Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chapter 11, Elementary Databases & Spreadsheets

Chapter 11 discussed the importance of at the very least introducing how to use both databases and spreadsheets to elementary students. It's key that elementary students understand that these two resources are tools for retrieving information. I remember that I only used web search engines and library records as a fourth and fifth grade student solely for assigned research projects. The chapter brought up a good point about not all schools have librarians or computer teachers that are qualified and can teach elementary students how, why, and when to use databases or spreadsheets. I believe that it then becomes teachers' responsibility to ensure that their students learn the skills of selecting, evaluating, and citing sources. Personally, I could not teach a class how to create their own spreadsheet using Excel or another program because I don't know enough about how to correctly make a spreadsheet. I'm hoping that after this course I will have this knowledge because I definitely don't want to be a teacher that avoids incorporating vital resources that students should be aware of in the classroom.

This chapter included an actual fifth grade lesson plan that enables students to research data and then record their information using a spreadsheet application. This lesson plan teaches the students how to collect and analyze their data using both reliable web search engines and spreadsheet application. I think that lessons incorporating the students active participation will help the students retain how to correctly use these resources and will better prepare them in the future. I never thought about introducing databases and spreadsheets at the elementary level, but after reading this chapter I feel that it's important for students to learn how to apply and use these resources that are commonly seen in society today.


awilkey said...

I had never thought about introducing databases and spreadsheets at an elementary level either. After reading this chapter, I definitely agree that it is almost essential that they are introduced, especially in today's fast-paced society.

jbaffes said...

I agree with you that I feel inadequate to teach a class how to use databases and spreadsheets even just the basics. But I think that this course will give me more confidence in my ability to comprehend technology better and then relay that knowledge to my students.

Klee said...

I remember not using the search engines until later on in elementary school, and I really regret that. I think starting children as early as possible with technology will really help to move the field along. You also make a good point about involving students in the lesson. Students will remember something a lot better if there is interesting technology involved!