I was just starting to get the feel for Twitter when I received a tweet from Justin Schleider (@SchleiderJustin) asking me to join him on Voxer. I had no idea what Voxer was and for the most part was not interested. Within a few hours, I received another tweet from Jenny Wamsley (@JennyWamsley). Two tweets in a few hours about an app called Voxer, where you could actually talk and hear a person’s voice. They both touted the benefit of sharing more info than the 140 characters available via Twitter. They also explained how it supersedes Twitter in collaborative efforts. I decided to tweet them both back and said sign me up. What could I lose? I could always delete the app if I didn’t like it.
My life as a connected educator was quickly about to be revolutionized! I downloaded the app, signed up, signed in and saw my name in the general PE chat group. I read a few texts and listened to a few voice messages, and decided it looked like a worthwhile app.
I checked back in the morning, and Voxer was rocking! I signed back in a beheld the fleury of nonstop conversation that was taking place on a topic (I can’t remember what is was). I decide to chime in and say hi and was given a royal welcome to Voxer by everyone who was chatting.
Voxer has really blown open the doors for me on many levels. First, it gave me a tremendous window into a lot of great teaching that is taking place around the country. Second, I had access to these teachers and the ability to share and ask questions. Finally, it has given me the opportunity to develop relationships with a core group of PE teachers within Voxer.
There is nothing better than having colleagues that are just as fired up and motivated as you are. Unfortunately, that is not always available to us within our schools, district, or county. There’s an energy on Voxer that can’t be found in a conference or one day professional development opportunity. Voxer has given me the ability to have contact with passionate colleagues who challenge me and help me raise the bar on a daily basis. I’ve been able to step up my game in PE in respect to content knowledge, assessment, technology, and teaching strategies. That in itself has been amazing. I can now surround myself with some of the best in the business and to tap into that greatness.
Greater than that has been the ability to go deeper than just PE stuff. These people have become my friends. If it wasn’t for distance I’d be hanging out with them on the weekends. We talk about our kids, passions, struggles, books we read, podcasts we listen to and much more. Voxer has gone beyond just PE. One of the cool things about Voxer is that you can “side Vox” as many of us refer to it. You have your main chat groups you are a part of but then there are the small groups or just one on one chats. This is where the real magic happens as you get to know people.
The following list contains a small group of the people that I connect the most with on Voxer: Mike Graham (mikegraham), Kevin Tiller (physedreview), Nick Spencer (spencernick44), Lynn Burrows (lburro461), Jorge Rodriguez(jrod1371), Dave Carney (dcarne681), Tony Alexander (aalexa3573), Nick Endlich (endli8613), Justin Schleider (SchleiderJustin) Spencer Barfuss (spencerb) and Ben Pirillo (bpiril593). There are many, many other great people out there that I’m getting to know along the way.
This January 6th will mark one year of being on Voxer. After being on Voxer for a whole year I can tell you that if you get involved, allow yourself to be vulnerable, ask lots of questions, and share your experience, your life will be changed for the better.
If you are interested in joining the PE Voxer community, download the app, and then go to voxerpe.com. There you will find a list of all the main chat groups that you can participate in, how-to videos, #voxerpe, and links to the Voxcast.
You can find me on Voxer at emyer6972, and on Twitter @erik_myer
About the Author: Erik Myer is an elementary PE teacher at Warnsdorfer Elementary School in East Brunswick, NJ. He’s been teaching PE for 18 years.