Last week was a busy one for me, meeting partners & customers, working on the upcoming OCS launch and generally doing my normal day to day job. I did however have the pleasure of doing something a little different also last week.
Last Tuesday, we had 12 kids from Belarus visit Microsoft Thames Valley Park as part of the Chernobyl Children Life Line. As the site mentions, this charity was created in 1992 to create links between Belarus and the UK so kids can come over to the UK and spend four weeks in an environment where the food and air isn't contaminated and go home with their immune systems recharged.
During their day at Microsoft, they met several people within the company and I was asked to show them Microsoft Roundtable. Given that neither the 'Microkids' or I had a language in common I therefore resorted to a few slides to show them what the software allowed them to do, how it does it and where/why you would use it (communicating with people in other countries)
This didn't take to long to explain and the rest of the time I had to fill with showing the technology in a way they could relate to. What better way to do this than with a few games of noughts and crosses with half the kids in one room with me and half the kids in another room with Julian Datta?
Given their age its not surprising they got the hang of things pretty quickly using the tablet PC and the whiteboard in Livemeeting 2007 to play the game and using the Microsoft Roundtable and VOIP to communicate with the people in the other room.
It was a good reminder for me that technology can be fun, doesn't always have to be for businesses .... and most importantly of all the technology should be simple enough to use even if you cant or don't read the instructions :-)
It was a pleasure to be involved in this event and I hope I get asked to do something similar in a years time!