Google brings state’s first Googlefest to Lenoir

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Google will be taking over the J. E. Broyhill Civic Center in a few weeks to host a free conference, teaching area educators, emergency responders, seniors, nonprofits and small business owners the ins and outs of several Google products.

Experts will be on hand to teach the newest and best Google has to offer, from the wearable computer Google Glass, to Google apps, Gmail, Google Drive and more.

Google has hosted similar events in Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Colorado and Iowa, but this will be the first for North Carolina, said Enoch Moeller, operations manager of Google’s Lenoir data center.

“While we’re out in the community, we’re often approached by folks who want to learn more about our products and services – and to have hands-on help,” Moeller said. “Googlefest provides hands-on support from both local Googlers and those from across the U.S., who’ll travel to Lenoir to provide training on our tools.”

The conference covers two days, Oct. 28-29. The first day will focus on small business owners, educators and employees of nonprofit organizations, while the second day will provide training to seniors and crisis0response teams.

Programs for seniors will focus on learning the basics of computer operation, Internet browsing, searching and safety as well as Gmail and other Google apps.

Crisis-response personnel will learn how to use the latest Google tools to help in emergency situations, like People Finder, a Google product that allows people to check the status of loved ones while also providing relief organizations with a common back end to store data, and Google Crisis Map, to help people find and use critical emergency information when it’s needed most, Moeller said.

“Just as Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, Crisis Response seeks to make critical information more accessible around natural disasters and humanitarian crises,” Moeller said.

Updated satellite imagery of disaster areas, charitable donations to organizations on the ground, outreach through Google websites and landing pages to organize and coordinate critical response information are all tools from Google that help emergency responders, Moeller said.

To register early online or learn more about Googlefest, visit sites.google.com/site/ncgoogfest. Space is limited and the deadline to register early is Oct. 20.