Computers Are Taking Over the Workforce
Computer basics and the confidence to ‘have a go’ are so important today for everyone despite your age, not just for employees. From an airport computer check-in to internet banking – everything is online. The bank employee has instructions to urge clients to go home and use internet banking. All this despite the fact the more their customers do that, the employees will be less needed for the job. But we all need human contact. Not just that, but it is imperative for a healthy life. So, will there be a full circle turn around? Zoe at Computer Coach Australia says a major part of decision making when purchasing computer stuff is based on their support.
Airport Computer Check-in
Just going through an airport requires a certain level of computer basic skills. More often today, people get replaced by computers that have friendly and inviting names like ‘the kiosk’. There is no escaping this era of high technology. We need to welcome the changes and keep ourselves part of the technology evolution. It is truly fascinating.
All new passports have information encoded that records all our data online to aid easy retrieval and transfer. The Visa automatically links to the passport number, as well as every port visited. The same goes for facial recognition fingerprints.
Zoe from Computer Coach Australia was in transit from LA airport to Canada and didn’t realise she needed a Visa. She applied for the US Visa online from Australia and made the payment electronically. This then was automatically connected to the passport online file via the unique identifier number, name, date of birth and expiry date.
Computers Process Quickly
After sitting on the plane from Australia for 15+ hours, there was only a small window of time before boarding the connecting flight to Canada. A loudspeaker guided everyone to keep moving. LA is usually slow and difficult when it comes to customs. But as luck would have it, they were testing the new face recognition kiosk rather than the verbal guiding by customs officers.
Navigating to the baggage collection following the signs and then moving onto another terminal was time-consuming. On the other hand, it felt good to be in the fresh warm air and stretching the legs.
Arriving at the terminal, everyone is ushered by loudspeakers to checkpoints 1, 2, 3, etc. Line up at the computer kiosk and input the passport information following prompts on the screen. These are the basics of an airport computer check-in.
A problem occurred and the system was going around in a loop, unable to print the boarding pass & baggage tag. It required some computer troubleshooting. A less experienced computer user or a technophobe could become anxious at this point. This is where knowing computer basics comes in.
The staff, who are there to assist the kiosk users, provide computer troubleshooting and support. They advised me to use my phone to access the Canadian consulate website to apply for my Visa and pay online.
What if I had not organised internet access on my phone?
There is free wifi in airports but it is slow because so many are using it. Making good use of my mobile data plan was the quickest option to fill in the information required from my passport and future travel plans. Interestingly, the Telstra overseas data plan automatically turned itself on. This service is $10 a day. I was surprised it activates automatically. These automatic activation services can be tricky. Mostly since it becomes the responsibility of the user to turn it off. Bear in mind that this is one of the reasons to choose the best phone for your needs.
Cashless Society Computer Basics
Using internet banking seems risky since you’re giving all that information away. We all hear horror stories of deducted costs and corruption. But many places are now refusing to take cash and say card only. Everyone needs to have a card linked to their hard earned money. Using cards that link to the person seems intrusive and unsafe. Every purchase, place or event is all stored online.
I was surprised in Seattle, USA to discover a well-known worldwide bank did not provide cash conversions. What will the future be like without cash? Is everything going to be related to internet banking? Who will gain access to our records and how far can controlling parties go with this? My father warned me back in 1985 to be alert about the food, politics and money being out of our hands.
The bank staff advised me to use a card at the machine to withdraw cash. The other option was to travel a long distance to the airport to exchange cash. Converting cash at airports gives a low rate and in this instance, it was almost 15% lower than the official rate. But what option is there? Cash is not wanted. With the card system, everything is recorded online and shared on the World Wide Web.
Boarding the Plane Requires Computer Basics
Gone are the days with rows and talking to airport staff about your holiday excitement as they process your passport, ticket and bag. It’s all done by an airport computer check-in and everyone needs computer basics to read and follow the instructions.
Before even leaving Australia, I needed to apply and pay for the US Visa online. I got everything via email. We can’t function without even the most basic computer skills.
Standing in front of the kiosk, we are prompted to remove glasses because of the face recognition software. Reading the screen, inputting data, computer troubleshooting and following the prompts is computer basics. One of the main problems people have using computers is a failure to read the screen. Good designers will make the software user-friendly, but if they are young with little experience of ageing it will fall short and be confusing.
Every system is slightly different and being able to navigate it is a skill everyone needs. This, along with confidence, can come through professional training and practice with Zoe at Computer Coach Australia. Each computer system is different as is flying with a different airline. We need to adjust to the way their system gathers information. This way you will be more comfortable when you need to use internet banking as well as go through an airport computer check-in.
If you think you may have technophobia, you are not alone. Read our previous post to see what you can do about it.
For more information how having your own Computer Coach can help you – call Zoe 0407 956 071. Computer Coaching is available in the Eastern and inner suburbs of Sydney and the lower north shore or there is an option for you to come to us. Give us a call and have a chat about your unique needs.