Monday, August 31, 2009

Using Spreadsheets in Math

Although I found many aspects of Mrs. Remille's lesson very interesting, one main lesson I learned is that using technology in teaching does not have to be complicated. I often remember my calculus teacher trying to use some complicated, fancy program to model one of our lessons. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. In either case, her program was not accessible to any of the students in the class. I now see that basic programs including Excel can be even more effective and much easier to use!

The benefits of using such programs as Excel go well beyond helping our math students understand the concepts. Familiarizing students with Excel will help students in all areas of school. To some individuals, Excel may appear complicated and intimidating. Thus, helping students learn about spreadsheets will have great benefits. The use of Excel, as mentioned in the chapter, allows students to learn concepts without having to continually perform calculations. This is one of the greatest aspects in my point of view because as a student, I always became frustrated when I understood what to do, but ended with incorrect answers because I had added or subtracted incorrectly. 

Another point of Mrs. Remille's lesson that I thought was notable was how she used a real-life example to keep the students interested. This is important to do because it will increase students' interest in the subject when they can see how math relates to everyday life. Beyond Mrs. Remille teaching with technology in her captivating lesson, she also introduced the students to math modeling.


awilkey said...

I completely agree with this, especially the last paragraph. We have been learning in my Math class for Elementary grades about the importance of incorporating real-life examples in the curriculum. It not only helps the students connect to the subject, but it also helps them actually utilize the information they are retaining in the future. The chapters we have read prove that spreadsheets and databases are an excellent way of doing so!

jmonaco said...

I also agree a lot with your last paragraph. The fact that not only was she having the students compute statistics using various data, but the situation was a real-life example. This made the students even more intrigued with the situation and made them more excited to see how altering the numbers affects the outcome.