With back-to-school plans up in the air, the next month is already proving to be a confusing time for parents and kids. Michael Glambeck is a mobile expert (or Mobilist) who’s got tips on getting school set. —Vita Daily
Hi Michael! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start (and, what the heck is a Mobilist?!).
A Mobilist like me is an expert in all things mobile. We’re available to answer your questions and provide unbiased advice on anything from device features to plan specifics. At The Mobile Shop, we are well versed in all of the phones, plans and providers so we can choose the perfect one for each and every customer. I have been with The Mobile Shop for eight years and have been in the cell-phone industry for over 13. Within the Mobile Shop, I’ve been a Mobilist, a sales lead, an operations coordinator and even a Virtual Mobilist.
With many kids doing some form of remote schooling, what are some of your top tips for configuring devices for at-home learning?
Before the first day of school, it’s a good idea to make sure your family is equipped with the applications they’ll be using throughout the year. Preparing everyone’s phones with things like Google Docs or Sheets can save you from a last-minute scramble! If you can, find out what platform the school uses and verify that family devices are compatible. It’s also important to ensure your mobile devices are ready—some useful things you can do before the start of the school year is to check the available storage on your SD card – you can clear out space by deleting unused apps, photos you’ve saved elsewhere, and anything else you no longer need. You may also want to review your current plan and ensure features like data are prioritized as needed. With schooling, work and leisure time mostly taking place online, this is also a great time to get to know some of the screen-time management tools on your phone. From apps like Freedom to Apple’s Screen Time, there are plenty of tools to help you manage your screen-time and unplug. Some other helpful features to look for in a device include wireless charging capabilities so you don’t need to plug in all the time, long battery life, and a generous screen to follow along with lessons.
What are your current favorite mobile devices and accessories to make our home workspaces, well, work?
For a reliable device that still fits the pocket book, the Samsung S10 is always a good choice. Although it’s last year’s model, we have seen a lot of success with it and it is compatible with the tips mentioned above. I would also advise customers to invest in a wireless charger and an extra memory card to ensure you never run out of space! With families working from home together, a phone might be someone’s workstation so Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones can keep background noise and distractions under control. I will always recommend cases and screen protectors, as protecting your device from accidental falls is always a number one priority. Another great choice for a mid-range device is the iPhone XR. It’s compatible with most apps and remote schooling programs and is budget-friendly. That being said, if you’re looking for something new and refreshing, we have great deals available on models like the iPhone 11 and Samsung S20.
On our phones more than ever, what advice would you give when it comes to maintaining balance when our phones are our means to socialize?
The world is a very different place than it was just a few months ago. Our devices have become more important than ever to keep in contact with friends and loved ones. However, we need to remember to unplug and disconnect from time to time. For many of us, we still have families that live with us and have been going through this with us. It’s important to spend time with them, grow and strengthen bonds with those sitting just a few feet away from us. That being said, it’s also critical that we take time for ourselves. As I mentioned above, screen-time management tools are great to help you maintain that balance and keep up with your mental and physical health.
We’re doing more online shopping than ever; how do you suggest we upgrade our phones and/or plans while staying COVID safe?
The Virtual Mobilist Program was developed as a response to the rise of COVID-19 to provide a digital way for our team of Mobilists to support and connect with our customers. An online concierge for your phone if you will. This program gives customers the option to send an email through our website and they will be contacted by a Virtual Mobilist right from the comfort of their home. Virtual Mobilists can provide a huge range of support and can activate your new device and have it ready with our in-store pick up process. You can also arrange accessories to go with your new device & pick them up at the same time. In addition to our Virtual Mobilist program, we just launched a “reserve a phone” feature on our website which plugs into the Virtual Mobilist experience. It can be found by clicking on the phone you want. If you prefer the in-person approach, our in-store Mobilists are waiting to help you, while making sure to follow strict health and safety guidelines like wearing masks, maintaining two-metre distance with the use of floor markers and keeping up with proper sanitizing procedures.