Monday, 10 August 2009

Grandparents and the Internet

I have heard news of great developments and innovations on the Internet. I recall taking my first Computer Science course in Jarvis H. S. in the 70s. It was endlessly frustrating. You had to fill in these delightful cards pictured right), which were then sent to the uToronto for processing. Each card had to be filled in with code. Then, your 100 cards would be returned two weeks later with a 'syntax error in line 463'. How far we have come.

The course I found rather tedious. I dropped it.

But I went on to end up, once my kids were born and I went back to work, taking some tutorials from a grade six student in the school where I was teaching JK. I found teaching and integrating technology into my classrooms so very rewarding. I would give the digital camera to the least well-behaved student, and they would be happy and motivated. We used iMovie, Claris Home page (& "Nightmare Weaver" when they 'improved' Claris!), Graphic Converter to make .gifs, Fetch to upload web pages, Kidspiration to create Mind Maps, and Flash for the more sophisticated students.

Many Baby Boomers had to learn technology for work. And it was easy with someone at your shouldere to help you. These days, senior grandparents (who may not have learned technology previously), are incorporating it into their daily lives. I remember, in 'the old days', grandparents would do audiotapes and phone, but computer-to-computer is so much different. My favourite video was taken with the built-in camera on my computer. She loves to watch herself dance, Josephine & Frosty 2 .

J. is fascinated with 'babies' on the computer. When could watch herself, and was so interested in watching the 'baby'! The video that shows us dancing to the Conga we watch. We say, "One, Two, Three..." and J (20 mos, old) now responds with, "Kick!"

Her other favourite video is the airplane. Over and over she presses play, waves 'bye' to the plane.

Many of us are on Facebook (FB) to socialize with Grand Kids (and we think they are all grand!). Many of us send digital photos back and forth. We e-mail and talk to our kids on Skype. It is a marvellous tool. It is the best thing about technology!

I have heard much to denigrate FB, but I use it as a tool. Parents can check out kid's activities, and see who their friends are. I think it a great way for parents to monitor their teens, as well. The price of the Internet is full access to their accounts. It is a privilege, not a right, and we have a responsibility to supervise them.

What we have done, is take photos and video of the kids, upload them to FB and then our granddaughter can go home and review and remember what she did. I don't want to bore everyone with our video. But below I posted the video of the various exciting activities. In the old days we wrote journals. These days we have visual diaries, which promote pre-reading skills, expressive and receptive language skills, and thinking skills in our little kids. Reviewing and reprocessing the visual puts it into the long-term. It helps a young child remember people like her Uncle Jesse, the actor, who did an Polar Bunny (Easter) swim when she was here! She'll say, "Jesse, towel!"

Grandparents, integrate technology into your lives! Let the young people know that we are marching into the new millennium: Betsy has a new toy, too! You will never regret it. With the economy, changing job markets, the necessity to travel for work, families can still keep in touch across distances.
How do you incorporate technology to keep your family closer?

J. at Easter


The Weaver of Grass said...

I couldn't agree more, Jenn - we must not opt out of the technology age just because we are getting old - we have to embrace it and enjoy it - I certainly do.

judy in ky said...

Hi Jenn, I relate to this completely. I've been teaching myself, and it's been a struggle. But it's so worth it in the end!

judy in ky said...

By the way, I had to struggle through a computer class where we filled out those awful cards, too. Thank goodness they are gone for good!

Lauren said...

I have heard tales of people tripping while carrying a stack of those horrid cards! I was lucky enough to get into CS after those were done. We use the internet to keep updated on each other in my extended family. Even my parents are thinking about getting on Facebook after hearing about all of the family things we know because of it. Also, sometimes we web-cam talk with my nieces and nephew. I think it's easier for little kids to talk if they can see you.

SandyCarlson said...

We backed into technology, to be sure. And kids just take it for granted. Phew for them! I enjoyed your post. Your brought to mind my first BASIC course. Just about did my head in.

Jayne said...

How wonderful that you all are enjoying being able to see the little ones!

George said...

Ah, the memories. I learned to program using those punch cards as well -- talk about endless frustration! We don't do Facebook, but we do use iChat and Skype to keep in touch with children and grandchildren.