About andrewmonk2015

Andrew is a psychologist and author with an interest in the gadgets people use in their everyday lives

Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp video: 3 tips for grandparents

Now we can’t easily visit our families physically we can instead use technology to do virtual visits. Here are three tips for grandparents who might not be fully up to speed with Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp video.

These tips are all about what the person you are talking to will see when you connect with them. When in a conversation you can see what you look like using the small window within your screen. This can be difficult to focus on, ask the person you are talking to describe what they can see.

So what can you do to make conversation more effective?

Tip 1. Avoid bright light behind you.

The camera in your phone, tablet or laptop will adjust according to the amount of light it is receiving. If there is a strong light behind you, perhaps a window or a bright lamp, then the camera will adjust to the light and your face will appear to be in the dark. This can easily be fixed by rearranging where you are sitting to avoid light behind you.

Tip 2. Avoid the up-your-nose shot

Commonly people will place a phone or tablet directly in front of themselves on a lowish surface. This is ideal for viewing the person at the other end of the link but it means the camera is providing a rather unfortunate image, right up your nose! The solution to this problem is to move the device back, preferably on a surface which is not too low, so that you are looking more horizontally at the camera.

Tip 3. Use both cameras

Don’t forget that phones and tablets have two cameras. The one that provides the image of your face is a tiny pinhole next to the screen. The other camera is a more obvious lens on the back normally used for taking photos. By switching to this other camera you can show the person at the other end interesting stuff. For example, you might give them a virtual tour of the room that you are in. The button to switch between cameras probably looks a bit like this.

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It is possible to do all sorts of creative things when you start moving the phone or tablet about. Also don’t limit yourself to just chatting. What about playing games or reading stories? Have fun. Your children and grandchildren will be impressed.

#coronavirus

#givesomeoneacall

Free Chapter – Helping someone who has problems with everyday living

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Download Chapter 3 “Helping someone who has problems with everyday living” as free PDF(29 pages)

This chapter is about gadgets that make life easier for people who have problems with aspects of everyday living. It is written for people who have ageing parents or friends and relatives who could be helped in this way.

This free PDF may also be useful to for professional carers who would like an introduction to accessibility, telecare and assistive technology that they can give to clients and their relatives.

The chapter is very close to my heart as it is based on my most recent research. For this reason I included it in my book “Explore your iPad – for seniors”, even though it is mainly about technologies that are not iPad oriented!

Contents

  • Seeing and hearing
  • How-to-do-it guide – seeing and hearing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Aside – different kinds of human memory
  • How-to-do-it guide – forgetfulness
  • Keeping out of hospital
  • Aside – Is activity monitoring “watching over you” or “spying”?
  • How-to-do-it guide – keeping out of hospital
  • Caring for someone with dementia
  • How-to-do-it guide – caring for someone with dementia
  • Invention needed
  • Related chapters and other material

Download Chapter 3 “Helping someone who has problems with everyday living” as free PDF (29 pages)

Things you can touch on a touchscreen

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Glossary of iPad and iPhone touchscreen buttons from “Explore your iPad – for seniors”. Download as free PDF.

This Glossary starts with brief explanations of the various things you may tap/touch while using an app on an iPhone or iPad. I think of these as “touchscreen buttons”. There are also sections on what you can do with: physical buttons, gestures, the touchscreen keyboard, a stylus and speech.

The Glossary comes from my book “Explore your iPad – for seniors” This is a guide for people who want to explore their iPad for themselves rather than follow detailed instructions.

Contents of Glossary (free PDF )

  • Touchscreen buttons, general
  • Touchscreen buttons, specific to media players and recorders (sounds or pictures)
  • Physical buttons
  • Gestures that work like buttons
  • Bringing up and using the touchscreen keyboard
  • Talking to your iPad, Siri
  • Finger not working try a stylus

See also my previous post – A recipe to do anything with a tablet or phone

Explore your iPad – for seniors

bookchptstwtpicDownload as free iBookget_it_on_ibooks_badge_us_1114, get free PDFs or
buy as 180 page paperback from Amazon, Price £6

Fed up with trying to memorise detailed instructions on how to work your iPad? With the guidance of this book you can figure out what to do – for yourself.

The book begins with a one-page “recipe to do anything you want with an iPad”. To use this simple recipe you need to think clearly about what it is that you want to do and then be able to recognise the things you need to touch on the touchscreen. The best way to pick up this generally applicable knowledge is by exploring. This is much more fun than trying to rote learn a set of instructions. Explore your iPad – for seniors will guide you on this journey of exploration.

The Chapter titles are: Enjoying keeping active; Playing games; Helping someone who has problems with everyday living; Keeping in touch with friends and family; Joining an online community, and Getting creative, photos and art.

Apps featured include: Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Words, Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Accessibility Settings, Mail, Messages, Facetime, Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, Twitter, Photos, Flikr, Dropbox.

To make this new kind of technology book work for you there are:

  • general purpose How-to-do-it Guides for each topic considered that will not go out of date with new versions of apps for the iPad;
  • a Glossary of Touchscreen Buttons that you may encounter while exploring;
  • an Appendix – Getting apps and connecting to the internet.

The book covers all kinds of iPads including the iPad Air and the iPad mini, iOS 9 and iOS 10.

A recipe to do anything with a tablet or phone

Ingredients

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1 tablet such as an iPad, Fire or Galaxy Tab. This recipe also works well with smartphones such as the Lenovo or the iPhone.

1 inquiring mind

1 pair of eyes (with or without glasses)

1 finger

Method

  1. Ask yourself what are you trying to do? How would the people who design apps describe it? What words would they use?
  2. Look for words and touchscreen buttons that could possibly get you nearer to achieving what you want to do. If you can’t see anything you may need to go back to the home screen and open a new app.
  3. Touch a word or touchscreen button.
  4. Ask yourself what again. How has what you just did added to your understanding of what you need to do? If you seem to be making progress, what do you need to do next? If you have clearly touched the wrong thing, how do you get back?
  5. Look again for words and touchscreen buttons that could possibly get you nearer to achieving what you want to do.
  6. Touch again

… and so on until you have done what you set out to do.

By applying this simple recipe you can learn to explore your phone or tablet without the need to memorise long detailed instructions.

If you like this approach and have an iPad get Explore your iPad – for seniors by Andrew Monk to guide you in this journey of exploration. View as a free iBook or buy a printed paperback version from Amazon (£6)  (search the iBooks catalogue or Amazon for “Andrew Monk”)

Print PDF of this page

The Explorer’s Guide to the iPad

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The Explorer’s Guide to the iPad – for seniors (Part 1)

This book is no longer available as Kindle eBook. These chapters, with three more new chapters, are now available as a free iBook “Explore your iPad – for seniors”. Please see page  Get “Explore your iPad – for seniors”.

Fed up with trying to memorise detailed instructions on how to work your iPad? Would you rather have a guide that empowers you to discover new things to do – for yourself?

The Explorers’ Guides are a new kind of technology book. Written to be entertaining and informative, each guide is structured around basic human needs.

Part 1 (this Kindle book) is 36,000 words long and contains 56 pictures. It explains how to use your iPad:

  • to make it fun to keep active and healthy (Chapter 1);
  • to play games you will enjoy, on your own, or with friends and family over the internet (Chapter 2);
  • to help someone who has problems with everyday living (Chapter 3).

Part 2, to be published later in 2016 will include chapters on: watching TV on your iPad, keeping in touch with friends and family, and creating photos and art on the iPad.

To make this new kind of technology book work for you there are:

  • general purpose How-to-do-it Guides for each topic considered that will not go out of date with new versions of apps for the iPad;
  • a Glossary of Touchscreen Buttons that you may encounter while exploring;
  • an Appendix – Getting apps and connecting to the internet, and
  • sign-posted explanations of useful jargon but no unnecessary jargon.

Apps featured include: Fitbit, My Fitness Pal, Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Accessibility Settings.

“Gadgets”?

In this blog I use the word “gadgets” as a handy shorthand for certain bits of hardware. The kind of things I am talking about are illustrated in the pictures in the header for this website. In the order they are depicted there, they are:

  • touch screen phones (e.g., the iPhone; the Samsung Galaxy; the Nokia Lumia)
  • tablets (e.g., the Apple iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Air; the Samsung Galaxy Tab; the Hudl; Google Nexus tablets, the Kindle Fire)
  • games consoles (e.g., the Microsoft Xbox; the Sony Play Station; the Nintendo Wii),
  • miscellaneous small items of equipment (e.g., a fitness bracelet such as the FitBit; the Jawbone UP)
  • laptops
  • smart TVs (e.g., Panasonic Viera)
  • desktop PCs (not pictured)
  • ereaders (e.g., the Kindle; the Kobo, not pictured, look like tablets)