I find excel to be very powerful educational tool, not just boring spreadsheets and charts. I use it in my classroom as a tool to create interactive digital content that can be used by smaller students in their learning of informatics, English language, math and geography. The students learn how to use formulas, conditional formatting and macros. That way they develop creativity, innovation and they start to learn the basis of programming and logical thinking. And just knowing that want they are doing will be used in real life makes them more involved and interested. As for the students that use these digital contents they are more interested in learning, they get involved in the learning process not just as spectators. We showed that excel can be used for this purpose for any primary school subject. These digital contents can also be used on tablets and Phones that support excel.
By creating the digital contents students reach all goals according to the national curriculum. They develop critical thinking and creativity. They also learn how to work in teams and how to share ideas and how to accept different ideas. As for the students that use the digital contents their knowledge has increased. Knowing that the digital contents are created by their older peers makes them more interested in learning. The immediate feedback they are getting from the digital contents helps them to achieve the learning goal more effective.
First I’m informing the students what they have to do, what kind of digital content. Then we have brainstorming about how we are going to implement that. Then we are discussing what elements of excel we are going to use to create this digital content. Students work on different exercises that helps them to understand the tools we are going to use: formulas, conditional formatting, macros. Then we start to create the digital content. After the content is finished we begin trials to see if it works perfectly. We correct the errors that have been done.The content is published on the blog where it is accessible for everyone.Every digital content is tested in classes for smaller students to see if it has pedagogical value . Every student fills the spreadsheet according to the guidelines . They get feedback and they correct mistakes they make.
Here it is three finished spreadsheets:
Multiplication table multiplication table
Learning English language – fruits fruits
Learn English language – vegetables vegetable
You can see other examples (in Macedonian language) on the web site : excelintheclassroom