Friday, August 28, 2009

Ch. 12 - Spreadsheets

Before reading this chapter about spreadsheets, I only thought you could type in data and make a chart. Now I realize that spreadsheets can be used as not only a way to store data, but also a great teaching/learning tool. Spreadsheets can help students obtain a theoretical understanding of statistical measures and use them to help explain data in an easier way. This can help students with many different math courses, especially probability and statistics.

By using spreadsheet software, students will not only be able to understand the problem at hand, but also they will be opened up to a wider range of math. I believe that this is very important because the students will be exposed to more math and they might have a better chance of enjoying their learning experience. In addition, I feel that using spreadsheets really allows the students to experience and get their hands dirty in the data. By letting the students pick their own topic in which they will collect data for, they will become more interested in it and will most likely have a better time completing the project. This can help them become more confidence in themselves and their overall math abilities, which I believe is the most important part when it come to teaching math.

Assigning projects, however, is not the only way to teach with spreadsheets. When showing students data on a spreadsheet, the teacher can manipulate the individual entries to show how it can affect the live data. I feel that analyzing these alterations in the spreadsheet can also help them understand specific definitions and concepts that correlate with the data. I believe that spreadsheet software is an excellent way for students to obtain a better understanding on math and it applications towards real life.


Jess Madigan said...
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Jess Madigan said...

I DEFINITELY agree with you that students will learn better when they are able to collect or choose their own data. When someone is interested in a topic, it sticks in his or her brain longer. A lot of times, it is hard to make math a fun subject. If students were able to choose data that they were interested in and use the mean, median, and mode to find out more about the data, they would be learning math AND learning more about a topic that interests them. Probability is an easy math topic to make interesting in that sense. I can even see how you would be able to make geometry and maybe algebra enjoyable, but how would you make a topic like calculus interesting for high school students?

Katie Dietrich said...

I think that a lot of people also think that spreadsheets are just to be used for collecting and graphing data. If teachers today had been familiarized with this technology when they were students, they would be able to use it more as a teaching tool. Hopefully, by introducing this technology to our students today, it will help aid them in the future as well as further develop their mathematical knowledge.