Friday, May 6, 2011

[G] Google moms share tech tips for your family

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Official Google Blog: Google moms share tech tips for your family

As a Googler I often take my work home with me—in a good way. With two young boys at home, life is always busy, so my husband and I are always looking for ways to save time, get organized and enrich our lives in simple ways. Because the products I beta test and use in the office have become an integral part of my own family life, for Mother’s Day this weekend I’d like to share some favorite tips, including a few from other Googler parents.

Capturing and sharing memories
  • Instead of keeping 500 crayon masterpieces, store digital photos of all your kids’ artwork in Picasa Web Albums
  • Collect trip or party photos in one place by letting all of your paparazzi upload their snapshots to a collaborative online album
  • Tag friends and family in Picasa photos so you can easily create and share personalized collages, gift CDs/DVDs or movie slideshows
  • Use Picnik to edit your Picasa Web Albums photos. Use the “Create” tab to add text, stickers, frames and other effects to your photos—your kids can help, and you can email them as digital cards to distant relatives
  • Safely share home videos with family by inviting them to view a private YouTube video
  • Keep a running family history by encouraging relatives around the world to contribute stories and biographies in a shared Google doc or blog
Communicating and entertaining
  • Video chat through Gmail for free with long-distance grandparents and friends—this is also great for connecting kids with their parents when traveling
  • Entertain kids on the run with kid-friendly YouTube channels—like Sesame Street and School House RockAndroid apps or your own photos and videos on your mobile phone (kids love watching themselves!)
  • Have your kids help you create a video card or a cartoon on YouTube
  • Explore the world from the couch—fly around Google Earth on your mobile phone or tablet
  • On camping trips, use Sky Map to explore and name constellations. You can even travel back in time to show your kids what the sky looked like on the day they were born
  • Read the classics—like Anne of Green Gables, The Wind in the Willows and Grimm’s Fairy Tales—for free from Google eBooks; for older kids, many books that are required reading for school are also free. Google eBooks are accessible and readable on devices your family probably already has—like laptops or smartphones
My son Kai chatting with his dad while on a business trip

Organizing and planning
I hope these tips inspire moms (and dads) to celebrate your family this weekend. Here’s hoping you can save time and energy to focus on having fun with your kids!

Posted by Cathy Cheng, Webmaster Manager and proud mom of Kai (3 years) and Jin (10 months)

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