Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spreadsheets, Nettrekker, and Software evaluation

This week in CEdO515 we checked out spreadsheets, NetTrekker, and the process that schools go through for software evaluation. We needed to create a google spreadsheet, research a NetTrekker lessons, and discuss with our school district the process that they use to purchase software. All of these things can be utilized in my curriculum and positively affect my classroom.

Google spreadsheets is a great tool. It has all the features of excel but it is free and can be accessed anywhere that internet is available. We needed to create a recipe spreadsheet that utilized formulas. The goal was to have the quantity of each of our ingredients change based on the number of servings that was entered into the spreadsheet. Here is a link to the spreadhseet that I created: Carl Bauhs' Spreadsheet Recipe.

The next topic that we researched this week was NetTrekker. NetTrekker is a search engine that is designed for educators. It is a great tool because it only provides search results that are approved by other educators. This filters out all of nonsense that you typically get from a google search. NetTrekker also provides a overview of each website that includes: an overal rating, website readability, multimedia content, learning aids, and content language. The user may also further refine their search by selecting the learning aids, multimedia content, readability level, language, collections, and subject area that they want their results to contain. We needed to find a lesson that incorporated spreadsheets. I found a lesson that incorporated an excel template for an acid base titration which is what we are doing in my chemistry class this week.

The last topic that discussed this week was the process that our districts go through in order to purchase software. Our district use a from that includes that following: A description of the goal you are trying to achieve, a rationale for Goal: links to Professional Situation and Wisconsin Teacher Standards, a plan for Assessing and Documenting the success of your Goal, A plan to meet Goal: Objectives, Activities, Timeline, and Plan for Collaboration. The description of any software that you would need to purchase would be included in your plan to meet your goal. This form requires us to truly examine how software or equipment will fit into a goal that we are trying to achieve. I have utilized this process a couple of times in order to purchase a new laptop, vernier equipment, and smart response remotes.

All of these things can be tied into my current science curriculum. In the future, I hope to utilize Google spreadsheet and Google forms to combine student data and collaborate. This would allow us to do averages, percent error, and graphing from our actual data. From now on, I plan on using NetTrekker as my main lesson search engine. I really like the design and it will save me time because I won't need to filter through the nonsense that a Google search would provide. I hope to continue to find new software/equipment and I plan on using our districts form to obtain these items. All of these things will help create engaging and interactive lessons that will motivate my students.

1 comment:

  1. We use a similar form for software evaluation. It is very detailed and shows what we would be accomplishing by implementing the software. The teacher proposes using the software. I would have a hard time being told by someone, administration or tech department, that I have to use a certain software.