I was doing some brainstorming with some teachers of deaf students. I was having my college students use Google Voice as a quick and dirty podcasting method (I’ll save that for another blog).  Obviously this will not work for deaf students, it is an auditory tool.

But can Google Voice be a tool for teaching deaf students? We think so, here are some ideas:

  • Do not give out your phone number, give parents your Google Voice number. The ability to create groups and have calls go straight to voicemail or to easily set do not disturb makes it easier to separate your personal and teaching life. (okay that tip is for all teachers).
  • Call and leave yourself voicemails, Google Voice transcribes your voicemail. You can embed the audio file but also copy and paste the transcribed text so if students are hard of hearing they can benefit from your podcast as well.
  • Encourage deaf students to sign up for Google Voice (with parent permission of course). Then you can leave them voicemail feedback and they will get the transcription of what you said.
  • Why not let students use their cell phones in class, at the very least you’ll be the coolest teacher on campus. Allow deaf students to text to your Google Voice number to ask questions. You can reply via text or email to help facilitate communication.
  • If you have students working all over the room and their back is to you it might be challenging to get the attention of a deaf student. You can text from your Google Voice account to the student to help get them information.
  • Students can text the teacher questions. If it is a challenge to verbally articulate the question, using Google Voice to text might be the answer.
  • Google Voice does not require a phone so texting can work through the computer.
    While you could just use email if you’re using a computer, a child can use computer and the text goes to teacher who may not be at their  computer. Able to instantly ask and answer questions.
  • I am sure there are more ideas how Google Voice can benefit deaf students, post a comment and share your ideas.