During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to call your students’ parents, but don’t want your phone number to be known to the other part. Fret not, Google Voice is here.
What is Google Voice?
Google voice acts as a “man-in-the-middle” and will relay phone calls between you and the other person through a virtual phone number. When you make a phone call through Google Voice, the other person will see the Google Voice number, not your personal one. If they call that number, it will ring to your phone.
At this time, Google Voice will NOT work with your district .ORG account; this will need to be done with a personal Google account. If you don’t have one, they are free to create.
- Go to https://voice.google.com
- Login with your personal google account (i.e., “email@example.com”)
- You will be asked to select a number from a nearby city or area; the closest I could select was Padre Island, but this changes over time. Sometimes you’ll have to choose from Kingsville or Robstown. Let’s keep it in the 361 area code…
- Now you’ll need to verify your real number to use the Google Voice number; hit Verify
- Enter your number and hit “Send Code”
- Enter the 6 digit number and hit Verify and then Finish
Now, you can either download the Google Voice app on Android or the Apple App Store. You can also use a computer to make and receive phone calls (and text!) through the browser as long as you have a working microphone and working speakers.
Google Voice also includes voicemail and call forwarding.
While you’re still in the browser on Google Voice, you can click on the gear icon in the top-right for some extra settings; you may or may not want to configure these. You can even have voicemail sent to your GMail, and sometimes it will do its best to transcribe voicemail messages so you don’t even have to listen to them.