EdTech 541: Week 6 Assignment

Week 6: Spreadsheets & Databases Pt. 1

Readings

Integrating Technology into Teaching – 5th Edition

Chapter 4: Teaching with the Basic Three Software Tools: Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Database Programs

Spreadsheet/Database Project:
The next two weeks of class will be devoted to developing either a spreadsheet supported lesson or a database supported lesson. This lesson is one more piece of your final project. All files should be uploaded and/or linked to your final project website or blog.

  1. Begin by reading over the requirements for each of the projects to gain an understanding of what is expected:

NOTE: The lesson plan template & rubric are the same for both projects.

  1. Review some sample lessons:

Part One of This Lesson (due this week): Before you begin lesson development, use the discussion forum to submit a lesson idea for feedback & review. See details below.


Ideas for Your Lesson Plan – Forum Post: 

You have two options for the discussion forums this week. Choose either the database supported lesson forum or the spreadsheet lesson forum depending on the tool you intend to use for your technology supported lesson. Feel free to explore both forums if you like. This week you will post your lesson ideas and give/receive feedback about those lessons. Next week you will refine the lessons and post them for grading review.

Option 1: Database Supported Lesson Forum

The purpose of this discussion is to develop and refine ideas for database supported lessons.  In this discussion forum, at a minimum respond to the following:

  • Provide a description of the topic
  • Provide a description of the data that will be used
  • The fields included in your database
  • The estimated number of records in your database
  • The general conclusions that you want your students to draw from the database
  • Where you will find the data

You will be required to post a minimum of three times. First post your lesson ideas and in two more posts, give feedback to two classmates. Other posts may be added as you wish. Use this as an opportunity to share ideas.

As you reflect on the type of lesson that might be appropriate for the use of a database, think about how databases are used in business and in government. Rarely are they used for simple decision making tasks. Databases typically hold very large amounts of data and are a tool that allows us to query that data to make informed decisions, predictions, and/or analyze problems. Although I won’t require you to actually assemble a large amount of data for your Database Supported lesson, your project should reflect this principle as well as support your content area/grade level.

Option 2: Spreadsheet Supported Lesson Forum

The purpose of this discussion is to develop and refine ideas for spreadsheet supported lessons.  In this discussion forum, at a minimum, respond to the following:

  • Provide a description of the topic
  • Provide a description of the data that will be used
  • The column & row headings you will use
  • The complex concepts students will understand after using the spreadsheet
  • Where the data will come from

You will be required to post a minimum of three times. In one post, describe your lesson plan ideas and in the next two posts, give feedback to two classmates. Other posts may be added as you wish. Use this as an opportunity to share ideas.

As you reflect on the type of lesson that might be appropriate for the use of a spreadsheet, think about how spreadsheets can be used to demonstrate complex concepts like estimation, showing relationships, solving problems, and answering “what it” questions especially in the context of your content area/grade level.

Keep this in mind as you begin thinking about lesson development:

A good rule of thumb when developing technology supported projects is to ask yourself if the lesson could just as easily be taught without the technology. If this is the case, then it is NOT an effective use of the tool to enhance instruction because there is no relative advantage.

Also, please consider that technology supported instruction encourages project-based, student centered learning. Lessons that incorporate only the use of worksheets, written reports, essays, multiple choice tests and teacher-directed activities in general, are usually not appropriate in most cases.

Blog – Relative Advantage of Using Spreadsheets and Databases in Education

Part 1:
Discuss why it is important for students/”workers” to know about and understand spreadsheets and databases. As usual, support your responses with relevant (and APA referenced) citations and respond to at least 2 other students’ posts. Post your link to your blog entry to the corresponding forum.

Part 2:
View and evaluate two lessons posted by your classmates. (See the assignment description above for this module for more information). Post lesson ideas and reviews in the corresponding forums. Please comment on each of the following items in your reviews:

  • The structure and content of the lesson.
  • How you would adapt this lesson for your grade level and/or discipline area. In other words, how would you change the lesson to fit your students’ needs. Include specific questions that you might have students ask of the data or conclusions that might be drawn.
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