Want to Better Understand Technology?

Want to Better Understand Technology?

technologyDo you want to better understand technology? Would it help in your business, nonprofit, or church?

I talk to a lot of people about technology, social media, and how to use computers and software to be more productive. In the course of my work and social life, I meet a lot of people who wish they knew more about these topics. They want to keep up with young friends, children, or grandchildren, but just don’t know how to get started.

Since I love to help people learn, I’m writing an ebook for my mom. Well, not just for her, but she’s the inspiration.

She’s a smart woman who doesn’t understand technology and I’d like to help her and others like her. There might be some of you who wish you knew more about tech for your own purposes, or for your business or nonprofit work.

If you know what PHP stands for, how to concatenate, or aren’t afraid to drop a database table, this book is not for you.

It will  help you understand technology if even one of these is true:

  • You feel like you’re the last one to figure out how to post photos on Instagram and/or Facebook
  • You wish you knew more about social media, blogging, or how to update your own website
  • You have children and/or grandchildren in late elementary or preteen age group
  • You’re a nonprofit, church, or charity with a strong message and a small staff
  • You own a small business and need to connect with potential customers

The book will explain terms and concepts you may have heard people say, but may not understand. I’m also planning a glossary.

Here’s how you can help – answer these questions:

  1. What would you like to learn more about?
  2. What words confuse you?
  3. What do techie folk do that annoys, irritates or intimidates you?

Leave your ideas in the comments.


2017-05-23T20:25:16+00:00July 7, 2014|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |


  1. Jo Ellen Druelinger July 8, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    YEAH, Beth! My mother is in this group as well and has given up! She even returned her iphone for her old flip phone! Can’t wait to get this book in her hands (of course, she’s going to have to be willing to pay for high speed internet…)uugghhh!

    • beth g sanders July 8, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

      Ha. My mom has high-speed Internet, an iPhone, and an iPad, but I don’t think she’s figured out how to make them all work together. Hope I can help them both!

  2. Ellen Pollock July 8, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Yes! We are a large church with a small staff! It makes it challenging when none of us are really IT people, and we have yet to convince the SPRC that we need an IT person! So when it comes to many of the basic terms of networks, best practices, etc., we need help. Sad but true….

    • beth g sanders July 8, 2014 at 11:48 am - Reply

      Thanks for that input Ellen – IT is a crucial function. And I’m not just saying that because my husband is an IT guy :-). Many churches are in the same position; short on personnel and resources and just doing what the can to get by.

  3. Jim Snyder July 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I’ll buy your ebook Beth.

    To your questions:

    1) Not everything, just what I need for 80% of life. Why/do I need 3 devices? How is a tablet different than a laptop? How can I keep track of usernames and passwords?
    2) apps, cookies, widgets – the more basic terminology
    3) How most instruct – don’t instruct to impress, instruct to learn. Most Apple Store clientele that I’ve dealt with are good instructors – whatever their training is.

    For what it’s worth, my type that grew up on Fortran and punch cards learns on fundamentals. We like to read instructions, not learn on the fly. When I Google for instruction, often the instructions use terminology within the instruction that I don’t understand, so what good is it? Instruction needs to be very basic, well written (not trying to be clever/funny like “Dummies” books). If it’s too basic, that’s OK because we can skim over it that and get to the point. Most of our gang are good readers and prefer reading. Videos are not “all that.”

    To the point of basics, I remember going to a “smart phone” class (the Blackberry at that time). They started out with How to sync, How to back up, How to access your email, when what we are really needing before all of that is “Can you explain what these 4 hard buttons at the bottom of the face of the phone do?” Explain why and how this phone is different from our old phones. We first need to learn how to make calls ya know (exaggerating a bit but not much).

    I don’t think we are interested in learning all things technology, just learning the more standard formats fairly well. We can build on that maybe later but don’t load our phones up with tens of needless apps. We only need one way to share pictures (for instance), not every picture sharing resource available. #SorryForTheVent

    Good luck with your research,

    • beth g sanders July 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Jim, that is extremely helpful! I’m pasting your entire comment into my notes file. It’s easy to get carried away with shiny things and forget the audience.

  4. Hal Beckham July 8, 2014 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Beth – this is a fantastic idea! As someone who had a 70-something Mom that lived 100 miles away and viewed me as her help desk, I can attest that this is needed. There was nothing more frustrating than her calling and trying to describe what she is seeing on her screen, and feeling unable to help. A few things that were recurring issues for me: (1) basic mouse/click navigation – understanding a right click vs left click in windows, or how to navigate the menus at the top of the screen or the finder/folders screens. Often, she couldn’t find things saved/filed previously because she didn’t know how to use folders and directories. (2) pop-up messages – my mother would go into a panic if she got a pop-up that she needed a software update. She would literally turn off the computer for fear that she would screw something up. Basic info over common pop-up warnings, what they mean, and how to react. (3) attachments – there is often difficulty when someone receives an email with a file attachment – how to download, open, etc. – or how to send an attachment to someone else.

    Thanks again for doing this. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • beth g sanders July 8, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Hal! Great suggestions and very helpful. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve explained file attachments …

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