Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Module 6: Spreadsheets & Graphing

After reviewing the articles for this module, I now realize there is more than one way to use Excel. Previously, I’ve only used spreadsheets and Excel for classes such as Kinesiology 2200, where we had to gather and organize data and then analyze it and compute it into SPSS. But- I always found that fairly tedious and boring. As a teacher, I can use spreadsheet/Excel to help me effectively and efficiently calculate marks (i.e. – individual grades, class averages, individual student averages over series of grades, highest grade, lowest grade), calculate fundraising totals (and required amounts still need to be raised), and even keep track of staff/student funds for certain clubs/groups. I can also help the students use Excel/Spreadsheet for a variety of things. For example, they can create whole class graphs (i.e. - in primary grades they can calculate what kind of pets students in the class own), Bingo games, time lines (for books, events, or even biographies and autobiographies), interview forms, simple/complex graphing assignments, probability experiments, and even to compute math.

When introducing Excel and the concept of spredsheets to the students, I would probably use this website to help my tutorial... Excel 2000 Tutorial (Florida Gulf Coast Univeristy, Technology Skills Orientation) http://www.fgcu.edu/support/office2000/excel/. This website uses clear definitions to describe toolbars and functions and also highlights everything that is important to a new Excel program user. This tutorial would be useful when introducing simple concepts such as making charts. As a class we could easily gather information regarding student statistics (i.e. - height, eye color, hair color, etc...) and then compute the information into spreadsheet and create different kinds of charts.

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