Virtual Family Connections

As I have said before, my main reason for a lot of the Web2.0 tools is to stay in contact with my family. Our closest relatives live 4 hours away and we visited them this weekend. I downloaded Skype for my mother-in-law and hopefully we can get it working and she can see Alyson. Alyson is so intrigued by my laptop when it 'rings' for her.

The rest of my family is in NY right now visiting my Aunt and cousins for a baby shower. Now that we are going to have 2 more babies in the family it is more important for me than ever to stay in contact. I remember writing letters or always wanting to write letters to stay in touch. Now we 'write letters' every day.

I want my teachers to be proficient in Web2.0 tools for both reasons. To become better teachers and to stay in touch with their families and relatives. Gone are the days living next door to your family as families are strung out all over the world now. When all is said and done your family is the most important part of your lives no matter how far away they are. Here are some of the tools I have used to keep in touch with my family:
  • Kodakgallery.com - we upload and share photos all the time. My have to start using flickr and picnik more often for this. I don't want to upload to so many places
  • Walmart.com photo center - Yes, I still love the paper photos. I am an avid scrap-booker so I have to have my 'hard copies.' So many people I know still take their memory cards to walmart and use the machine and stand and wait in line. I can upload my photos and pick them up while I do my grocery shopping. I try to tell my teachers about this but some of them don't have the time to figure out the online photo store. Little do they know! I can also send the photos to a store in IA where my mom can go pick up hard copies of her own. She hasn't figured out how to do this for me yet tho!
  • Skype - okay so none of my family has figured out how to work this and I haven't been home since Christmas to show my mom and dad. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!
Please feel free to share any of your virtual family connections with me!


  1. I introduced Skype to my family and they love it. My 74 yo Mom has demanded that we STOP using her telephone as she only wants tot alk to us via Skype, so she can see and hear us! She gets majorly disappointed if we do use the phone to call.

    I'm curious. Does your school district allow Skype? I'm finding more and more Skype is blocked.

  2. So far I Skype with our district tech director who works next door to me more than I skype with my family! Too ironic! I introduced my tech director to Skype and she is hooked. Our district is still skeptical but they are letting us try it out on teacher stations in our training room only. Probably 10 people in my district know about skype and it is because I have talked about it. My tech curriculum director did a brief training on it with our 4th grade TEC teachers and they loved it but haven't used it. http://jgarton.edublogs.org/ She has the greatest blog. You have to check it out!
    We will just see how it goes. I did not like AOL IM in the workplace and I don't want skype to replace that or become something like that.

  3. I am impressed with your podcast, though now I am very fearful of drivers and their cell phones!! I listen to WOW also. You should consider NECC. Wow. i wish my principal was as cutting edge as you seem to be! Good Luck! Cathy (not Chris)