For months, I’ve seen and heard everyone rant & rave about how wonderful Voxer and Google+ are. I’ve been on both for a while, but haven’t seen why so many people are placing it on a pedestal in the PLN world like Twitter is.
And then came preparations for the PARCC test.
If you haven’t heard about PARCC, well, Google it (I honestly can’t see how you haven’t heard about PARCC if you are in education). With the lead up came a series of questions and technical issues. Instead of trying to find answers in online forums or call an 800 number, a group of New Jersey education professionals (ranging from teachers to superintendents) just started asking questions, and answering them, through Voxer.
What is Voxer?
Voxer is a next generation push-to-talk app that is differentiated from others by providing live voice that is simultaneously recorded, delivered over a any data network, and stored in the cloud. Alongside voice, Voxer features text, photos and location sharing. It works globally on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 devices.
To be honest, I learned more about he technical components of PARCC in 12 hours of Voxer chatting than I did in 12 hours of formal training.
My other new go-to were two groups that are being administered through Google+.
What is Google+?
Google+ is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google. It’s a “social layer” that enhances many of its’ online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author.
The first group is for NJ PARCC administrators; the second is for school technology coordinators. Both groups have scads of seasoned and rookie professionals all trying to combat any issues that arise. While I was a little overwhelmed at first with the amount of emails / posts that were being generated, this too helped me navigate through various issues, or be aware of other potential ones.
The power of the PLN never ceases to amaze me. To all those PARCC testing this week, godspeed. To those are are testing later, I feel much more prepared, and I owe it all to you.