How families connect, kids learn and friends communicate while social distancing

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It’s a socially distant world right now and we’re just trying to live in it. During such an uncertain time, connecting with others can be difficult. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be and how you can connect with others, help your kids stay engaged with learning and keep yourself safe.

How do I connect to family and friends?

While you’re not physically together you can use these platforms to stay connected to family and friends from your home. Set up time to do the same workout on your favorite app or get online and watch a movie together at the same time. Check out two of the many ways to connect.

Netflix Party: The way to watch movies with friends

DescriptionMiss binge watching Netflix with friends? Now you don’t have to with Netflix Party. It allows you and your friends to watch Netflix at the same time with synchronized video playback and added group chat to your favorite shows and movies. Host movie night from the comfort of your respective homes.
AvailabilityOnly available on Chrome browser on desktop or laptop computers.
DifficultyAdvanced
CostFree to Download
1 month free trial
Netflix subscription starts at $8.99/mo.

Houseparty: Video chat with friends

DescriptionHouseparty makes seeing your friends easy. The social networking app sends you a notification when friends are on the app and ready to video chat. Join the room and hangout with up to eight friends at once. Create as many rooms you want and float between them to visit all your friends. Plays games with your friends like Heads Up! for more fun.
AvailabilityGet it on any device – PC, Mac, iOS, Android
DifficultyIntermediate
CostFree to download

How can I keep my kids connected to learn and play?

If you’re looking for apps for your kids to use while they’re at home, take a look at this roundup. They take the cake for being kid-friendly during playtime and while they learn. Parents, want more resources? Check out these 10 tips for teaching from home.

Khan Academy: The student resource tool

DescriptionKhan Academy is the perfect online learning tool for students of any age. The app provides a wide array of free resources  including daily learning schedules, quizzes and tests and is available in over 40 languages. Teachers can sign up for a free account to teach their students on the platform. The learning doesn’t end.
AvailabilityGet it on PC, Mac, iOS, Android
DifficultyDownload in 1 to 2 steps
CostFree to download and use.
Donations accepted

Roblox: Learning is fun

DescriptionThis app is putting the fun back into learning. Their mission is to bring the world together through play allowing kids to play, create and use their imagination through shared 3D experiences. What makes it so great is it urges kids of all ages to become creators. Chat with friends in virtual rooms, build the tallest buildings and create your very own theme park on Roblox.
AvailabilityGet it on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Devices, Xbox One, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
DifficultyDownload in 1 to 2 steps
CostFree to download
In-app purchases

What Senior-friendly apps are out there?

Being in a tech-driven world may seem daunting, especially during this time of isolation, so we want to change that perception. Let’s keep you connected with senior-friendly apps that help you do everyday tasks and enjoy family and friends from a distance.

Zoom: Connect with family and friends

DescriptionNeed to see a familiar face? Use Zoom to connect with family and friends. Make sure they have an account to video call them with ease. Connect with multiple people at once for a fun group gathering. Call in via smartphone or desktop to see the ones you love during this secluded time.
AvailabilityGet it on PC, Mac, iOS, Android
DifficultyDownload in a few steps
CostFree to download
Premium access starts at $14.99/mo

Instacart: Order your essentials safely

DescriptionYou won’t go wrong with any grocery delivery app, especially under these circumstances. Instacart is a good option for new users. Get access to grocery stores and drugstores in your area to easily order your essentials. Enjoy fast delivery and quick customer service. Have dietary restrictions? They help with that too. Order your groceries straight to your door so you can stay safe at home. 
AvailabilityGet it on PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Difficulty1 to 2 steps to download
CostIn-store purchases
Delivery fee between $5.99-7.99
$149 membership includes free delivery

Try old-fashion communication

At the end of the day you can always call or text as a means of communication. Don’t forget to add emojis for an extra pop of fun. Better yet, write someone a letter. They’ll love the personal touch and it’s always exciting to see your name on some mail that isn’t a bill. 

Surprise loved ones with gifts from their favorite local stores. Supporting local businesses is crucial during this difficult time. Many of them offer online and delivery services so you still get those hometown products delivered to your doorstep.

Reach out and connect to others – it’s that easy.

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This post was written by the Beacon team.

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