Picking Applications and Devices to Use with Your Grandkids
Being a grandfather can be a bit tough. There are not a lot of great "how-to" books out there for us older guys that are becoming grandfathers. Most of the new grandfathers are from the early part of Generation X and the trailing end of the Baby Boomer generation. Many of us have grown up with different resources available on all subjects. Still, as for being a grandfather, finding good resources not focused on selling you a timeshare is a bit more tricky. This challenge becomes especially true when learning about and adopting technology to build, maintain and enhance relationships with young grandchildren.
When I was growing up, my grandfather and grandmother, who lived in Eastern Oregon, couldn't read me a book at night and normally only called at night or on the weekends. Remember Ma Bell?
There just wasn't the technology. Grandfathers and grandchildren today are much more fortunate. The trick is to find the one or, more likely, the combination of technologies that will allow you to use easily, entertain and connect with those little ones in your life.
Here are some tips I talk to other grandpas about when they want to read or create videos for their grandchildren.
1. Keep it simple.
It is easy to find some great app that just hit the market that promises all sorts of features and functionality. I tell people to look at apps or tech that have been around for a while. Those tend to have have shaken out the bugs or simplified their process flow.
2. What will the adults want to use?
While you may have found a great app, do the grandchild's (or their parent's) devices support the app? Is it easy for adult children to use? You might want to find another option if the answer is no.
3. Can you store or save video or audio files from the app or piece of tech?
This becomes essential to any functionality regarding grandparent/ grandchild communication over technology. They miss out if you can't save a cute or meaningful interaction and share it with grandma or the grandchild's parents. Think about someone recording a baby's first steps but not being able to share that recording.
I'm not a tech person, but I work implementing software. I know that if we start making what feels like a simple task or process complex, end users will not have a great experience and will move away from using the software.
With all the devices and applications at our fingertips, it pays to research technology and find those apps that allow for simplicity, ease of use, have common adoption among adults and permit you to save or share your interactions.
About the Author
Greg Payne is an active grandfather of three little grandchildren. Greg lives with his wife, Karen Mangum, in Atlanta, GA, where he hosts The Cool Grandpa Podcast. Greg is busy completing his first children's book titled, My Grandpa's Grandpa and hopes to publish it later this fall.