Learning a Valuable Lesson

No one likes being made to stand up in front of the class. Even less so when the class is comprised of 150 Microsoft employees. But that’s exactly what six students from Saltash.Net Community School did and wowed the room with tutorials on how they would use Office 365 to improve collaboration in schools.

However, these aren’t just any students; they are the Offperts! The Offperts (Office experts, in case you hadn’t worked it out) have been helping students across the UK to use Office 365 to enhance their education. Led by their teacher Scott Wieprecht, the Offperts launched their own website to offer advice to their fellow students on how to get the most from Office 365. The website contains instructional videos (Offvids) on everything from how to collaborate through SkyDrive, to customising the user interface.

Since they came together in September 2012 the Offperts have grown in popularity. In May this year they launched a global programme aimed at encouraging schools around the world to upload their own videos and share best practice on working collaboratively through Office 365.
The day before the global launch they visited Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Thames Valley Park, Reading, for their first ever live presentation. Standing before 150 Microsoft employees, they delivered an excellent 30 minute tutorial on how to use Office 365 to create a more collaborative environment and overcome some of the day-to-day challenges of being a student.

Office 365
Office 365

June 05, 2013
The ‘Offperts’ have been helping students across the UK to use Office 365 to enhance their education

But the adventure didn’t stop there. On 15th May, the Offperts were interviewed by BBC Radio Cornwall about their experiences of giving a live presentation to a room full of Microsoft employees. They also talked about the fantastic work they are doing to improve education in schools across the world.

Saltash.Net Community School is committed to helping students use technology to improve their education. The Technology Department was one of the first in the country to be awarded £250,000 by the Government, which it has invested in a school-wide computer network with over 300 fixed workstations and 260 netbooks and tablet devices. However, technology is only part of the equation. It takes the hard work and imagination of teachers such as Scott Wieprecht and his army of Offperts to bring that technology to life and help students access the possibilities it offers.

Scott and the whole of Saltash.Net Community School should be incredibly proud of the Offperts. Not only did they receive a standing ovation from us, but they are helping to change education beyond their own classroom… their own school… even their own country.