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Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Spreadsheet software allows you to organize numeric data in rows and columns.

The basic spreadsheet concept of double-entry bookkeeping was originated by Pacioli in 1494. The first spreadsheet software, VisiCalc, was introduced in 1979. A spreadsheet file consists of rows and columns.  The columns are identified by letters and rows are identified by numbers. The intersection of a column and row is a cell. The intersection of column A and row 5 would be referred to as cell A5. Cells can contain three types of data: labels (text), values (numbers) and formulas. Another function of a spreadsheet is to turn numeric data into a chart that graphically illustrates the relationship of the numeric data.

Another option teachers have today is to use grade book software. Grade book software allows teachers to track and organize students’ tests, homework and other scores. Grade book programs can be integrated with other school and student management programs. Some popular grade book programs are:

Grade Machine

Easy Grade Pro


Other educational uses for spreadsheets
Besides using spreadsheets for grade books, there are other ways you can use spreadsheets in your classroom.  

“Integrating technology into instruction by using technological tools to support learning activities gives learners opportunities to develop technology skills and experiences in contexts that are similar to those in which technology is used outside the classroom. The skills gained, particularly around the meaningful use of everyday technology applications, can be transferred to other settings such as the workplace.”

Taken from Integrating Technology into Adult Learning by Lynda Ginsburg,

It has been shown that technology can improve student academic performance when the application is integrated into the typical instruction day. Take a look at what the research says at:


Below is a list of websites which will give you some ideas on integrating the spreadsheet into your classroom.

InspireData is an excellent resource and with the practical spreadsheets included with the program you can easily integrate this technology into the curriculum.

Marco Polo website - in the search box, search for Spreadsheets and you'll see approximately 99 results

SpreadsheetResources (take a look at the Dice Spreadsheet - there are some other good ones also)

An interactive higher-order thinking tool

Excel Links -

Integrating Spreadsheets into the Classroom -

Spreadsheet Resources -

Timelines with a spreadsheet -

Candy Color Caper (you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this file)

Search Kathy Schrock’s Lesson Plans for some ideas -

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This Page was last update: Friday, February 16, 2007 at 2:44:07 PM
This page was originally posted: 2/10/07; 11:04:22 AM.
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