Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Using Google Docs to Promote 2.0 "Lite"

There is something so much less threatening about saying that I will create a web-based document through Google, than, let's just say, using a wiki. For some reason, even though both can be manipulated online by the individuals who log on with ID's, the docs seem easier to share. This summer, I will be attempting to use Google Spreadsheets to organize and manage my volunteers during the Summer Reading Program. So far, GD has been a lot more low-key. Perhaps because the formating looks a lot like programs others are used to, GD just doesn't cause the same sort of waves that wikis and blogs do. We'll see how this goes. So far, spreadsheets have be fabulous online, but difficult to print out. I promise to keep you updated.

For the average person, I've been offering Google Docs as an alternative to Microsoft Word. Since our library's public computers are not loaded with Office products on them, I wondered if GD would help fill this void. So far, for people who are already web-savvy, it seems to be working. In fact, they are quite excited when they realize that Google automatically saves their documents as they work, and they can access it from anywhere. For people like me who are always jumping from one computer to the next, this flexibility has been perfect. I just hope that the clunkiness is worked out a bit. Cutting and pasting can be a pain, and for some reason, I can only edit the entire cell at once. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but I've looked for other ways around this, and I cannot quite find it.

And on another note...

YA book of the day (for my class): Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
BMB was like Weetzie Bat meets Stargirl. After reading the back cover, I expected to read a slap-stick comedy about a slightly over-the-top high school, and instead, it was very human, and beautifully written. According to Publisher's weekly, "(BMB is) Suffused with humor and heart, this recording is bound to get listeners thinking about what it means to just be yourself and truly embrace tolerance." And Booklist states, "Though at times arch and even precious, this wacky, charming, original story is never outrageous, and its characters are fresh, real, and deeply engaging." I say: "This was the Brokeback Mountain of teen fiction--I didn't care whether the characters were gay, straight, bi, or trans, I just really wanted them to find a small bit of happiness." I missed this book when it was first published, so I'm glad that it turned out to be required reading for me.

No comments: