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End-user Education and Outreach: Teachers and Students. Maggie Niess, Pejmon Sadri, Kwangho Lee & Gogot Suharwato Science and Mathematics Education Oregon State University niessm@onid.oregonstate.edu. End-Users: Teachers from previous summer. Followed to the classrooms

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End-user Education and Outreach: Teachers and Students

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End-user Education and Outreach: Teachers and Students

Maggie Niess, Pejmon Sadri, Kwangho Lee & Gogot Suharwato

Science and Mathematics Education

Oregon State University


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End-Users: Teachers from previous summer

  • Followed to the classrooms

  • Barriers to teaching about spreadsheet design and dependability

    • Difficulty handling students with access to hands-on use of technology;

    • Lack of school technical support;

    • Lack of access to technology - labs used for testing (NCLB emphasis);

    • Technical requirements when incorporating technology;

    • Lack of problems and ways to integrate into curriculum.

  • Supports for teaching about spreadsheet design and dependability

    • School support and encouragement from others such as the principal;

    • Access to computer labs;

    • More practice working with students and working with the technology in mathematical lessons.

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End-users: Middle School Girls First Spreadsheet Experience

  • Saturday Academy Hurricane Katrina Problem

    • Design playhouses for playgrounds destroyed by Hurricane Katrina

    • Cost must be within the amount donated: $500,000

    • How dependable is your spreadsheet?

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What happened in just 2 hours -a quick glimpse!

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What the girls said after the class…

  • Majority liked working with the hands-on model building activity with the spreadsheet lesson.

  • None found the spreadsheet work confusing.

  • Wanted more work with spreadsheets - where they could create the spreadsheets from scratch to solve problems.

  • They were mixed (half yes-half not sure) concerning interest in computer science as a career.

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Focus: Curriculum

Focus: Teaching students

Follow-up to classroom

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The one week course…

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Focus on Designing Problems

Dynamic Linear Function Machine

Wind Frequency

DVD vs. Satellites

M&Ms Experiment

Number Trick

El Nino and La Nina Impacts on Temperature and Precipitation

Math Target

San Diego Zoo

Forest Thinning

Airplanes taking off and landing

Solar Panels

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Goals for the Course: Spreadsheet Scaffolding, Teaching Strategies, and Assessing Students

  • Design lessons that teach both the science/mathematics content and about spreadsheet design (dynamic and dependable).

  • Use spreadsheets as tool for extending problems; dynamic spreadsheets require students to learn about designing dependable spreadsheets.

    • Don’t embed values

    • Use built in formulas

    • Reference cells in formulas

    • Understand absolute vs. relative cell referencing

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Teachers Designing Problems to Guide Student Learning Math/Science With Spreadsheets

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What the teachers said…

  • I envision integrating spreadsheets throughout the school year by starting with some very simple ones and then building up the students' skills so they can use more and more intricate spreadsheets. 

  • If it weren't for this program, I wouldn't even know what a spreadsheet was! Because of this program I now feel like an "expert" within my school.  I have been asked to chair the math department's integration of spreadsheets for the school.  Through using excel last year, I found that kids were really excited about math and I felt like I gave them a tool that they can use for the rest of their life.

  • I feel that I have a stronger understanding of how spreadsheets can be applied to lessons in my classes.  There were several examples introduced throughout the week long course that will help me in developing my own lessons.  I especially liked the M&M lab and have thought of several lessons that I relate this to.

  • It has provided me with material to use, spreadsheets I can use with students to begin scaffolding their learning of math to spreadsheets.  It demonstrated to me how easy it can be to get the spreadsheet to do the basics yet it has the power to allow for very complex applications.  I think its going to actually be easier to integrate my math curriculum with spreadsheets than I had earlier thought.

  • This program has shown how to use examples that are more aligned with student experiences to scaffold the stepping stones that reach more difficult concepts that may be more unfamiliar to students.

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The two-week course

investigated designing and scaffolding needed to incorporate dependable spreadsheets in exploring math/science problems

worked in the EUSES lab with the prototypes

taught the Harry Potter Saturday Academy class

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Teaching Students about Dynamic and Dependable Spreadsheets using a Harry Potter Theme

Harry's Wands

Magic Squares

Dynamic M&Ms

Sorting Hat

Number Tricks

Library at Hogwarts


Dynamic Airplanes

One inch tall

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Hermione’s Magic Square Problem

  • Place the numbers 1-9 in the cells so the sum of all rows, columns and diagonals is 15

  • Create this spreadsheet

    • Emphasis on dynamic spreadsheets

    • Entering formulas in cells to do calculations

    • Discuss importance of dependable spreadsheets

  • Create a 4X4 magic square

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Hogwarts Expansion

What should the new Hogwarts houses look like?

  • Castles?

  • Fortresses?

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Emphasizing Testing of Spreadsheets in EUSES Lab

  • Explored gradebook spreadsheets, investigating the formulas used to do the calculations

  • Searched to correct errors in a similar gradebook using the WYSIWYT prototype

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Harry Potter Class Website

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New Student Creations

Final Problem!

1. Create the formulas

2. Change the quantities

Pay Attention to this Spending Limit

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Guiding Students Learning About Designing and Working with Dependable Spreadsheets

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Guiding Students Learning About Designing and Working with Dependable Spreadsheets

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What the teachers said…

  • My main vision of implementation is to make spreadsheet use an integral part of my lab activities.  This will include instruction as well as student use.  The resource cards are labs that I am already doing, so it will be easy to implement spreadsheet instruction from the very beginning of the school year.  

  • I see the spreadsheets as being much more versatile than I realized.  I did not realize the dynamic nature of it and how that could be used to ask a variety of "what If" questions. This makes exploring the math and science much more interesting to the students and gives them practice in more complex reasoning skills.

  • I am really excited to use the spreadsheet tool in my classroom.  Telling acomputer what to do and seeing it happen right away is empowering.  I'll takeany opportunity for my students to experience instant success with theirscience education.  Turning numeric data into visual data is so developmentally appropriate for junior high kids.  Using spreadsheets to analyze information isreally going to work in my classroom!

  • This class has made me see that getting spreadsheets is something that can bedone with a wide variety of lessons.  There are several things that I reallywant to do in my class, and I feel like I am more equipped with how to getstudents up to the skill levels that they need.  When using the lab in thepast, I was always apprehensive about students abilities with the computer, and now I feel more equipped to teach them the skills they need.

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So? What’s Next?

  • Follow teachers to the classrooms to gather data about the teaching with and about spreadsheets

  • Creating a Teacher Resource link for the EUSES website

  • Collaborate around learning spreadsheets and CS preparation - with:

    • Oregon Pre-engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative (OPAS)

    • Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC)– Computer Science Task Force

    • Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA)

  • Presentations: AMTE, NCTM, …+ others

  • Papers on the research

    • Professional development for teachers to learn to integrate design of dependable spreadsheets and creating dynamic spreadsheets to ask “what if” questions

    • Integrating spreadsheet problems in teaching mathematics and science

    • Case studies of teachers developing TPCK

    • Teacher resources for teaching

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