Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2017
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Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger

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Voice- and text-messaging app is a teacher PD standout

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
7-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (1 Review)

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5 images

Pros: Flexible features let people communicate by text, image, or voice.

Cons: Some features -- such as sharing your contacts and enabling your device's microphone -- may feel intrusive.

Bottom Line: A cool tool for teachers to collaborate with each other (but maybe not with their students).

Using Voxer with students or parents really depends on your school's policies for communicating with families. If you have an existing learning management system at school, or you're using something like ClassDojo Messenger or Remind, Voxer's messaging tools may lack the flexibility and features you need.

However, Voxer excels as a tool for professional development. Search or follow the hashtag #eduvoxers on Twitter to discover educators across the country who are using the app, and find out how to join their group chats. Or create your own group chat among teachers you know, whether it's your grade-level teaching team, your department, or another group of teachers who need to collaborate. Consider using Voxer as a way to continue the conversation you start at a conference: Collect the contact information of people you meet, and create a group chat that continues your conversation long after you've left the convention center or meeting room.

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Voxer is a messaging app for iOS, Android, and desktop that lets users chat with each other by sending text, images, or voice recordings. It's most notable for its "walkie-talkie" and voice-message features, which allow users to instantly send audio to other users via direct message or group chat.

The app's free version includes features for direct messages and setting up groups of up to 20 users. The pro version costs $3.99 a month or $29.99 annually and includes the live "walkie-talkie" feature and additional features for administering and customizing your groups.

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As with other messaging platforms, your mileage may vary: Voxer isn't an app intended for schools or education, so its features aren't built to address the privacy concerns of communicating with kids or their parents. This app feels especially intrusive to set up: It's hard to set up your account without surrendering your device's contact list or your list of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, and some users may object to sharing their location and keeping their device's microphone on. In general, the setup experience feels less private and less comfortable than other tools your school might use to share important information with students and their families.

Voxer's biggest appeal may be for teachers: Educators across the country use the app as a way to collaborate in real time with fellow educators in their personal learning networks (PLNs). In that regard, Voxer is great; it's a terrific way to carry on conversations with fellow teachers about improving your practice, whether you want to discuss in real time or just have a dedicated space to host your ongoing conversation. Plus, if you're not already using this app, using Voxer as your go-to PD tool could be a nice way to contain your school-related messaging to a single app.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

As with any messaging app, the experience works best if you have friends using the same service.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Using Voxer won't teach kids (or their teachers) anything in particular, but it's definitely a cool tool for honing succinct, to-the-point communication skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Help text guides your first spin through the app, and it's generally pretty simple to figure out how to use its features.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Patricia B. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Old Bonhomme Elementary School
St. Louis, MO
GREAT WAY TO CONNECT WITH OTHERS

I think it is a great way to have small group book studies, homework help, and discussions with students and teachers. It is also a great way for other educators to expand their personal learning network.

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