2020 Graduates Can Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card
May 14, 2020 | 2:09PM
You could win a $25 Amazon gift card! All you have to do is send a picture of yourself to email@example.com. Your picture will be featured on our Facebook page and one lucky graduate will win a gift card every Wednesday from May 20th until June 24th! This is a random drawing. By sending us your photo, you have agreed to let us display it on our Facebook page.
Beware of Computer Scams
May 4, 2020 | 10:47AM
While we’re all staying home, don’t forget about the dangers you might find indoors on your computer. During the spread of coronavirus, there has been an increase in online attacks, like people trying to get your personal information or spreading malware and electronic viruses. Be extra careful about the emails you receive, consider changing your passwords, and don’t click on links or attachments unless you know where they came from. Stay safe, everyone!
Remote Learning Resources for Parents & Educators
April 28, 2020 | 10:38AM
|Check out these timely remote learning resources for parents and educators. Feel free to share wide and far w/ your k12 educators and parents to excite and support their stay at home learning during COVID19. Learn More|
Protect Yourself & Others; The CDC’s Guidelines for a Proper Mask
April 23, 2020 | 2:06PM
Your cloth face covering should:
✔️ Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils
✔️ Fit snugly against the sides of the face
✔️ Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through
✔️ Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape
Do not buy surgical masks to use as a face covering. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders. Many items you may already have in your home can be used to create face coverings.
Try creating a cloth face covering using bandanas, ski masks, washable napkins, or dish towels.
Learn more here.
Reading at Home
April 22, 2020 | 10:56AM
Parents, if you’re looking for something fun to do with your small children while you’re all at home, try this: stream videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Watch Videos
Apps to Stay Active
April 21, 2020 | 9:17AM
With gyms closed and our normal routines thrown out the window, free apps can provide a degree of routine. Now is the perfect time to consider ways to take of yourself in this stressful period. There are many apps to help with setting routines, reducing anxiety and monitoring fitness. This is not intended to be an endorsement of those nor an exhaustive list. Your wellbeing and the health of our team is our utmost priority. To that end, we collected a few popular choices out there.
- MapMyFitness and MapMyWalk – both offer free versions or a premium ad-free paid service to track over 600 activities, your distance, your pace, calories burned while mapping out the area you are exploring.
- Headspace – normally subscription-based, this app is offering a free service right now. Look for the Weathering the Storm collection, which includes meditations, soothing sleep music and exercises. The site also features articles on topics like anxiety, sleep, meditation, and healthy living.
- Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout – Designed for workouts anywhere in seven minutes, this app features routines for every level from beginner on.
- Yoga for Beginners – This app offers yoga videos that are suited for beginners. Instruction cover both poses and breath work. For those short on time, 5-Minute Yoga Workouts offers a simple description, picture, and minute-long countdown for holding each pose. You get a new set each time you open the app.
- Charity Miles – Use this app to log miles running, walking or bicycling and corporate sponsors donate 10 to 25 cents per mile to a nonprofit. Organizations supported range from Wounded Warrior Project to Habitat for Humanity, among others.
Fresh Air During Quarantine
April 16, 2020 | 1:27PM
As the daylight hours grow longer and our days sheltering in home to beat COVID-19 continue, we put together this list of things to do outside, bearing in mind to take proper social distancing precautions! The fresh air may do you some good.
We know that our area is full of beautiful outdoor opportunities and scenic drives. This list certainly isn’t intended to capture an exhaustive list. We’d love to hear what your favorite spots are to get some fresh air and exercise.
Savannah River Scenic Byway Take a drive along a portion of the Savannah River Scenic Byway. While the entire route spans 2700 miles of shoreline along lakes Hartwell, Russell, and Thurmond, pick a section, roll down the windows and cruise.
Parson’s Mountain Recreational Area, Sumter National Forest Enjoy boating, paddling, fishing and picnicking at the lake, as well as biking, hiking, and birdwatching. Check out the lookout tower and a 4-mile loop trail, perfect for hiking and biking.
Long Cane Horse Trail Not just for horses, this hiking and biking trail is a 26.7-mile loop through woods, over creeks and the original Charleston Road built in 1825.
Cambridge Gateway Trail This trail is nearly one-mile long between the American Legion building and Greenwood Country Club. It is open to walkers and bikers. Visit the South Carolina trails website to find other trails.
Heritage Trail This 2.7-mile paved trail begins in downtown Greenwood on Main Street and ends near Florida Avenue. It is open to walkers and bikers.
Savannah Valley Railroad Trail This trail is offers nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking, located northwest of McCormick.
State Parks – currently closed until April 30 While state parks are currently closed until April 30, please check the South Carolina State Parks website for future opening dates and make a plan to enjoy the fresh air at these three state parks:
- Baker Creek State Park
- Hickory Knob State Park
- Lake Greenwood State Park
- Calhoun Falls State Park
Ways to Support Local Businesses
April 14, 2020 | 2:49PM
Many businesses are having to change how they operate. From those businesses that rely heavily on foot traffic, moving to a curbside service or online platform is daunting. We have the opportunity to support these local companies with our business. The blessings of doing so will provide some great purchases for you and ensure that these local companies have a fair shot of returning to normal.
Here are few ways you can contribute to the local economy and come across some golden finds!
- Check websites and social media pages for details on what your favorite places are doing, including hours and any special instructions. For example, some businesses have closed their inside areas but are offering curbside service, delivery or drive-thru – and that’s not just for restaurants. For restaurants, check online for a menu and consider placing your order by phone to save on wait times for carryout.
- Check to see if your favorite businesses that don’t offer a “to go” service are offering an online option. Many therapists, tutors, yoga, personal trainers, financial planners and others are offering online consulting. Some art and music instructors are offering online classes too.
- Consider if you can buy locally before ordering online from outside the community. If a favorite shop does not have a robust online ordering, reach out to them by phone or message to see if they are able to provide your favorites. Many businesses were unprepared for a no-foot-traffic environment and left scrambling to react.
- Sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) or reach out to local farms that normally would sell their produce at the farmers markets. Those farms may be able to deliver or provide a carryout option for fresh local produce. It is strawberry season….
- Like coffee or tea? Consider purchasing coffee beans from your local coffee shop as a way to get your caffeine fix. They will probably grind them up fresh and ship them to you if you call and ask. Main Street Coffee Company is offering delivery (within 5 miles) and curbside pickup of whole bean or ground House, Espresso, Decaf, Kenyan and Honduran.
- For waitstaff who depend on tips for a good portion of their wages, consider a larger tip for curbside service or delivery, if you are able.
- For businesses that are not able to provide their services today, such as hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, etc, consider purchasing a gift card for later use. They can use those funds now to keep afloat and be ready to serve you when we are back to “normal.”
- Spread the word. Share with your friends and neighbors about what is available from local businesses. Leave a great review about a local business. Share on social media about that great meal or that beautiful flower arrangement you picked up curbside.
- Visit local chamber and city websites for news on local businesses. For example, the City of Abbeville put together this list of hours and status of many businesses.
Stay Ready, Even Indoors
April 9, 2020 | 10:52AM
Many of us are spending more time than normal on our screens, whether we are working from home, homeschooling our children, or binge-watching our favorite shows to help pass the time indoors. While COVID-19 has many of us staying home to help save lives, unfortunately it’s not only outdoors that we need to take care.
Scammers and hackers are taking this opportunity—while the country is vulnerable—to launch new phishing and malware attacks. Phishing is when people try to get you to give them sensitive information, like social security numbers, credit card numbers, and so on. Malware is a program that can get into your computer and damage files, delete them, or give your computer a virus. Here are some things you can do to stay vigilant while you’re on your computer more than usual:
- Don’t open that attachment or click that link. If you don’t recognize the person who sent the email, don’t click on an attachment or link. Even if you do recognize the sender, if there is no personal information in the email, don’t click. You might receive an email that says “Look at this” along with a link or an attachment. Only open attachments or click on links if they are clearly from someone you know. If you’re unsure, call the person to verify.
- Watch out for pop-ups. If a pop-up appears on your computer or phone that sounds too good to be true, it is. Pop-ups promising that you have won something or saying there’s a problem on your computer should be treated with skepticism.
- Don’t fall for a scam. There is no prince in Nigeria who will give you seven million dollars. If you receive a message from a loved one who says they have been kidnapped and need money immediately, take a deep breath and call the person to check before you do anything else. Never give out personal information—bank account or credit card information, social security number, etc.—unless you are certain it is going to the right place.
- Use a strong password. Just about every safety checklist starts with this simple tip. When you create a password, make sure it is nearly impossible to guess. Do that by creating a long password (8 or more characters) that includes both uppercase and lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one special character (like ! or @ or $ or %).
- Double check the address. If you get to a website asking you to download something or input information, check the web address to be sure. If you see a trusted website, like amazon.com, then you’re okay. But if you see something like amazon.134870xkajg.com, that’s a scam. The word or phrase next to the “.com” is the real owner of the site, so smile.amazon.com is really Amazon but the previous example (amazon.134870xkajg.com) is not. This advice applies to email addresses, too.A common email scam is an email that appears to be from a coworker saying, “Can you please open this attachment and print it for me?” Your coworker’s name may be there, but the email address will be wrong.
Unfortunately, some people are taking this vulnerable time to exploit people. Stay vigilant and you’ll be fine. If you have questions about something you think may be a scam, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health
April 8, 2020 | 10:56AM
Working from home and social distancing can be hard. Maintaining your mental health is important for creativity, productivity, and your overall well-being. Check out this list of ways to support your mental health during COVID-19. We like the idea of getting out in nature and reaching out to venerable neighbors.
Burnout Isn’t Just in Your Head, It’s in Your Circumstances
April 7, 2020 | 3:52PM
We can fight emotional exhaustion by decreasing demands, increasing support and enhancing control. Click here to see The New York Times article about how you can take control of your burnout and how to help get rid of it.
Connected, Even at Home
April 1, 2020 | 1:52PM
As the world faces COVID-19 and we, as a nation and a community, work together to prevent its spread, the federal and state government as well as the CDC recommend staying at home if at all possible. Thank you for your commitment to helping us all stay healthy. Here is WCTEL’s guide to staying connected at home.
Working from home
If you have a job that allows you to work from home, you’re probably already working there. Here are some best practices for working from home:
- Work in a space separate from the rest of your house. To concentrate on work, you need a space to work that is set apart from the normal bustle of home life. While family members, pets, TV, and other people and things are a part of your day-to-day life, they will probably make it harder to get work done. Ideally, your home office has a door that shuts—maybe even locks.
- Use a high-speed internet connection. As a WCTEL customer, that won’t be a problem. If you’re working wirelessly, don’t forget these wireless router tips:
- Place the router away from metal, thick walls, or major appliances
- Put the router the main floor of your house
- Make sure your router is able to handle high speeds
- Take breaks. At home, you may be sitting for longer periods that you normally would at work. Get up, take a walk, spend a few minutes with your family. Especially during this uncertain time, maintaining connection and taking time for your emotional health is vital.
Learning from home
If you have children and who are at home right now, there are many ways they can continue to learn online—no matter their age. Here are some helpful resources for helping kids learn at home:
- For younger children:
- Each day since COVID-19 shut schools across the country, children’s author Mo Willems has held a short (about 20 minutes) drawing class live on YouTube. You can connect to it here: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/
- BrainPop offers all kinds of educational programs for small children. Visit them at https://jr.brainpop.com
- NASA has all kinds of online activities for kids in the NASA Kids Club: https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html
- For older kids and teenagers:
- If your child studies a foreign language in school, they can keep their skills up on DuoLingo, which offers free language instruction in dozens of languages: https://www.duolingo.com
- Your child may want to keep a journal of their time at home. They can practice better writing skills by using Grammarly’s free writing help: https://www.grammarly.com
- Let your kids explore TED Talks (https://www.ted.com/talks) or take a course on Lynda (https://www.lynda.com) to learn more about a topic they’re already interested in.
Playing from home
Your internet connection puts a world of entertainment options at your fingertips, even when you’re stuck inside. Many services are streaming movies that would normally be in theaters right now. Others are offering discounts or free service for people who have lost their jobs. This is the time to make sure you have a streaming service to help you stay sane. Here are some of the most popular:
- Netflix. The first is still one of the most popular. Netflix provides movies and TV series to stream, with content varying over time. Netflix is also known for its original content, including popular shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Stranger Things. Netflix costs between $8.99-$15.99 per month.
- Hulu. Hulu focuses on the latest broadcast television episodes, as well as their own original content. Hulu costs between $5.99-$12.99 per month. Hulu also offers a service that lets you stream about 60 channels of live TV, and costs $54.99 per month.
- YouTube TV. As long as we’re talking about live TV… YouTube offers one of the most comprehensive streaming services for live television. It offers more than 70 channels of content, including local channels that vary depending on your location. YouTube TV costs $49.99 per month.
- Sling TV. Sling TV is another offering that lets you watch live TV. Sling has two separate packages—Sling Orange (30+ channels, $20) and Sling Blue (45+ channels, $30)—with different channel lineups.
- Amazon Prime Video. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video offers movies and TV shows, as well as some original content. The service comes free for users who already have Amazon Prime, or $8.99 per month if you just want the video service.
Most of us have more time at home right now than we expected. Whether you’re working at home, learning at home, playing at home, or some combination of the three, we’re here to support you every step of the way.
Creative Ways to use the Internet to Connect
March 31, 2020 | 2:40PM
Behind it all, there’s the internet
Before COVID-19 hit so close to home, the internet generally seemed like a handy tool. Depending on your job or interests, the world wide web might not have been something you gave any thought to. The internet was just there.
Now, as we practice social distancing, that “handy tool” may be becoming a central part of our lives. While it certainly cannot replace good old-fashioned conversations at the neighborhood bakery or hands-on learning in the classroom, it does have the ability to keep us connected in many ways. And let’s face it, generally, we are social beings. The internet provides that outlet.
Here’s a handful of creative ways people are using their internet connection to connect:
- Chef Michael Symon is offering daily dinner tutorials via the Food Network Kitchen’s Facebook page. Each video also features a link to the recipe. https://www.facebook.com/FoodNetworkKitchen
- Musical groups are streaming live “virtual” shows. NPR compiled this list, sorted by date and then genre. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/17/816504058/a-list-of-live-virtual-concerts-to-watch-during-the-coronavirus-shutdown
- Artist at Heart Paint Party is using Facebook Live daily at 12 pm to teach free art classes. Previous daily videos are stored under “Videos.” https://www.facebook.com/ArtistAtHeartPaintParty/
- People are watching Netflix content together through Netflix Party. The service syncs up the streaming playback at different locations and includes group chat so you can comment as if you’re in the room together. https://www.netflixparty.com/
- Museums and parks are offering free virtual tours. Southern Living compiled a guide. https://www.southernliving.com/syndication/museums-with-virtual-tours
- Many gyms and other fitness outlets are offering free online classes and daily physical challenges. Planet Fitness is offering free classes on Facebook Live at 7 pm for anyone. https://www.facebook.com/planetfitness.
We want to make sure you are having the best experience with your internet. Feel free to give us a call to troubleshoot issues you may be having with WiFi or to increase your bandwidth as your needs grow during this time. We’re in it together.
Cleanliness is Next to Godliness
March 30, 2020 | 10:22AM
Did you know your cell phone has 10x more germs than a toilet seat? So, while you’re washing your hands consider washing your phone too. Here is a handy article on some ways to go about disinfecting your phone.
Watch TV Everywhere
March 27, 2020 | 10:46AM
Looking for something to do while at home? Check out watchTVeverywhere for great movies and shows. (Eligibility: WCTEL/WCFIBER TV customers who subscribe to our Bronze/Silver TV packages)
- Go to: www.wtve.net
- Choose “West Carolina Communications” as your TV Provider.
- Click “Register”.
- You will need your account number and last name on your account to register.
- Activate your account by clicking on the link sent to your email address.
- Login to your account.
- Click on the TV Network you would like to watch. The networks available will depend on your subscribed TV package.
- You will be taken to the selected network’s website.
- You may have to sign in again with your TV Everywhere email address and password.
The Best Apps for Video Conferencing
March 26, 2020 | 8:45AM
The Coronavirus epidemic has slowed us all down, but that doesn’t mean life stops. With everyone staying in their homes, we have all had to get creative on how we normally do things. Conference calls are taking place in the living room, the dining room has become the kids’ classroom, and you can tune into your church worship service from your bed! But how are we doing all of this? Video conferencing! Video conferencing has taken the place of many of our face-to-face meetings and gatherings. Click on these links to see the best apps for video meetings. https://www.owllabs.com/blog/best-meeting-apps
Whether working-from-home, homeschooling, or virtual bible studies, all of these things can be done via your internet connection.
Work Hard, Play Hard
March 25, 2020 | 11:51AM
We hope this time for you working from home is safe and productive. And once you’re done working for the day, check out this list of shows to binge watch while stuck inside.
CDC on Coronavirus & Travel in the United States
March 24, 2020 | 9:16AM
Should I travel within the US?
CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.
Things to consider before travel:
- Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
- Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
- Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.
- Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
- Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.
Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.
WCTEL Ways to Pay Your Bill
March 23, 2020 | 1:21PM
There are many ways you can pay your bill without coming into the office or leaving the comfort of your home. Please rest assured that all methods are safe and secure.
24/7 Pay by phone | 888-813-2340 — Give us a call to pay your bill over the phone. We will verify your identity, confirm your monthly bill amount and proceed with payment options.
24/7 Online Bill Pay | wctel.smarthub.coop — Log in to your SmartHub account to pay your bill online. You can also manage your account 24/7, set up payments, check usage and much more. There is even an easy-to-use app you can download for FREE to your smartphone.
Setup bank draft — You can sign up for automatic bank draft by using your checking account’s routing and account numbers over the phone or with your Smarthub account. With this option, your monthly bill amount will be deducted from your bank each payment cycle. You never have to worry about missing a payment!
Pay by night drop — You are welcome to visit our nearest office to your home after hours without worry of personal contact or contamination. We have a night drop box located outside to serve you!
Smart Education Resources for At-Home Learning
March 20, 2020 | 8:30AM
As schools close their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19, many families across the country are making a rapid and unplanned switch to homeschooling—at least for the time being.
If you’re not sure where to begin with your child’s at-home education, check out these online homeschooling resources.
Programs for Getting Started
Homeschool.com is a comprehensive guide to homeschooling and offers online community support. You can access an array of resources and services, including free printable educational activities and worksheets.
An easy A-to-Z guide to homeschooling, The Homeschool Mom includes links to some of the best online resources. You have access to local programs, lesson plans, and other popular topics. This program also offers parent reviews of various homeschool curriculums.
Free Online Courses & Lesson Plans
You can find thousands of free online courses and lesson plans across many different subjects at Kahn Academy: Math, English, Science, Computer Programming, Art, History, Economics, and Finance, to name a few. Kahn has partnered with NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to provide specialized content.
TED-Ed is an extensive online video library that features cool animation paired with great educational content. Popular video topics include: “Does Time Exist?”, “History Through the Eyes of a Chicken”, “Can You Solve the Leonardo Da Vinci Riddle?” and “A Day in the Life of an Egyptian Doctor.”
Want to balance education and religious life? Try All-in-One
Homeschool. This free Christian homeschool
curriculum includes Reading, Math, Language Arts, Science, Bible, Computer,
Foreign Languages, History, Art, Music, and PE. You can customize your child’s
daily lessons based on their skill level and track their progress for each
Additional Free Online Resources by Subject
Math: Math Games, Corbett Math, Dreambox (free trial available), Math is Fun
Science: Exploratorium, NASA for Students, Steve Spangler Science, How to Smile
Reading and Language Arts: Project Gutenberg, Starfall, Read Write Think, Read Works
Whether you’re looking for a structured homeschooling curriculum or simply want some fun, interactive learning resources to keep your kids occupied throughout the coronavirus crisis, any of these digital resources can help.
Call WCTEL today to ensure you have the fast and reliable internet you need to power all of the smart, at-home education resources at your fingertips.
A Guide to Web Conferencing from Your Home Office
March 19, 2020 | 1:28PM
Has COVID-19 forced your office to go remote? Video conferencing is a great tool for staying connected, but planning your first online meeting can be pretty overwhelming. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In addition to fast, reliable internet from WCTEL, here are a few tips to help you plan successful web conferences.
Pick the Right Program
For smaller, in-house team meetings, you can test the video conferencing waters for free with platforms like join.me, CyberLink U, and Skype’s group video chat. When big pitches or high-stakes meetings are on the line, it may be worth investing in paid software instead. Topping the list of PC Magazine’s Best Video Conferencing Software are ClickMeeting, Zoom, and Webex. (Pro Tip: Even the paid software platforms often have free plans with limited capabilities, so compare the options to find the best one for your needs and budget.)
Get Good Video Conferencing Equipment
Your laptop’s built-in webcam might work, but you should consider using a camera with a resolution of 1080p and speed from 30 to 60 frames per second. Business Insider’s top choice is the Logitech C920. It’s an Amazon bestseller that you can purchase for $79.99. If you’re interested in ultra HD, Business Insider also recommends the Logitech Brio 4K. Even though it’s a bit pricey—offered at $199.00—you’ll see why people love Brio’s stunning 60-frames-per-second image quality.
Because audio is also important and you certainly don’t want any awkward “Can you hear me now?” moments, you’ll probably want to invest in a noise-canceling headset that delivers clear sound. Windows Central recommends the Plantronics Voyager, a wireless headset that’s compatible across PCs and mobile devices.
Stick to Your Routine
If you have a routine before getting to the office, stick to it. While the jammies are comfortable, it may help your mindset to get ready for the day in your usual way by looking and feeling a little more professional — even if that means just upgrading from pajamas to sweatpants or jeans to take on the day.
Be Mindful of Your Filming Area
Pay attention to lights, camera, and action. Unless you wish to appear as a spooky silhouette, follow these final tips:
- Position yourself in front of a light source with no illumination at your back.
- Natural light is best, but a lamp will do.
- Clear clutter from the background and look at the camera lens to convey eye contact.
- Keep body movements to a minimum.
Don’t Forget to Move
Set alarms to take 10 to 15 minutes to move, stretch, get fresh air and disconnect from tech. It’s easy to get caught up in work and remain stagnant all day.
Be Kind to Your Back
Don’t spend hours on your couch, recliner or bed. While it may be comfy, over the course of a day it can do damage to your spine and cause lower back pain. Use an office chair if you can, but any chair with a firm back is OK.
Make Sure Calls are Forwarded to Your Home or Cellphone
Make sure you aren’t missing anything by taking advantage of call forwarding!
Check Your Internet Package
Of course, all of your carefully-made web conferencing plans will be for nothing if your internet can’t power the technologies you need to make them happen.
Call WCTEL, at 864-446-2111, today to ensure your connection offers the strength and bandwidth you need to work and video conference from home without interruption.
These Free Apps Will Get Your Kids Moving
March 17, 2020 | 6:00PM
Are your kids falling prey to coronavirus cabin fever? We’re here to share four free apps (available for both iOS & Android) that can make at-home fitness fun and keep your family active in the weeks ahead.
1. Sworkit Kids
With customizable workouts for strength, agility, and flexibility, this app generates random exercises to get kids moving as they follow along with video tutorials. If your kids’ enthusiasm has you feeling inspired, join in the fun and download the original Sworkit fitness app, designed for teens and adults!
2. NFL PLAY 60
The American Heart Association and National Football League are on a mission to get your kids moving for 60 minutes or more every day, and this app is a great place to start. It features virtual experience challenges to get hearts pumping. Plus, users receive extra points for fun activities like going on a family walk or riding their bike. They can then use those points to unlock NFL gear and customize their in-app avatar—a great incentive to keep kids engaged and active.
Maybe you’ve seen the popular Just Dance game in arcades. Now, your kids can play it anytime and without a video game console. All you need is a smartphone and internet-connected screen to follow along with the choreography and dance to tons of popular music. Just be aware: Although the app is free, the number of free songs is limited, so your kids may ask to make some in-app purchases to keep the party going.
This next app is sure to be a hit with your older, zombie-loving kids and teens. Just pop in your headphones to turn any run (or walk) into an epic storytelling adventure and race to escape the living dead breathing down your neck. Encourage your kid to run for fun or even set a goal to participate in their first 5K! If you’re worried about your children running with headphones, consider taking them to a local track where you can watch or even join in to make memories as you sweat.
These apps are a great way to get your kids moving, but without high-speed internet, you may find downloading them is more of an exercise in frustration. Call WCTEL today to make sure you have the reliable connection you need to power your family throughout this coronavirus crisis and beyond.