Tech Connections

 

With all the new advancement in technology, there are some great options to improve your connections. The following 21 activities will have you exploring some of these great advancements! Each day has an activity, followed by some tech suggestions that you can use to do the activity or you can use one of your own.

 

A list of tech suggestions follow each activity idea.   

If it requires a FamilySearch account it will have a •   If it has a free trial or extras cost money it’ll have ^   •   If it cost money up front it’ll have a $

Jump ahead to the day you’d like to see.

Be sure to take the pre experiment survey before you start and come back and complete the post experiment survey when you are done.

Day 1

LET’S GET SOCIAL

Today, explore either a new social media platform or new ways to connect on the social media you are already on. Social media is a great way for you to make connections with your family. It’s a useful tool to discover new information about your family and connect with others researching the same people/areas as well. You can create a group just for a family line, become friends with distant cousins, or share stories and pictures! 

Pinterest: is an easy  place to collect not only everyday things but to organize your family history! You can create boards to have a visual of your ancestor’s life. Collect links to learn how to do family history. 

Instagram: Create an account to share family stories. Family stories don’t have to be long, Instagram is a perfect way to grab your families attention and share what you know! You can even explore your ancestors’ hometowns through using geotags! 

Facebook: Create a family gathering spot using Facebook Groups. Here you can share stories about your ancestors and ask your family what stories they know. Learn how to do family history or learn more about the areas your family lived in. 

Prixm: This social media app (Apple and Android) is focused on you documenting your life! It organizes your life into a story/timeline to share your story with those you want to share with. You can even add your ancestor’s stories to the storyline!

Blogs^: are a great way to share stories or pictures that you find of your family! Because they are searchable, they might even lead family to you!  

Tip: Create a digital family gathering spot. It’s a fun way to connect with family and share stories! You can do this on any social media platform. Watch this video (start watching at 32:55) for inspiration. Already created a gathering spot? Interact with your family today – ask a question or post a photo! 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

 

Day 2

LISTEN TO VINTAGE MUSIC

Today, create a playlist of music your parents or grandparents may have listened to when they were teens! Music is a universal language that is timeless! With technology, music is available more than ever. Bonus activity: learn a dance move they might have done.

YouTube: is a great place to listen to music and to learn new dance moves! You can create a playlist of music from the era you choose and share it on your private family channel.

Tik Tok: is a video sharing social media app. It is a fun place to learn new dance moves or even teach them to others!

Spotify^: is a music database where you can listen to music and create playlists to listen to over and over and share with family. 

Pandora^: is a music database where you can put in a song, a decade, or a genre of music and listen to songs within that theme. You can like a song to tailor your station to your liking. 

Amazon Music$: is a music database where you can listen to music and create playlists to listen to over and over and share with family.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

 

Day 3

DISCOVER THEIR EXPERIENCES

Today, find a story about an ancestor or family member you didn’t know before. Stories are a great connector! They connect people with shared emotions and experiences. They show people how similar we all are. Below are ways you can find stories already written about your family.

All the Stories*: is a program that will pull stories and memories from your FamilySearch tree and compile them in one spot for you. 

FamilySearch Memories*: This website and app are a great place to keep your memories of your family ancestors! These memories can be in the form of photos, documents, voice and stories. 

FamilySearch Fan Views*: When viewing your tree on FamilySearch you can change the view to fan chart then see who has stories!

Tip: Does reading these stories bring other stories to your mind? Add them so others can read them.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

 

Day 4

Game time

Today play a game of your choice with a family member (Virtually if you live far apart) or by yourself to find out what you know about your ancestors. Who doesn’t like playing games? Games are a great way to connect with others or find out about your ancestors! Use your family gathering place on social media to coordinate playing with others. 

BYU Tech lab* has come up with a handful of fun games you can play on your computer to learn about your ancestors including (Geneopardy, Wheel of Family Fortune, etc.)

Buzzer apps: Apps that allow you and your family to play other offline games online or across zoom. 

Youthdownloads^: This site has free downloadable powerpoint games you can play on Zoom!

Among Us^: “…an online multiplayer social deduction game” This app is free to download but there are some in-app purchases.

Codenames^: A great group game. This two team guessing game can be played in person with cards or online. Playing online is free.

Jack Box Games$: is a collection of party games that can be played in person or on Zoom or on another streaming app.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 5

HOST A STORYTIME

Today, share a story with a family member using one of the following video apps or your preferred video app. Family storytime is an excellent way to bring family closer together; especially, when there’s been so much time apart. You could read a picture book to the younger generation, share a family story by acting it out, creating a cartoon, or making a video; or tell a story about yourself. Challenge one of your family members to share a story too.

YouTube: is a place to share your videos! You can set up a private channel and invite just your family to view it. Encourage others to share their stories on video to put on your family channel. 

Snapchat: is a video messaging app. You can video the special moments in your life and share them with friends and family. Share quick stories or ask your family members a question so they can answer in a quick video.

Facebook: Live events are a fun way to stream a video on Facebook. You can share stories with your family and as they watch they can interact and participate by making comments. These videos will stay in the group unless you delete them. (You can also try out Facebook Rooms!)

Zoom^: is a video conference app. Meet with your family and catch up on what’s going on, share family stories, or have a family story time/show and tell.

Marco Polo $: is a walkie talkie video app. The app is free to download and the basic services are free but there are in-app purchases.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 6

TRAVEL THROUGH TIME

Today, create a simple electronic time capsule to open at the end of the year. Time capsules are so fun to open up years later and realize how much things have changed! There are lots of ways you can create an electronic time capsule. Be sure to include: What technology you use now (Screenshot your phone screen), a photo of you and/or your family, the major headlines that are affecting you, a letter to yourself, and a 2021 bucket list.

 

Virtual Time Capsule: This website will email your time capsule to you or someone else. 

 

Time hop: This app collects photos and posts from some social media platforms to compile what happened in the past for you.

 

Facebook Memories: collects your posts, videos and photos from Facebook from the past and displays them for you.

 

Google photos^: is digital storage for your photos. Google’s Featured Memories tool will display photos taken “on this day” in past years. 

 

Google Drive^: is a digital file storage site. You can create password protected links to share with others.

 

Dropbox$: is a digital file storage site. You can create password protected links to share with others and you can set an open date too.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 7

Gen Z day 7

ALL ABOUT MYSELFIE

Today, learn something new about you! Discover all sorts of fun things about you, your name and what happened the year you were born using these programs listed below. Involve your family and see what you can discover together. 

 

All About Me An interactive page that tells you where your name is from, what songs were popular when you were born and when you were a teenager. Learn who won sporting events the year you were born and much more! 

 

Birthday Calculator: This calculator will tell you exactly how old you are, what day of the week you were born, how old you would be as different animals, how many times your body has probably done things like laughing and more!

 

The People History:  This is a website that has gathered information about “historical events, popular culture, music, fashion, toys, sports, and much more.” Find out what was going on when you were born.

 

Pop Culture #1: This website can tell you what the #1 song, book, and other things were the day you were born.

 

TIP: Be sure to create an awesome MEME to share with your friends and family about the facts you discover https://connections-experiment.com/mmm/.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 8

EXPLORE YOUR TREE

Today, discover something new about your tree and ancestors by viewing your tree on these different platforms. Viewing your tree through different filters or lenses can bring out characteristics that maybe you hadn’t thought about. There are many programs that take the same pieces of information and shows it to you differently. 

FamilySearch Fan Views:*  When exploring your tree on FamilySearch you can change the view to “fan chart”. In this view, you can see which birth countries your ancestors are from; how many sources, stories, and photos your ancestors have; or what research helps are available.

BYU Tech Lab: Different activities that students from BYU put together. They have a few different tree view programs: Virtual Pedigree*: a fluid way to look at your tree; Pedigree Pie*: shows where in the world your ancestors came from; and One Page Genealogy: see up to 20 generations on one page.

Puzzilla*^: is a program that helps you find new research opportunities. You can see your ancestor tree or you can see an ancestor’s descendants “tree”. Explore using this tool helps you see which families might not be complete.

Clanview^: Fix printing problems with Clanview, one of our previous partners. As you gather your family history, use Clanview at any time to quickly transform your data into a ‘published’ 3D family tree you can show your family.  It’s instant, interactive and private. Simply visit the Clanview Free page and sign-up for an online account – it only takes 30 seconds.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

 

Day 9

DOCUMENT YOUR LIFE

Today, decide what app or program you’d like to use to document your life and document your day. Your life is amazing and worth documenting! It’s not hard if you use one of the programs or apps below. Getting it done as it happens makes it so much easier than having to remember what happened. 

 

Prixm: This social media app is focused on you documenting your life. It organizes your life into a story/timeline and shares your story with who you want. 

 

Project Life App^: The Project Life app allows you to document your life through designing journal and scrapbook pages on your mobile device wherever you are. The app is free, additional decorative elements, layouts and printing services are available for purchase. 

 

Rhonna Designs^: Rhonna Design app allows you to document your life through scrapbook pages on your mobile device wherever you are. The app is free, additional decorative elements, layouts and printing services are available for purchase. 

 

Day One^: A personal journaling app, where you can document your story with words, pictures, videos, drawings and/or audio. 

 

1 Second Everyday^: This app allows you to record one second of everyday then creates a chronological video of those clips. 

Your Phone: use your phone to video or take a picture. Compile all your videos for a video journal!

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 10

PARTY TIME

Today, find out which ancestors are having a birthday this month and throw a party for them. Always looking for an excuse to eat some cake? Have cake and ice cream, sing, “Happy Birthday,” and share what you know about your ancestors!  

 

Calendar of Ancestor Moments*: FamilySearch collects all the important dates from your tree and lists them for you in order. 

 

BYU Family Calendar*: This program creates a customizable calendar for you to import to the calendar program of your choice.

Google Calendar: You may want to create a birthday calendar of the birthdays of your deceased ancestors so you can celebrate them all!

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 11

UNCOVER HISTORY

Today, uncover a family member’s story by asking a family member to tell you a story. Or you can pick someone in your family and write down a story you know about them. Everyone has a story and you don’t know everyone’s story! With permission, make sure you document what you uncover on social media or where you keep your stories. 

FamilySearch Memories app*: Through this app you can voice record short stories! You can also type up stories and include pictures. 

Social Media: Online family gathering places are untapped places to uncover the history of your family members. Ask family members for stories about their youth, that one time they got in trouble, family reunions, how they fell in love, what food they remember eating at grandmas, etc. You’ll be surprised what you learn! Ask about what cousins remember about your grandparents, what they learned from them, what stories they told them about their youth, etc. 

Collectionaire^: Our partner in October 2020, Collectionaire is a place to gather and share your family’s memories and stories in a family archive.

Narritivo$: Our partner in October 2020, Narritivo will help you document your loved one’s story with professional equipment and video editing!  

StoryWorth$ Storyworth.com is a subscription service that will weekly email a story prompt to the person you designate (Think parent or grandparent) When the storyteller answers the question, the response is sent to as many recipients as you designate. (think siblings and grandchildren) At the end of the year the responses are sent to you in a  compiled hardcover book.    

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 12

COLOR THEIR WORLD

Today, add color to one of your family’s black and white photos! Adding color to black and white photos brings the photo to life! It can help you connect to the person in the photo when you realize they didn’t live in a black and white world. 

 

Play Back- Colorize Photo: is an easy to use program that can turn your black and white photos into photos bursting with color!

 

MyHeritage in color^: is an easy to use program that can turn your black and white photos into photos bursting with color!

 

Bonus activities: Compare-a-Face: This program compares your face with your ancestors’ photo.

Make My Meme: Create a fun meme with some of your photos to share how you have connected with family.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 13

FILL IN THE BLANK

Today, create a story or find an interesting fact about an ancestor’s experience you may not have known before. It’s hard when stories aren’t written down by ancestors and are lost to time and death. You can feel disconnected from your family without stories. You can still create a story about their lives with what you know and the programs below. 

Google Earth: using Google Earth Projects you can create a map of your ancestors or family member’s life.

 

HistoryLines^: is a program that combines what you know about an ancestor and combines that with history to create a narrative for you about what your ancestors life probably looked like.

 

Treasured Team^: Create a virtual 3d museum all about your ancestor! You get to be the curator and only include what stories or items you want included in their display. 

Enwoven^: Share your ancestors’ stories using this incredible story sharing app including tools like timelines, maps, photos and audio uploads in a free web based project that can be shared easily via link.

Adobe Spark^: Create a beautiful webpage of your ancestors story with easy to share links. It’s a great way to share their story and all that you are learning about your family with your family!

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

 

Day 14

ARE WE RELATED?

Today, find a new person you didn’t know you were related to! It can be a friend or a person in history. Finding out you are related to someone else is an instant connection. It makes history come alive since you have a connection to someone who experienced it! These are ways you can discover new connections! 

Relative Finder*- compares two trees on FamilySearch to see where they connect. You can create a group to compare your tree to your friends or explore the trees they already have on the site or input a FamilySearch ID number to see how you are related to someone who is deceased. In fact, you can see how you are related to those also doing this experiment by joining the group: Connections-Experiment

Relatives Around Me*:  When you are around someone who has a tree on FamilySearch you can use the Relatives Around Me option in the FamilySearch App to find out how you are related to them. This is a great activity for big groups!

DNA services$: You can find out how you are related to someone by doing a DNA kit. DNA kits compare your DNA to other DNA in the company’s database, the more you have in common the closer you are related. (We will be having a whole month focused on DNA later this year! Get tested now to take advantage of the help!)

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 15

BE A VIDEO PRODUCER

Today, create a simple video telling a short family story. Videos are such a fun way to connect with your family! You can share videos you already have from the past, make some new videos to share, create a video about a family story or share a video of an interview. Make sure to share it with family! 

 

Animoto^: A video editing software with templates for you to add your photos and video clips in.

 

Adobe Spark^: A video editing software with templates for you to add your photos and video clips in.

 

iMovie^: A video editing software on Apple products with templates for you to add your photos and video clips in.

 

Vimeo^: A video editing software with templates for you to add your photos and video clips in. 

KineMaster^: a great app for editing videos on your phone. It also doesn’t create heavy files for you to export!

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 16

PUT YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE

Today, create a timeline with at least 6 major events in your life. Timelines are a great way to record the important events that happen in your life. They also help make sure you have the right dates for important events. It’s fun to see your life displayed like this. You can add in events from your family’s life too. 

 

Twile: is a program you can use to create a timeline of your life and your family member’s life. They prompt you on what milestones and events to add to your timeline. You can add photos to your events too.

 

Horizontal Timeline Generator: is a program that will allow you to make a simple horizontal timeline with up to 6 events.

 

Prixm: This social media app that organizes your life into a story/timeline and shares your story with who you want.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 17

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE

Today, learn to count to ten in a language your ancestors spoke. Technology has made learning a foreign language easier to learn. 

 

YouTube: is a great place to learn a foreign language for free! There are lots of videos to teach you so many different languages. The videos teach you in different ways so you’re sure to find a way for you to learn.

 

Duolingo^: is an app that is a fun way to learn a foreign language a little bit a day! 

 

TalkBox.Mom$: is an in-home learning experience for your whole family! Learn a foreign language the same way you learned your primary language. 

Rosetta Stone$: is a full learning experience to learn a foreign language.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 18

DECIPHER ANCIENT RECORDS

Today, decipher at least one ancient document. One way to help old documents become searchable is through indexing. This is when you read the words written on an old document and type it into a form that makes it searchable.

 

Reverse indexing: Reverse Indexing is where you teach the computer to read handwriting.

 

FamilySearch Indexing*: is a program where you type into a form what you read in a document.

 

FamilySearch Improve Places:

 

FamilySearch hints*: When a document has been indexed, a computer can compare that information to your tree. When the information matches up between your tree and the record it produces a record hint. This document is likely to be your ancestor, check it out and attach it if it is your ancestor. 

 

Ancestry Leaf $: When a document has been indexed, a computer can compare that information to your tree. When the information matches up between your tree and the record it produces a leaf (hint). This document is likely to be your ancestor, check it out and attach it if it is your ancestor. 

 

BYU records lab: BYU students are looking for ways to auto-index documents. You can help them by volunteering for one of their projects.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 19

DIGITIZE A FAMILY HEIRLOOM

Today, digitize a family heirloom you have by taking a picture of it and writing it’s story. An heirloom is an item that once belonged to an ancestor or family member or reminds you of a loved one. In it’s story make sure to include: Who it belonged to or why it reminds you of someone? How old is it? What does it do? 

Connections MMM: We have created a meme for you to document your family heirloom with! Personalize and share your meme with friends and family!

FamilySearch Memories*: This website and app are a great place to keep your memories of your family heirlooms! These memories can be in the form of photos, documents, voice recordings and stories. 

Social Media: Is a great place to share your family heirloom memories with family. Challenge family members to share theirs!

Blog^: is a great place to share your family heirloom memories!

ShotBox$: Our partner in October 2020, Shotbox provides a way for you to use your phone as a scanner or helps you take professional pictures of your heirlooms.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 20

EXPLORE THEIR WORLD

Today, virtually travel somewhere in the world. Plan a trip to your homeland. A homeland is where your family story started. Look up where your ancestor lived. How far away is it from you? How long would it take you to get there? 

 

Google Earth: You can use Google Earth to visit the countries your ancestors were from. Look up their birth town and “walk” the modern streets they walked.  

 

Where am I from?*: FamilySearch put together for you a way to explore your homelands. You can see where your family is from in different ways!

 

Roots Mapper *: this program maps out the birth locations of your ancestors

Online Tours^: Search for virtual tours in the homeland you are visiting today.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

Day 21

EXPAND YOUR MIND

Today, learn something new. Learning new things has become so much easier with technology! The whole world is open to you. 

 

RootsTech Connect: RootsTech is the largest Genealogical conference in the world and The 21 Day Family Connections Experiment will be there sharing our ideas, classes, and resources, best of all, this year it’s free!!! Classes of all learning abilities will be presented February 25-27. Sign up today and make sure you watch to learn something new!

 

The Family History Guide: is an excellent resource for quick tutorials and how tos for any genealogist novice to advance.

 

YouTube: is a place to learn new things. You can learn how to find an ancestor, how to set up a family gathering place on social media, how to find records about your ancestors or just about anything you can think of!

Legacy Family Tree Webinars^: is a collection of webinars to teach you about doing family history! Webinars are free for a short time or you can buy a subscription to view past webinars.

 

* Requires a FamilySearch account
^ Free trial or extras cost money 
$ Costs money up front

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