Phone calling apps

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by MrTempest, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    Aug 3, 2021

    Does anyone have any suggestions for phone calling apps or workarounds? With so many spam calls I can hardly get any parents to answers (and I can't blame them). I was wondering if anyone knows any options of how the call can appearto be coming from the school. This way they would be more likely to answer and I would not be using my personal number.
     
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  3. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 3, 2021

    Well, plenty of our parents won’t answer calls from the school either.
     
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  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    :rofl:
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I'd see if you can find an app that will let you text as well as call. That way, you can introduce yourself and request a call back at their convenience. My district uses Ring for that purpose.
     
  6. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    I used Talking Points this past year to communicate with parents, and it was the most success I've ever had. It's text based, but I think that was actually more effective because parents didn't have to guess who was trying to contact them. Plus it translates messages into a TON of languages, so the language barrier was a non-issue.

    As for calling... Google Voice is a free way to hide your personal number but still use your cell phone, but you'd still have the issue of parents not knowing if it's spam or not unless they've added you in their contacts. You can set business/private hours though, which is nice, so you don't have to field calls outside of the times you set.
     
  7. Pisces

    Pisces Companion

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    Aug 8, 2021

    Can you email parents instead? And maybe even email to set up a time to talk? Who picks up their phone anymore? Most things can be resolved over email.
     
  8. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Aug 9, 2021

    I agree with texting as an option. I get much better response that way. Remind and Google Voice are both good for that.
     
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  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Yes, that's what I do. I also like having a record of the information exchanged. With calling parents they always seem to "forget" what was discussed.
     
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  10. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Aug 10, 2021

    Parents definitely have selective memory at times, lol. I have often followed up a phone call with an email to the parent saying, "Just to summarize our phone conversation..." then stating the discussion points. It's a convenient digital trail.
     
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  11. Regan@Off2Class

    Regan@Off2Class Rookie

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    You’re not wrong :(
     
  12. Regan@Off2Class

    Regan@Off2Class Rookie

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    Would email work instead?
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Too many people don't have email, and a bunch of those who DO have it don't check it.
     
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  14. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    I have Talking Points as well and I love the support both parents and I get from the support staff. I use it to send translated notes home. My district has Remind and uses it to send notes to parents. Remind also has a translate option similar to Google Translate, but without the live support offered by Talking Points. Our district will not allow Talking Points to be used because Remind already has a translation feature. Oh well.

    I use Whatsapp to contact some parents, and I have a separate number on that for calling parents. I like Whatsapp because you can do group calls or group video chats just like Zoom. I have also used Whatsapp to successfully call people in places with poor internet (doesn't mean you can call when there is zero internet, though).

    Google Voice was going to be my suggestion. A few of my colleagues suggested it. Texting parents through apps like Remind, in my experience, has worked better than calling. I have had parents say they like texts because they can choose to answer the text when they want whereas if they miss a phone call, they have to wait until the next phone call or opportunity for them to call you.
     
  15. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    Sep 16, 2021

    I will use email when available. But a lot of times the contact info I have is bad or they do not respond.
     
  16. PatsyDouglas

    PatsyDouglas New Member

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    I immediately thought of WhatsApp GB APK as the most reasonable solution
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
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  17. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2021

    Our school uses Kinvo. Did you ever use it before?
     
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  18. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2021

    No but after I hit "Post Reply" I am going to check it out. Thanks.
     

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