The Advantage of using Spreadsheets in Education

This lesson was designed to teach student about why deaf people tend to live in larger cities. I decided to approach this lesson using spreadsheets as it gives the student experience with them and allows them to see clearly where deaf people reside. They will then brainstorm the why.

My ability to select and use appropriate technological resources is displayed here with the unique use of spreadsheets.

If there was one skill I wished I had learned in school it would be Microsoft Excel or some sort of spreadsheet software. Why you ask, well spreadsheets can so quickly turn data into visual graphs and charts that the time a previously spent creating them I now use to interpret and learn from them.  Tke a took at these points from Teachnology as to why Excel is so good:

  1. Use of quick graphics allows for a better understanding of data
  2. Excel reduces the difficulty of plotting data and provides a way to interpret it.
  3. Students can reverse the process and collect data from charts to better their understanding of the connection between the two.
  4. Excel can convert any sheet into a webpage allowing students to publicly share their work.
  5. Students can see how different charts and graphs can be used to represent the same data set and why one might the better then the other.
  6. You can easily compare data from other classes around the world.

It is easy to see the benefits of using spreadsheets in the classroom. The only thing holding us back is fear. A lot of teachers have admitted a fear to use spreadsheets in class because they themselves do not know how to use them. Should schools provide courses on this software? The site Teachnology provides a quick and easy tutorial on how to use Excel. It also provides teachers with many other resources to strengthen their spreadsheet skills.

Check out this lesson framework I created for an American SIgn Language 101 course.

American Sign Language 101
Deaf Culture: Deaf Population

References:

Teachnology. (1999-2012). The Online Teacher Resource. Excel in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.teach-nology.com/tutorials/excel/

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4 thoughts on “The Advantage of using Spreadsheets in Education

  1. Hi Sarah: I wish I had the opportunity to learn Microsoft Excel in school also!! After college I had to teach myself every program out there; excel, word, email, and even graphing calculators. Unfortunately, all of these things became available AFTER I graduated in 1993? However, learning to use Excel has made it an important tool as a teacher. I even use it to sort data I need to collect and analyze on student performance for the awards we present from the math dept. It is a great tool for any job out there. Also, I loved your spreadsheet examples…nice work on your webpage!! That page in particular looks fantastic.

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  2. Great tutorial links. I really like your project page and examples you gave. My favorite were the great graphics you were able to find to go with each example. I wasn’t able to find any to use.

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  3. Hi Sarah. I found the Teachnology site helpful as well. I have always been afraid of spreadsheets because I thought of them as mathematical resources. I was lucky to have the help of a friend a few years ago who taught me how to use them as a method to collect information as well as data. I now use them often. I had not thought about using them for education until this week. I am already planning ways in which this technology might be used!

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  4. I, myself am not well versed in spreadsheets but can figure my way around. I have never knew until this assignment and research that spreadsheets could be so interactive. I have only made spreadsheets in order to create a graph later or as a checklist. Taking your idea from ASL and using it with ELL students would be extremely helpful.

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