Igniting potential in families, learning, and creativity with technology

Archive for the ‘Family Tech’ Category

iPad Impressions

I think I am the perfect candidate for a mobile device like this. Two hour round trip commute on the bus (with free wifi), a little child at home, The iPad saved my wife and me a few maddening moments around dinner time. I downloaded several Sesame Street podcasts and slapped one on when we were about to eat dinner. The iPad was my son’s personal HDTV and he loved all the colors, motion and sound. He wanted more kinesthetic feedback or response from the iPad (granted he is on 8 months old).

I found the battery life to be outstanding! I was very pleased. Flipboard kept me up to date with all my social streams on my way home from work. It was tricky trying to type on while riding the bus without a case to position it well.I also noticed that the iPad was shared and passed around in social settings. During a surprise birthday party, I was able to pull out the iPad and have a friend show me the paintings he was trying to describe to me and then pass it around the room for others to see.

Overall, it was a great experience. I’m not convinced that it is fully capable of all the activities I would want to replace a laptop but a very convenient and intuitive device nonetheless.


Together Time

For quite some time now, I have said that we are more connected online but we are not together very often. On my way home yesterday, I came across Video Chat Rounds, a new facebook video chat platform that seems to be promising. The service affords people the opportunity for more together time online. I like that. I don’t have to jump in to a virtual world and use an avatar to spend time with someone. The platform allows you to do things together (play games, surf, watch videos, etc.). There have been other sites that have attempted to do this but none have been bold enough to integrate with facebook. I believe rounds (http://rounds.com) has a lot of potential to give families and friends more together time online.

I had some together time with a colleague yesterday. Despite being uber-connected via technology we needed together time to truly connect. What together time will you take today to truly connect?

Stunning Screencasts in Seconds

Screenr: Instant Screencasts

Screenr: Instant Screencasts

Screenr.  Finally, there is a simple, straightforward way to capture and share screencasts with no downloads.  It works the way I work! Not only can I do a screencast in no time at all, I can capture my Skype and other video conversations without paying for a plugin or third party app.

Advantages include:

  • Quick
  • HD quality
  • Simple sharing to all audiences (Twitter, iPhone, YouTube, Facebook)
  • Download to use in your own movie projects

Disadvantages I have encountered:

  • 5 min max record time

Screenr could be used to preserve family moments while chatting on Skype and demonstrate how to do something with a web app.  All in all, this is an excellent screen recorder that is simple, easy to use and very good at what it does.  Send me a link to the amazing things you do with Screenr.

Broadcast Family Events LIVE

Chances are you have wanted to announce something important to the whole family all at once but could only connect on the phone. The phone is a great way to connect but we miss all the action that live video can give us. How do we share our live video of the event or announcement if I have more than one relative interested in joining us? Skype is great for one-on-one occasions but including others in various locations is impossible.


Three people can enter a personal, private “room” where you can share live video and audio of your event or announcement. Those joining the room will have no trouble enjoying the moment right along with you. Here’s how you get started.

  1. Visit http://www.adobe.com/acom/connectnowConnectNow
  2. Sign up for an account.ConnectNow SignUp ConnectNow SignUp2
  3. Adjust the room. Find the PODS menu and uncheck all the options except for WEBCAM. Then make sure to expand the WEBCAM pod in the room.Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 8
  4. Start camera Picture 12 and mic Picture 13.

  5. Invite family and friends. Picture 10 Just tell them to click on the link you will send them. They will need to enter a guest name before joining you in the room but that’s it. No downloads.

Feel free to try out ConnectNow next time you would like to broadcast live your announcement or event to the whole family all at once.

%d bloggers like this: