invited to advise Microsoft globally

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in News | No Comments

Over the past few years there have been a number of changes to Microsoft, and a raft of these have been in its educational offering. In early 2015, Microsoft identified that they needed to look at the impact the changes were having on education, but, more importantly, receive feedback on how they needed to improve.

To this end, Microsoft decided to put together a Global Advisory Board that would meet regularly to directly influence and impact what Microsoft in Education did. Officially announced on 10th April, the Board is sponsored by Anthony Salcito, the Vice President for Education at the company, with its core objective to “Create a group of up to 10 dedicated ‘go to’ education leaders worldwide who meet regularly to provide input around education initiatives.”

The selection for the Board was extremely detailed, as this Advisory Board would need to be able to reflect the views and opinions of the World Wide Microsoft in Education programme. Whilst no one could apply to join the Board, and it would be by invitation only, selection was still made based on a number of criteria ranging from location, past involvement, personality, and input.

Mr Sparvell, Senior Manager at Microsoft Education, explained, “The educators represented on the Board are some of the most inspiring and exemplary educators across the world who are committed to transforming education.” He added that the benefits of being on the Board included, “Networking, informal professional learning, recognition, and access to latest developments and the opportunity to positively influence beyond their school, region and country.”

Out of the 10 Advisory Board members, Microsoft allowed for just three to be teachers or “Expert Educators”. It is therefore incredible to find out that one of those, is teacher of Maths and Integrated Learning, Scott Wieprecht, from community school.

“It’s amazing to have even been thought of as an option,” explains Scott. “I do tend to apply for things that I think benefit the students at our school, but it’s really humbling when you get invited to take part in something on this scale, through invitation alone. I can’t however pretend even half the credit is due to me, as this is just a reflection of the amazing culture has towards new technology and improving life chances for our young people. Microsoft, along with a whole string of other technology giants, see exactly how incredible our students are, and want to hear and share their best practice.”

Scott is the only UK ‘Expert Educator’ on the board which will meet monthly online initially.  However, there are then plans to assemble the group for face to face discussions around the globe.

“The key thing for me is taking what I know works, and sharing this. Student leadership, which is key to lots we do at school, is just so important, and it’s great that Microsoft sees this, and wants to continue growing with this in mind. Plus, a nice trip to Australia wouldn’t go amiss!”