A Video Is Worth 10,000 Words
By Shayne Packer
If you enjoy talking with your grandchildren on the phone, you’ll love video chatting even more! It’s videoconferencing software you run on your computer to talk with and see your family. It’s just like in The Jetsons cartoon-live audio and video.
What could be worth more than seeing the grin on your grandchild’s face when they see you talking with them on the screen? They’ll be proud to show you how much they’ve grown and to show off their first missing tooth. Even grandbabies will respond to your voice and smiling face.
To see my short video on how easy and enjoyable it is to video chat with grandchildren, click here: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtlUh8VIAHs].
Fun things you can do: be playful, play peek-a-boo, make funny faces, tell knock-knock jokes, read stories, make up stories, sing, dance, play games, help with homework.
Ask grandkids to show you their drawings, crafts, homework, new clothes, acrobatics and somersaults. Have them read and sing to you, and tell you jokes and stories. (My wife, Tanda, says a grandparent’s job is to be a cheerleader and a talent scout.)
- Free video chat options. Make video calls worldwide. You’ll need a webcam with a built-in or separate mic, and a broadband connection.
- iChat [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMwhatisichat/] from Apple is the best solution if you have a Macintosh. You can even have a videoconference with up to three other Macs at once. iChat works well with AIM on other computers.
- AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) [http://www.aim.com] is a downloadable application.
- Skype [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMskype/] is another downloadable application.
- Google voice and video chat [http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=100173] is integrated into gmail in your Web browser.
Getting started: Choose an application and install it. Consider what your family may be using. Launch the program. Create a screen name and password. Share your screen name with your family. Arrange a time to call. Turn on your webcam. Log in. Initiate the call by clicking the appropriate buttons, or click “Accept” if your family initiates the call. Click the video icon by their name. Enjoy!
You’ve gotta try video chatting with your grandkids. Have fun!
Shayne Packer [http://grandparentstlc.com/blog/go/GMShayneStoryOfMyLife/] helps grandparents discover cool ways to connect with grandchildren at GrandparentsTLC.com [http://GrandparentsTLC.com]. Send your tech questions to CyberSavvyGRAND@grandmagazine.com. E-mail Shayne if you have a tech product or service useful to grandparents.