Learning is a Never Ending Journey

Monday, October 17, 2005

Integration of Spreadsheets and Graphing in the Classroom

Spreadsheets are an effective tool that can be used by both teachers and students and in just about any subject. They can be easy tools to learn to use. Once the basics of spreadsheets are learned, one could use them in so many ways and for so many purposes in the classroom. Some people believe that they are extremely important to use in the classroom because they enhance teachings.

I have used spreadsheets a lot and I totally believe that they are beneficial for any number of activities and projects. Some of the ways that they could be used in the classroom include, as a teacher’s organizational strategy. A teacher could use one for keeping grades organized and using the spreadsheet tools to calculate marks for individual students and class averages. One could even use a spreadsheet to make a rubric, lesson plan or observation checklist.

In terms of students, teachers could have students use spreadsheets in the classroom to make pie, bar and map charts to represent data in various subjects and projects. As well, they could be used for a math class to determine various averages etc. through the formulas that are available. Yet another way to use a spreadsheet is to make a timeline of events for a specific topic. To teach the use of spreadsheets effectively to students, online tutorials can be used. They can be used to provide instruction to a large group of students.

If I were teaching a class about spreadsheets I would definitely use the web site www.internet4classrooms.com/excel_create_chart.htm. It is a very informative web site that gives step-by-step instructions on how to effectively and efficiently use the spreadsheet program Excel. An activity that the students could do to begin using a spreadsheet could be a simple activity like tallying the various pets students have. The students would then go to this link and they could use a few specific categories like how many students have a dog, a cat, both, none or other and learn to chart the information. This activity would be a great way for students to learn how to use Excel effectively.


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