Monday, December 15, 2014

3 Steps for an Incredible Google Spreadsheet Lesson

     I met with a Math teacher this week who has been utilizing Google Spreadsheets with her students to create opportunities for them to collect and analyze data.  The data piece is a major component in the Bright Bytes goals we set for ourselves, because having students collect and analyze data shows up in the Iowa Core's Universal Constructs and lends the skills to formative assessments given online.  Here's how it can work:

     1- Students collaborate to formulate a question on a relevant topic they want to research.  Some examples might include: How long does it take me to get from 1st hour class to 2nd hour class?  Or, how much sediment is deposited/ eroded from the creek bed next to the school every week?  Or, of the students in our school, how many use Chrome vs. Firefox vs. other?

     2- Students input the data manually into the spreadsheet.  Another extension step would be to have students create a form to collect the data, or crowd source the collection.  This could lead to great discussions about statistical significance and data validity.

     3- Use tools in Google Sheets, like insert a chart, to represent the data graphically in multiple ways.

     From there, students can make predictions and analyze different data points.  This type of task is relatively simple, relevant, and lends itself to all sorts of collaboration, enrichment and extension activities.