Voxer is a push-to-talk and messaging app on your phone. You can use it for free or pay for the premium features (e.g. saving messages, having a conversation with more than 5 people at once). You can choose to listen to the messages in your own time. Besides voice messages, you can also send written messages, share links and images with the group.
Conversations in Voxer:
Andrea Stringer a moderator for the Twitter chat “#satchatoc”, started a Voxer group for participants of the chat as a way of continuing the conversations after the weekly chat. The aim was to allow educators to expand on their ideas and thoughts and engage with each other on a different level. It also allowed for more than 140 characters (the limit for a tweet). I added my name to the list in order to continue my learning. I didn’t know what to expect but I wanted to give it a go. If I thought voicing my opinion in 140 characters on Twitter was hard, talking about them on Voxer is even more challenging. Since Andrea has a pro account, there are over 20 people in the group discussing their opinions.
How the Voxer works for the satchatoc group:
There is no set script for the group or set questions. The conversation flows easily between the members. The topic started with parental engagement and at the moment the group is examining the idea of school goals and individual goals. You have the opportunity to pick apart ideas or focus on key points that you are interested in. The group members are not just from Australia but around the world, so messages come it at different times of the day or night. Members listen to/leave messages to and from work, when children are asleep and generally when it suits them.
Questions to think about from the Voxer group:
- What motivates someone to be a leader?
- What experience do you have to offer as a leader?
- Do teachers in their early years of teaching have the experience to be a leader?
- Is leadership a way of giving back to the school community?
- Who helps me develop my goals as a leader?
- What can we learn from leaders who are our mentors?
- Do I have a direction of where my career is going?
- What challenges can you face as a leader?
- Do you enter leadership without your own understanding of what a leader should be?
- What challenges can younger teachers face when applying for leadership roles?
My challenges with Voxer:
- Overcoming my fear of talking to people I only know online
- Not knowing what to say- I find it difficult to talk without having jotted down my main points especially when it’s on a topic that is quite focused (my first and only message so far was not quite to the point and ended with a “so yeah”)
- Feeling that my thoughts aren’t important or sound like I’m just rambling
- Knowing when to share my opinions- I’m so busy listening to others thoughts that by the time that I think of what to say in reply, they’ve already passed on to another topic.
My aim on Voxer:
- To become comfortable with voicing my own opinions
- Learning how to be more confident with talking about ideas that are important to me
- Engaging in the discussion with the other educators as a way of strengthening my own voice as a teacher