Here is an option to contact parents instead of using your personal cell phones. It has been tested and works well for me!
How to Set Up Google Voice:
- First, you may have to set up a personal Gmail account. Complete that step first. You can find a link to generate a Gmail account here.
- Once you have an account, you will see the “waffle” at the top right corner of the window. Click on that. Scroll to the bottom and click on “More from Google”.
- This may be the long way, but scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see all of the app icons. Near the bottom is “Voice”. It is an image of a speech bubble with a phone inside.
- Click on that icon. It will direct you through the rest of the process. It will prompt you to find a phone number by asking for you to enter an area code or a city. Then it will give a list of phone number options.
- Select the number you choose and click “select”. That number is now yours.
- You can also link that number to your phone number if you choose to. It will ask you to enter your number and will send you a verification code.
- You can also download the google voice app to your phone. I believe I can call from my computer or I can call from my phone. You can send text messages and receive voicemail too.
Also, I have been playing around with google voice with a friend and we figured out how to label all of the calls that come from google voice. We wanted to do something that would alert us that it was a parent calling. So, I’ve labeled my group “classroom calls” just so it would be very different from other calls that I receive.
When I get a call from a parent that I have called using that number, caller ID will show “classroom calls”. If I get a text message, it will say “google voice”.
I really like this option for contacting parents. I’ve made the majority of my calls straight from my computer. You can also use the google voice app. It will alert you with each call that data rates may apply. I feel like that is with any call using an iPhone. If you are on WIFI, you don’t use your minutes; if you are on data, you use minutes.
How to Label your Google Voice Calls:
- Go into Google Voice from the Google Website (not app)
- Click on Settings up in the right corner
- Under “Calls” turn on the very last option “Show my Google Voice number as caller ID when forwarding calls”
- Then create a contact in your phone’s contacts with your Google number and save with something like “Classroom Call” so you know that number is coming from your Google Voice.