The Spreadsheet Lab Manual

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FAQ

Spreadsheet Lab Manual

  1. What is "The Spreadsheet Lab Manual?

    The Spreadsheet Lab Manual is a collection of original multidisciplinary activities that enhance the high school Science and Math curriculum with computer programming on a spreadsheet. Students are guided to write a simulation or solve a multiple step problem starting from a blank spreadsheet.  Both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel versions are avialble.

    They will then conduct a guided inquiry based analysis of the simulation or solve a variety of problems (questions and keys provided).  It provides skills that are essential for college and a wide range of 21st Century jobs.

  2. What does it include?

    The Spreadsheet Lab Manual can be purchased as a permanent site license for a given school for which a school is provided with cloud based link to the files (to which materials will continue to be added) and a CD ROM disk including electronic copies of 25 activity handouts, answer keys, completed spreadsheets, introductory powerpoint files.  Also included are a variety of teacher tips, key applications in education, and other organizational training materials to help get teachers started right away with teaching on spreadsheets in the classroom. The cost of this is 699 dollars which covers all teachers in a single school permanently!

    Email support is provided directly by the author (Michael McConnell) at any time and is available to any teacher in your school for making investment in the permanent site license.  Helping teachers is one of the most rewarding parts of running The Spreadsheet Lab Manual

    Click to view Activity Descriptions and Content Areas

  3. Why should I want it for my students?

    Soft Skills refer to non-content specific working capability that will help student succeed at higher levels of education and in the work force.  The Spreadsheet Lab Manual was designed to make students and teachers become experts on spreadsheets which will benefit them (and their future employers) tremendously!

    If you agree with the premise that students should graduate high school knowing how to manage and analyze data effectively and efficiently and you do not know where to start, start here. 

    Show students in Physics how drag force actually causes projectiles to behave! 

    Show students in Chemistry why they over titrate if they use one drop too many!

    Show Bio and Environmental students how populations grow and how predators and prey populations are dependent!

    Show them how an asymptote works (simply but powerfully)!

  4. How does an activity typically run?

    PRINT, PRESENT, PROCTOR.

    For any given activity:  Print the handouts for the students, present the introductory powerpoint file, and proctor and circulate as they investigate and calculate using the spreadsheet model they created.  They learn by doing and you reinforce and master spreadsheet literacy by guiding the students while still learning their subject content on a platform that is far more powerful than performing hand calculations or even using a graphing calculator.

    Great teachers have a variety of instructional techniques... Add another along with a wide variety of "Soft Skills" with The Spreadsheet Lab Manual.

     

  5. Why did you write it?

    I had little prior experience and therefore had difficulty with programming on spreadsheets while in college studying as a chemical engineer. When I started teaching Physics I wanted my students to be fully prepared to succeed in STEM majors and I knew a computing background, particularly with spreadsheets, is essential.

    The biggest motivating factor to expand across all disciplines to write the activities of The Spreadsheet Lab Manual has been my student reactions and other teacher reactions to the activities.  Students have clearly shown significant improvements after completing only a small number of activities and I want to get more teachers using these materials to continue to distribute these skills to students across the country.

  6. Is teacher training in this area necessary?

    No but yes...  It is not required but training will familiarize teachers with the materials and focus them in on the various ways they can most effectively use them to expand their STEM programs to conform with NGSS.

    Provided with each activity is a PowerPoint presentation that concisely summarizes the key objectives, spreadsheet functions and troubleshooting tips for each of the activities. Also provided are answer keys that include detailed descriptions of the spreadsheet manipulations required to solve each problem. 

    Also included on the disk is a separate multidisciplinary training manual (9 Quick Activities) which provides a foundational skills set with spreadsheets so even teachers with minimal background on Excel can immediately incorporate activities from The Spreadsheet Lab Manual in their course curriculum.

  7. Is in service training available to compliment purchase of the manual?

    Yes. Contact Michael McConnell at [email protected] if interested.

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