Project Powerpoint

Community College Students Launch ‘Project PowerPoint’

Expecting the older generation to understand and use current technology relating to The internet , computer jargon ,telephone ‘ menus’, mobile ‘phones and general gobbledigook is becoming the current challenge in to-days society; no more so than for David P. Snelling, recently voted, being the representative of Ivybridge’s 50 year old + community, to be on the senior council for Devon.As principal and Trustee of the Operation Henry Trust, he has had, owing to increased workload, to delegate the arduous tasks of converting his presentation of ‘ Operation Henry ‘, which is being promoted as a fund-raising exercise throughout the South West peninsula from Bournemouth to Bath, to a group of I.T Students studying at Ivybridge Community College.

‘ Project Powerpoint ‘ was launched last November with the blessing of head of ICT. studies Mr Neil Bechley supported by his staff member Miss Helen Woodgate who, having selected four students from years 8 and 9 (12 /13 year olds), set about overseeing the students through the intricate maze of technology converting the archaic o.h.p. & acetate presentation of David’s and Henry’s epic 2000 kilometre trek over the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela from an amateur to a more professional laptop computer, projector and presenter method of entertainment.

” Over the last few years presenting our experiences over the four month’s of varied challenges during our trek had become so very embarrassing with slides slipping all over the place , and an audience looking with heads askew, action had to be taken.”David said.

A daunting prospect for a man, having suffered from a serious stroke some years ago and with the associated limitation of brain power”. At my age of the expected necessary upgrade to ‘ powerpoint’, as I now believe it is called, was something about which I had total fear. My powers of assimilation have all but disappeared” he added.

Mr Bechley’s team of ‘ project powerpoint ‘ completed the conversion earlier this month and now came the hardest challenge – teaching David how to use the new hardware. “The opportunity for the students to show Miss Woodgate and myself their skills and social interaction whilst teaching David how to make full use of the new format was a fine method of assessment and I am pleased to report that they passed with flying colours ” said Mr Neil Bechley. Brandon Wearne, team leader of year 9, whose family is involved with the production of the Lifestyle magazine – ‘Plymouth ‘Oracle’, was no novice in setting the pace of the challenge ably supported by his deputy Dennis Bruce also of year 9 both of whom were accompanied by two members of Miss Woodgate’s ‘ equi-club ‘. Shannon Conroy and Harriet Parker both from year 8 lending well guided influence relating to Henry and his horsey friends.

On completion of the project , and in order to maintain a high standard of presentation ‘ in the field ‘ so to speak an opportunity arose for a position of ‘ technical advisor ‘. Dennis Bruce expressed an interest in the position and until his 14th birthday in July 2008 he was officially placed on trial for the position being made permanent on reaching his birthday when a nominal retainer would be appropriate.

Provided that the responsibilities do not encroach upon his College timetable and education, Dennis will now accompany David throughout the South-West appearing before a varied number of social groups of variable ages ranging from ‘ Rotary ‘, ‘ Probus ‘, ‘ Women’s Institutes’, U3a Groups, and many others. Truly a wonderful experience for him to develop social interaction and broader aspects of the Voluntary Sector.

All four students gave up considerable hours of private time during lunchtime and after school totally voluntarily and have to be applauded for their commitment and enthusiasm for what was for them an exciting and inspirational subject. In showing gratitude to the team of quite extraordinary future professionals David presented mementos at the passing over of a fine job completed.”Now, with the help of one of the team who has volunteered to be the ‘ Technical Advisor ‘ for the Trust we can feel confident in continuing to raise money for our charity , helping the elderly and infirm in our community. We will assist those and their families suffering from the disease affecting the stomach , oesophagus and pancreas “. David said.