We all call home. It’s handy to do it from school, where inbound calls are filtered and blocked after hours.
But how do you call parents when you’re not at school? Do you want your personal phone number visible on parents’ phones, where parents can store it and call you back later at all hours, and where students can see it and use it later for nefarious purposes?
The best solution I’ve found is Google Voice. You sign up and are assigned a local phone number. You link this phone number to your own. You can now place calls to parents which will appear to come from the number assigned to you by Google Voice.
To a user, the experience goes like this: Enter the phone number you want to call into the web interface in Google Voice. The system then calls your phone; once you’re connected it calls the other party’s phone. To them it appears to be a regular phone call.
Google Voice comes with a ton of cool features, including voice mail, transcribed voice mail, text messaging, conference calling, and more. Explore the features here.
Be aware that although Google isn’t charging for this service, it isn’t exactly free. Of course, they collect all kinds of data as we use this.