Sunday, September 16, 2007

Excel Spreadsheets

I am very glad that we are spending time to learn about the different functions in Excel. I feel like through out school I have become fairly comfortable with Word and PowerPoint, but not Excel. Given that Spreadsheets can be very useful in math I appreciate the opportunity to practice using the tools that will be relevant to my future classroom.
My project for Tuesday deals with interactive graphs. I can definitely see that function being helpful to further my students understanding of the effects slope and intercept have on the visual representation. Graphs are extremely important and if students do not understand how they are formed then they will not get the full concept. I know there are plenty more tools like interactive graphs that Excel has to offer. I hope we go over some more in class on Tuesday.

A little frustrated

I have just finished up my project for Tuesday, however I am a little frustrated. I took the time to watch the Teacher Tube tutorials and tried to apply the IF function to my project and can not for the life of me get it to work. I do not think that Excel is recognizing the Spanish words that I have entered into the function or maybe I am just completing the task incorrectly. I have tried many different approaches to making this tool work and can not seem to figure it out. Becoming frustrated and impatient with technology has always been a downfall of mine, which is one of the reasons I chose to take this class. I am hoping that over the course of the semester that with my increased knowledge of the computer I will be able to eliminate my frustrations.

grade books

In class on Tuesday we discussed different grade books. As I was grading papers and entering them into an Excel spreadsheet as my own grade book, I began thinking. I was thinking about which one I would like the best or at least which one I trust the most. I decided that I didn't trust the internet based ones. I know that there is a lot of security on the specific site so that it is secure, but that doesn't really help me. With each new generation comes new skills. These generations have been built on computers and technology. There are so many ways to get around securities and to hack into something. I don't really know if I trust the ones online. I would prefer to use a software based grade book because it will only be able to be obtained on my specific computer. I feel like it is more secure than having it out on the internet. Like it has been said before, nothing on the internet is really private anymore. Everything is public. This brings me ot my next point...
So at my high school at home, the district went to putting all grades online so that parents can check them whenever. I have mixed feelings about it. I think it is a great way for parents to be involved in a child's education, however, I feel like some respect or trust was lost between the teacher and student. I feel like too many parents will become "addicted" to checking up on their children instead of letting them try to get through high school on their own. My mom is checking my brother's grades to make sure he is doing well and it just makes me think. Like I said, I have mixed feelings on the idea.

So much stuff to do . . .

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel a bit overwhelmed by this class right now. I like the fact that we're working on projects that are specific to the subject that we are preparing to teach, but I just feel very flustered because we have to do so much other stuff on top of it and I feel like I don't have enough time to devote to working on my project in order to make it the best it can be. Rather than working on my project, I have spent a great deal of time trying to find an article about using PowerPoint to teach mathematics, exploring the different tools on excel, and watching tutorial videos. I feel that this time could be better spent focusing on my project. In observing this idea, I am going keep this blog post short and get to work on my project.