Using spreadsheets in the classroom is an incredibly important tool for students to be able to utilize throughout their career as learners. As Roblyer and Doering state, “spreadsheets help people visualize the impact of changes in numbers. This capability makes it feasible to pose “what if” questions and to answer them quickly and easily.” Spreadsheets are designed to save time which then allows teachers to complete and update essential calculations quickly. Also, organize displays of information by storing information in columns, schedules, and attendance. As with any technology tool, if used wisely, spreadsheets software can be powerful and versatile tools for learning. Constructing and using spreadsheets forces the students to “get their hands dirty.” That is, when students directly interact with a model or data, they may be able to understand it better than they would by taking in a lecture or reading a text. Research has suggested that students learn more when they are engaged with research, and that creative use of technology can support this process.
A database is an organized collection of data. The data is typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring this information. Databases are computer programs that allow uses to store, organize, and manipulate information, including both text and numerical data. Teachers use databases, according to Roblyer and Doering, because it reduces the data redundancy, saves time locating and/or updating information, allows comparisons of information thorough searches across files, and helps reveal relationships among data. Databases are good for students to learn about because it enhances their learning. It enables students to reach higher levels of thinking as students:
Identify unique characteristics of the data, find qualities of the data to compare and contrast, and take that same data and rank the importance of that data for themselves.
Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A.H. (2010). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (5th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc