Sunday, October 23, 2005

Teaching Students how to use a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are a wonderful idea for use in teaching. They can allow the fast, easy, and orderly organization of data. Through data collection many ideas and projects become accessible. Long surveys with short answers can be done and entered in a spreadsheet, quiz scores and tests, Graph information, among many other useful pieces of data. The spreadsheet allows for all this plus the ease of changing the information into a graph or perhaps timeline. By allowing students to have license to create a work of their own imagination in a format that is easily understandable, we allow for them to learn. They learn technology integration, organization, and professional skills that will that them further into their education and into their careers.

We meet quite a few ICT outcomes by allowing use of Spreadsheet information. We can publish graphs and information on the internet. Students can use websites like:

http://www.usd.edu/trio/tut/excel/

This gives them a place to learn how to use formulas and mathematics in conjunction with their information. They can create line graphs, bar graphs, pie graphs, etc to include in other projects and as a simple visual representation. By learning the capabilities of each spreadsheet program students can also save themselves work and become more efficient in their abilities.

Using Spreadsheets is not only a great idea for use in the classroom at almost any level, it is also a highly practiced discipline. Teachers use spreadsheets for many of the aforementioned reasons and are constantly finding new uses for the technology. As educators we can use this highly organized program to keep our records much more concise and effective. As we learn and develop a structured classroom policy we can incorporate spreadsheets to help us along and keep us efficient.

In the future we may discover more ways to use spreadsheets in our educational goals and to promote learning. As teachers, we use everything around us to teach. Spreadsheets are a wonderful tool that is technology and learning wrapped in one... We should cherish them and continue to foster the use of spreadsheets in school!

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