Thursday, August 03, 2017

Microsoft Office World Championship

When teaching statistics I use a variety of tools--small scientific calculators, TI-83's, Minitab on laptops.  I also use Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet software, as much to introduce its functionality to students as for its statistical analysis tools.  The vast majority of my students have never used a spreadsheet before taking my class.  Digital natives?  Outside of a few apps on their phones, I'm not so sure.

These kids, though?  They know what they're doing, and it looks like they're having fun doing it:
Like many teens, John Dumoulin passed the summer before his senior year of high school in front of a computer screen. But he wasn’t playing “League of Legends,” streaming “Game of Thrones” or watching hours on end of YouTube videos.

He was mastering the art of the pivot table.

The 17-year-old from Virginia spent several hours a day perfecting his technique in Microsoft Excel. He was training for what he calls the “Olympics,” after all.

This week, John was one of 150 students from 50 countries competing in the Microsoft Office World Championship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. At stake: cash, prizes and the clout that comes with being the best in the world at Excel, PowerPoint or Word.
Very cool!

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