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Computers in the Classroom

Compiled by Karen Work Richardson (
May 2002

 This Month:

Spreadsheets and Databases: The OTHER Applications

Much of the material we teach students is informational in nature: Civil War generals, types of rocks, story genres, etc. Spreadsheets and databases are designed to help users organize and manipulate data. Here are ten websites that will guide you in learning how and when to use them in your classroom.

1. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Spreadsheets: From the Manassas Public Schools, a great collection of links to tutorials and lesson plans using spreadsheets.

2. Microsoft in Education: From the people who brought you Excel and Access, a website just for teachers full of detailed lesson plans as well as hands-on tutorials.

3. Spreadsheets in the Math Classroom: General information on spreadsheets with ideas for data analysis in ALL curriculum areas, not just math.

4. A Simple Self-Check Worksheet: From Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers, this spreadsheet uses a simple IF formula to check student answers.

5. More Ideas from Tammy: Complete, easy-to-follow directions for a variety of computer activities for both teachers and students that use a wide range of applications including spreadsheets and databases.

6. Pythagorean Theorem in Excel: From the Virginia SOL lesson plan site, directions for setting up a spreadsheet to help find the third side of a pythagorean triangle. Excellent example of using technology to reinforce the curriculum. While you're at the site, search for other SOL-related lessons from teachers throughout the state.

7. Presidential Database: Learn how to use a database to track information about the presidents. Includes other ideas for using databases in the elementary classroom. Most can be applied in higher grades without much trouble.

Check out The White House and the Internet Public Library for more information on the Presidents.

8. The Data Library: Links to data sites to help you find information to use with spreadsheets and databases.

My favorite? The Roller Coaster Database!

Want even more statistics? Try Fedstats, the website for statistics from over 100 federal agencies:

9. Using Computer Databases in the Classroom: From Teach-nology, an article that examines database use, gives an example of their use and includes links to several online tutorials.

10. Databases in the Content Classroom: From our favorite William and Mary professor, a powerpoint presentation that gives ideas for using databases in the classroom. (You never know what you'll find when you google!)


Feature Web:

170 Ideas and Resources for Teachers

I love lists! And this one is a great starting point for finding new ways to integrate technology in your classroom. From the AEL, the list includes ideas for elementary, middle and secondary teachers and includes links to web resources to aid with each idea.