YORK, Maine – Last month, in York Public Library’s ‘Tech Savvy: Everything You Want to Know but Are Too Afraid to Ask’, we zoomed in, learning the ins and outs of the program that has been ubiquitous since the start of the pandemic. At this month’s workshop on November 10 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Library’s Community Room, Tech Savvy will cover the basics of Google Docs.
I’ve always been drawn to Google Docs because of its price – free! – but the more I use it, the more I realize that it is much more than just a cheap MS Word. It’s also a great way to work with others on projects, and even easily access your documents for multiple computers and, it saves automatically.
However, I am not 100% Google Docs. I prefer the independent nature of my in-house word processing software for writing long documents. Google Docs works in a web browser, and there’s something about seeing an open window that makes my brain inherently jittery after short periods of time.
I really like using it for personal items around the house. I use it for grocery lists which I know can never be lost behind the fridge; Plus, I can add to it from any computer or from my phone. Sometimes I use it when writing a letter from my family and I need my wife to step in and share her ideas, and, let’s be honest, change my excruciating grammar. It’s much faster than sending an email, asking him to correct the email, resending it, making other corrections, endlessly. It’s a great tool to have in your digital tool belt, even if like me you only use it to supplement your regular desktop software.
This will be my second “Tech Savvy” and I’m really excited about it. In last month’s workshop, we experimented with Zoom on a variety of devices. In the end, I think I ended up learning more than the participants! With Google Docs, however, there is a more consistent look across formats and devices, which makes it a bit easier to follow. Another reason I’m really excited to teach it is that it lends itself to experimentation and play. Gaming is a great way to learn, but often with software installed on a computer. , one can worry about permanent changes that can be made if a setting is changed or if the wrong button is clicked. I remember a particularly anxiety-provoking moment in high school when I accidentally hit the ‘Insert’ button in MS Word and everything I tried to type overwrote what was already written (why this button exists- he even ?!). It took me days to fix it. Google Docs, however, is run by Google’s servers, and there isn’t much you can do to damage them. In fact, if you could crash their server through Docs, they might even give you a reward for finding out how you did it so they can improve it! Hopefully this will ease the anxieties of the participants and allow us to really dig in and start playing with what he can do.
Hope to see you at the library on November 10th so we can learn, play and write with Google Docs!
Devin Burritt is the Reference and Technology Librarian at the York Public Library