. This I am sure could improve quiz grades for students like this.

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Joseph said...

Educators should consider creating oral quizzes through this tool from Google. It can really help them improve their way of teaching.

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These technologies can be great for disabled individuals. Teachers should also consider these tools from Google.

andreafox21 said...

I was excited about being able to ring different phones, have a voicemail that does not auto erase after 2 weeks or less and thought the transcription to email would be FANTASTIC to keep track of customer voicemails/requests. However it does not connect people to me (added the buttons to my website which are NOT working right) and the transcriptions are so far off tweb designhey
are comical.

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Amazing and very professional information on Oral quizzes using Google voice. I like to learn more about the subject. Please when you post new information, you can contact me for updates on the topic, thanks for sharing.

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