Monday, September 8, 2008

Databases and Spreadsheets

I really liked chapter 11 because it gave me many more ideas about how to use a spreadsheet. The only things I now know how to do with Excel are those that we learned in class, so it is very helpful to incorporate more ideas into my knowledge. I was impressed by all of the functions of Excel. I was sure they existed, but I certainly did not know how to use them. I think the quiz is an important assessment tool that I will use in the future. When I finished my quiz, I showed it to some of my family members, and they were surprised that I had done that in Excel, especially since some of them knew a lot about computers. It was fun to expose them to something new! I was more familiar with the functions of word processing, so I was excited to learn something new when we got to spreadsheets.

I agree with the book that students need to learn how to use databases because they become important tools throughout a student's grade levels. Personally I do not know the most efficient way to search a database because I never know which words to incorporate in the search. I think it is important for students to be able to find what they are looking for on the internet. I also think it is important that they learn how to use the internet safely and where to find reputable sources, and what better place to learn these things than at school where you will use them.

I like that they suggested using spreadsheets to teach older students about money management because that is something you can use throughout your life. That is an important life skill that students should learn, and it is nice to find a resource that can help you stay organized and on top of your finances. Last year, I did a project where we used Excel to make a budget sheet, and I added all the numbers up with a calculator. It would have been efficient to know that a formula could have been used instead. I also like the idea of an using Excel to make a timeline. That way the students have a hands on approach to history, and they can incorporate their own ideas and creativity to the assignment through pictures. I also like the idea of having all of the students graph about a subject, such as the weather example in the book, and track the trend later in the year. I think the chapter had a lot of useful ideas, and I can't wait to learn more.

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