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What Do I Need to Stay in Touch?

Parents don't have to feel like their child in college is so far away with these tools.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 06, 2010

What Do I Need to Stay in Touch?
Keeping in touch with your children is no easy thing. Rather, you have to have the latest tools on the technology market to combat the long distances and hectic schedules of your college kids. Fortunately, checking up on your child is easier than ever if you know what to buy: iPhone The iPhone isn’t just for the young…or the young at heart. Rather, it has many practical purposes, the first being that you’re able to better talk and see your kids. That’s right…see your kids. Apple recently unveiled its newest iPhone, complete with FaceTime. This new application allows you to video chat other new iPhone users with two built-in camera phones placed on the front and back of the phone. Additionally, you’re able to e-mail your children no matter where you are in the U.S. with the 3G network from the iPhone. It’s the network that provides a web connection no matter where you need to be.

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If you don’t have a family plan already, invest in one now. Ultimately, it’s the phone plan that will save you the most money. Verizon Wireless family plans start at just $80 a month, with the ability to add up to three additional lines for less than $10 a month. At AT&T, family plans start with two lines that cost $60 each a month and also come with the capability to add lines for just $10 a month. Make sure that your family plan offers long distance calling options as well as unlimited minutes between you and the rest of your family members. Bluetooth A Bluetooth earpiece allows you to talk on the phone for large chunks of time without straining your neck and shoulder muscles just to hold your phone in place while freeing up your hands as well. This makes it ideal for those Thursday evening phone dates you have scheduled with your son or daughter. Bluetooth actually sets up a wireless network all around you, which is how it is able to transfer your conversation from your phone to the earpiece.

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Webcam While the iPhone cameras are great for on-the-go, it’s beneficial to mount a webcam at home so you can Skype with your kids in their dorm room. You can find affordable webcams at BestBuy or any other electronics store. However, if you really want to save, try websites like Amazon or Overstock where you can purchase a webcam for as little as $3. Once you have the webcam, simply download any accompanying software, mount the camera, and plug it in.

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