Video chats keep families closer!

We believe it, because we do it. We’ve used video chats with friends, relatives, children, and grandparents. It doesn’t matter what age, it is fun to see and chat with family if they can’t be right next to you. So here’s what you do to set this up:

  1. If you don’t already have one, get yourself a web cam (with microphone). It doesn’t need to be fancy, just something that you can hook up to your computer. If you aren’t sure what one to purchase, just go to your local tech retail shop and they’ll be sure to help you out.
  2. Then hook up your camera following the directions that came with it.
  3. Select your program to use: Skype, IM Messenger, AOL. We are going to use Skype for this example, so you would go to the Skype site to download the program to your computer. (You’ll need to select the right type for your computer) If you aren’t sure how to download, use their instructions at the bottom of this page.
  4. While you set it up you’ll need to create a Skype account if you don’t already have one.
  5. Once it is up and running, you can do a test of your camera, speakers and microphone, by clicking on the Tools>Options, then select “Audio settings” or “Video Settings” to test out the different levels.
  6. Now you are ready to “Add a Contact” . Click on “add a contact” in the left pane, and enter in whatever information you have about the person you want to chat with. Sometimes you can search by name, but if they already have a username set up, that’s the easiest way to find the right account. Keep in mind that he/she has to have the same program installed as you do with an account set up also.
  7. After you “add a contact”, and that person as an account set up, you can start a call! The name of the person will show up in your Contacts list on the left. Just click on the name and then click on the green “Video Call” button. This will initiate the call to the other person. The other person will need to be online with Skype on his/her computer.
  8. Once the other person accepts the call you will see their video screen and yours also in a smaller size. yay!
  9. You can also chat with text below the videos screens by clicking on the little blue callout icon from the bar that appears below the video screen of your contact.

We hope you have as much fun with this as we do! Let us know how it works out for you!