The assignment for this post is regarding the use of Excel spreadsheets in the classroom as an activity that engages the students as a cognitive tool that can aid them in gathering and effectively organizing data. Playing off of the example found here in our assigned reading, I like the idea of using excel to track daily activities. It’s grid format makes it quite easy to do so.
Putting myself in the hypothetical classroom, I could imagine having students use a spreadsheet to track time spent in daily activities, including amount of sleep. Students would input the amount of time in hours, and calculate in the adjacent row the % of daily time used. After a set amount of days or weeks observed, students would average the time in a total row and thus be able to see, concretely, what they spend most of their time accomplishing.
I think this would be a great example of cognitive tool that a student can use to learn with. Although can be done with a pen and paper, the ability to turn the information into graphs and percentages aids the learning process into seeing the data they record visualized for them.
Personally, I think it can teach a necessary life lesson on budgeting and using time wisely and seeing the finite nature of time when put in numerical expressions. Many a good discussion could come out of this lesson. I know it has changed my perspective of my time when I think of how much of my day I spent on certain tasks.
What think you, reader?