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Technology for Grandparents

Whether your grandchildren are across the street, across town, or across the country, technology can help you stay in touch and up-to-date on their development and activities, as well as strengthen the bond between you. Here's a list of technology for grandparents to help you keep in touch:

Skype

For the time being, the video conferencing tool known as Skype is free to use. There are a few pieces of equipment that you'll need in order to engage in face-to-face video chat with your grandchild, but most of it you may already own. It will require a computer with a high-speed internet connection and compatible webcam, microphone, and speakers. Once you've verified that you have everything you need, create an account on the website, log in and download the software required. Next, hook up the webcam to your computer and make a test call to check your speaker volume and connection speed. Once you are all set up, schedule some Skype time with your grandchild. Reading a book before bed from thousands of miles away is now as easy as a click of the mouse.
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Text Messaging

Many grandparents are already pros at text messaging and find it to be a great way to stay connected to a grandchild. You can text message from almost any cellular phone or even from your home computer. You'll probably find that older children are receptive to text messaging because they can respond at their leisure and not interrupt what they're doing to chat. You could stretch out a conversation for days with text messages. Make sure you have a good text messaging plan with your phone provider if you decide to use this method of communication and make sure your grandchild does as well, otherwise it can get expensive.


Facebook

Facebook has become a monolith for social networking around the globe. It's almost guaranteed that your grandchild is on there, sometimes even as a baby! Though Facebook might seem complicated or overwhelming with all the old friends and acquaintances that may resurface, it is a convenient way for families to stay connected on a daily basis. From Facebook you can send your grandchild messages, post a public wall note and chat instantly. You can also see their pictures and status updates that will keep you up to date on their lives.
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