How to Mobilize Feedback with Voxer

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Ever worry that students won’t read your written feedback? What if you could record narrative feedback and allow students to access it from anywhere at anytime? With the Voxer push-to-talk app, teachers can mobilize their feedback, creating an ongoing conversation about learning.

Voxer is similar to text messaging and talking on the phone. Voxer, though, captures the best of both worlds, allowing you to record your voice and send it immediately to the recipient, much like saying something during a phone call. The best part of Voxer, though, is your voice message is saved on the recipient’s end and can be played back at his or her convenience, eliminating the need to focus on a live phone conversation.

Voxer and Learning

Voxer is still relatively new in the app world, but educators are seeing the value of the app as a teaching and learning tool, both in and out of the classroom. As narrative feedback about learning evolves, teachers are looking for ways to create an ongoing conversation about student activities and projects. Voxer makes recorded feedback easy and, even better, makes the feedback mobile, which students love. They can listen and respond to a teacher’s feedback anytime in or out of school.

With Voxer, a teacher can leave SE2R feedback anytime from anywhere, and students can listen to the feedback at their convenience and respond to it, extending the conversation bout learning. Check out how high school teacher Charlie Gleek provides recorded feedback, using Voxer in the video below.

Gleek provides several minutes of detailed narrative feedback, which will inspire the student to review her work, possibly make changes and resubmit it for further feedback. This conversation about learning, using Voxer, is not intimidating and helps build a truly beneficial relationship between the student and the teacher.

Another high school teacher, Starr Sackstein, uses Voxer in a variety of ways, outlined in her own blog post. Sackstein notes the following possibilities for using Voxer in the classroom.

  • As a group collaboration when kids or teachers can’t gather together – it’s free and the group function really makes this easy
  • When two people don’t have the ability to talk on the phone or want to record the messages so that they can listen again later – the ability to have transcripts is useful for reviewing material later
  • If we had a class Voxer group, teachers could send out a short voice message followed by a text one for different modes of learning about upcoming assignments and expectations
  • Students can coordinate projects using it – breaking up roles and expectations and it won’t get lost anywhere
  • Much like a Google Hang Out (GHO), it functions as a way to either have real time communication or listen at leisure which is a great function.

Teachers are also using Voxer to create groups for professional growth. They discuss best practices, digital learning strategies and other relevant topics. Sometimes, teachers need help with a school-related issue, and they ask for the kind of feedback that Gleek gives his students.

Voxer is mobilizing feedback, helping teaching and learning evolve to a new level of assessment–a level that replaces traditional grades with a powerful, ongoing conversation about learning.

Now, that’s a beautiful thing.

Update (January, 2015): here is a growing list of Voxer groups you might be interested in joining, along with contact info for group creators.

Learn more about digital feedback in Assessment 3.0: Throw Out Your Grade Book and Inspire Learning, available now at Corwin and Amazon.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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