Grandparents & Elders Monthly Theme September 2020

Communications technology helps grandparents stay connected

A simple how-to guide to get started 

One thing is certain, COVID-19 demonstrated new ways to communicate and stay connected while social distancing.  The technologies that made this possible have now opened a whole new way to engage with family members and friends.

Zoom, Facetime, and Facebook are three digital media platforms that are user friendly and perfect for large groups or small online gatherings. If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, follow these instructions and tips to get started!

Technologies: explained

  • Zoom
    • Zoom is a web based video conferencing tool that allows users to meet online with or without video. Zoom can be used on a computer, tablet, or phone and is accessed by downloading the app. Here are online tutorials for scheduling a Zoom meeting, joining a Zoom, and meeting controls.
    • Helpful Features: Using the screen share feature on Zoom allows others to see your screen and is great for watching movies together or playing online games.
  • Facetime
    • Facetime is a user-friendly video conferencing option for people with Apple products. Just open up the app on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple computer, and type in the phone number or email address into the search bar.
  • Facebook
    • Facebook is a free social media platform used to share pictures, videos, personal stories, music, and articles. It is a free app that can be downloaded to your smartphone, tablet, or accessed on a computer. It is great for keeping up with out-of-town family or friends. Here is a helpful link for setting up your profile page.
  • Shared online games
    • While you may not be able to play traditional games in person, there are many online equivalents that are sure to be just as fun. Words with Friends is an equivalent to Scrabble that you can play on your smartphone or tablet. Simply download the app and look up your friend’s name by username to get started. Online Bingo and Battleship are two other classics that only require a computer.

 These technologies are just the tip of the iceberg and once you master them the possibilities are endless.