New Tools To Do the Job
It was interesting to me-a person who still enjoys using the ‘original computer’- namely the pencil- which has at one end a device which can print words and at the other end something which can erase them -interesting -that I was about to attend a workshop entitled “Technology: Give us the Tools to Finish the Job.”
On Wednesday, January 27 2016, 100 people gathered at the JCC Wosk Auditorium where the JSA, in partnership with the JCC, had invited 3 experts in the field of technology to impart their accumulated knowledge as part of the second session in the series of the JSA Snider Empowerment Workshops.
Leah Deslauries, Senior Programme Director, in her typical casual but warm manner, welcomed the audience and outlined the afternoon’s program emphasizing that, though there were no questions and answers scheduled during the talks, work stations would be set up at the conclusion of the session for all those who sought information. The speakers would be available for questions and comments.
Gyda Chud, co-convener, charmingly welcomed everyone on behalf of the JSA – explaining her introduction to JSA through Peretz, 4 years ago, and that the JSA continuously looked for new partners for their ventures aiming to make all their workshops easily accessible to all people who may be interested. Chud added that she hoped today’s session would help build her own confidence when it came to the computers and the techno world.
Our first speaker, Stan Goldman, demonstrated the simplicity of mobile technology saying that living is learning. Once one learns how to use the iPad- the same system, can then be used on the iPhone and one may watch free movies, read free eBooks, newspapers and get email merely by accessing the right App. To illustrate, Goldman and Deslauriers used voice commands to ask for directions, dictate email or do advanced math.
Goldman then went on to name a seemingly endless list of what can be accomplished -listening to TED Talks, Skyping with family and friends in other countries, enjoying music, playing games -all by using Apps -most of them free. The world indeed at your fingertips – using your own data or free wifi.
Philip Morris– an expert on frauds, scams and identity theft, spoke next-telling us that once we have let the world in -so to speak- we must be cautious while using our devices- protecting them with passwords; keeping our personal information private and not easily accessible to hackers. This should include social insurance numbers, birth certificates and passports. Morris advised us to shred all old discarded documents and when buying new cellphones- to make sure all our personal information has been deleted from our old phones as hackers can still manage to retrieve data from seemingly wiped phones. It is important to be alert in public places and to keep our wallets, purses out of easy reach and to always
New words have been coined such as ‘smishing’-the ability to obtain information from people’s texts. Morris recommended changing passwords annually and when writing cheques in payment for credit cards to reference only the last 4 numbers. To report a theft or loss- Morris gave two numbers to call:
EQUIFAX-1-800-465-7166 or TRANS UNION CANADA-1-800-663-9980,
For ANTI-FRAUD-the number to call is-1-888 495-8501.
Mark White, the Gizmo Guru gave advice on the latest fun gadgets and where to get them but also warned us to keep actual maps on hand if technology failed to connect. White named other devices one could purchase rather than just the well-known ones and proceeded to demonstrate their use. No longer a subscriber to the paper version of The Sun, White now reads it daily on his device -a much cheaper option. The VPL offers any newspaper that is available to them for their members to read on line. In order to keep Skype conversations, he suggest using earphones when in public.
One of the Isaac Waldman librarians, Rosanna Carley, informed us of their extensive E- books available which could be read on any device- Kobo reader, laptop and the audience was told that any device could be brought and the user would be shown the correct method to download books. Helen Pinsky, the other librarian, passed out notes which gave further information and email access.
Gyda Chud graciously thanked our speakers -saying she was grateful that she personally had been inspired to search out the intricacies of computerware. Chud said the 3 speakers each had exhibited the mission values and ideals of the JSA – that of advocating for, inspiring, educating, informing others to be the best they can be- in their individual talks today.
The audience retired to enjoy light refreshments and to form long lines at the work stations located at the back of the room which clearly indicated a keen interest in today’s session. The workshop may have eased many fears, allowing timid souls to venture through the now open doors leading to new technological possibilities.
I know that I, for one was inspired to step forth with a little more confidence, as I walk through those open doors.