Elevating to a New Normal

[San Juan Silver Stage | Winter 2020/2021 | Kathryn R. Burke]  

It’s been a tough — no, make that really rotten! year. And even with a promising vaccine distribution (in limited does that will help a small sector of the population by next summer), impending legislation (a day late and dollar short, unfortunately) to “save” small businesses (that have so far survived) and keep beleagured schools open in the face of Covid, and with a barely-accepted, imminent change of administration (that can’t stop disastrous, sometimes violent, political bickering and partisanship) … we are a LONG way from achieving well-being and economic stability.

About the only relief we’ve had—something that has helped keep us going and promises to continue doing so—is reliable, high-speed internet. It’s literally been a life-saver. With it, many of us can … virtually… conduct business, provide education, offer telemed services, as we try to establish a “new normal” in the most “un-normal” times the world has ever seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. Of course, we’ve also had to learn how to make it work…or follow the path of denizens of the Mesozoic era.

Nearly a year into Covid, what was now isn’t. We’re traveling along a one-way street to a new world. There’s no “going back to normal.” This IS (the new) normal now. Government mandates, lockstep obedience, social distancing, self-isolating, fear that determines fashion. Confusing news: mass media, social media, and politicians spreading mis- and dis-information, and truth as the reader/follower perceives it. Masks. A country divided: hate and political, religious, and ethnic divisiveness. An economy in disarray. Democracy threatened. Home schooling and working from home. A new vocabulary: Zooming, live-streaming, video-conferencing, virtual everything. Most of all, new habits learned from fear, followed without determining, understanding, or knowing supportive facts. Once learned, sensible or not, these new habits have become…the new normal. Twelve (or more) long months into Covid and there’s no “going back.” Instead, we are moving forward into an ever-changing world.

Hybrid Holiday Shopping

[December 2020. Written by Kathryn R. Burke] Interview with Becky Mashburn, Communications and Marketing Manager at Elevate Internet & DMEA.

Due to Covid & Isolation, there will be a lot more online holiday shopping this year. In this interview, KRB and BM discuss how how this might impact Internet service (it won’t) and what shoppers can do to help local businesses.

Mashburn says: “Online shopping will most certainly increase this year and we’ll be ready to support all our customers growing bandwidth needs, but what we really hope is this: Before you hit up Amazon, please shop local. Spend your dollars at downtown shops, local boutiques, and corner stores. The businesses that breathe life into our communities need your support. We’re proud to be counted among these local businesses and we are doubly proud to support the internet needs of those who have chosen Elevate.”  [Read more]

Elevating Virtual Education – update

[Winter 2020/2021. Interview with Becky Mashburn] Due to increasing Covid cases, more schools may have to switch to Virtual learning.  Students are struggling. Many teachers report working long hours and being exhausted from the combination of: lesson planning and class prep; learning new teaching methods; mastering digital technology that seems to be constantly evolving; teaching the actual lesson; learning new ways to interact with students and “read” their understanding of lessons when distanced and/or masked; and follow-up such as grading, reviewing, and working directly with students needing additional help.

This interview explores the impact on students and teachers, and how Elevate is helping both. [Read more.]

Education: How Do You Connect?

[Written by Kathryn R. Burke] Education today depends on cohesive connectivity within a school system and within each campus that is a part of it. To be truly effective, today’s new education model depends on cohesive connectivity within a school system and within each campus that is a part of it. We’re talking about a continuous, interactive internal and external digital dialogue.

Ideally, all physical units of a campus—classrooms, offices, and buildings—must experience real-time communication. The same applies to personnel: teachers, administrators, custodians, and security officers. This is collectively known as a “local area network” (LAN).

At optimum, the same rule would apply to all units (schools) and personnel that comprise the entire school system itself. Collectively, this is known as a “wide area network” (WAN).

[Learn more about how educational connectivity works.]

Seniors: You’re Never Too Old to Learn Something New

[Written by Eva Veitch] We have all heard it a thousand times; learning keeps you engaged, staying engaged keeps you young and relevant. In today’s tech world there are a million opportunities to learn new things….Learning new things can be somewhat intimidating especially when things like technology are involved. The older I get the harder it is, but I also realize that it is more important than ever if I want to maintain relationships co-workers and keep up with the younger people in my life. I want to understand what is important to my children and grandchildren and I want to be able to communicate with them. That requires keeping up on technology, so I have learned (mostly) how to use Google, E-mail, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Zoom, and a multitude of “Apps” that let me communicate online, shop, bank, take classes, and share information.

[Learn more here.]

Business: The New Business Model—We’ve All Gone Virtual

The Internet and Managing Your Business. [Written by Kathryn R. Burke] Today, we are living in a brand new world of business technology, and it’s evolving exponentially. Yesterday’s tomorrow is now tomorrow’s yesterday. The Covid Pandemic created pandemonium, and thanks to technology—specifically the Internet—we are finding a way to get through it and, hopefully, come out stronger because of it. There is a lot of good information out there, and unfortunately, “too much” information out there. [Learn how to mange it.]

Connecting from a Distance with Elevate. [Written by Karen Prather] Business owners and their teams must think creatively to continue collaborating and achieving their goals to maintain financial security while preventing the spread of illness. Video conferences, remote file transfers, and phone calls help us stay safe and employed, but for individuals lacking a high-speed connection, this is still a challenge. [Find solutions.]

Communication Evolution and the Business Owner. [Written by Kathryn R. Burke]. Quill pen, pencil, calculator, computer, Internet, and “survival of the (digitally) fittest.” [Follow the evolution.]