Spreadsheets are an effective tool to use to easily store, organize, and format data. Often used in math and science classes, spreadsheets are composed of cells, which can be organized and manipulated to best represent the data that they hold. While there are many software options that contain spreadsheet programs, they are often not easily shared. However, Google Spreadsheet, a subcategory of Google Drive allows you to create spreadsheets that can be easily shared with and potentially edited by others.
Google Spreadsheets allows you to create a spreadsheet just as you would with Excel. But, as aforementioned, it is easily shared with others. Like all applications available in Google Drive, documents created using Google Spreadsheet can be shared, such that others can view and even edit the document, if given permission. The documents created using Google Spreadsheet can be accessed by logging into your Google Account on any computer or mobile device and searching under Google Drive. There can be found spreadsheets that you created and that others have shared with you.
For those used to creating spreadsheets with Excel, the idea of using Google Spreadsheet could be daunting. However, Lynda.com provides user-friendly tutorials thatwill make your switch to Google Spreadsheet headache free. Under the Google Drive Essential Training, Chapter 6, Working with Spreadsheets, provides all the information you need to begin storing and organizing your data with Google Spreadsheets.
Video 2, Navigating the Interface, discusses how to work with a Google Spreadsheet document that contains multiple sheets. By clicking on the tabs at the bottom of the worksheet, you can control which sheet you are working on, add or delete sheets, and even duplicate an entire sheet. The video also details the functions available in the formatting toolbar and explains how to enter text into a cell.
Video 3, Formatting Cell Data, teaches the viewer how to edit the data in each cell using the toolbar and format tab. The video teaches how to format individual cells, and how to format entire rows or columns, simply by clicking on their header. The viewer will also learn how to add values to cell data. This function allows the user to give the data meaning, by adding dollar signs, commas, and other meaningful symbols.
The fourth video, Working with Rows and Columns, discusses how to edit rows and columns. By clicking on the arrow beside the column header, the entire column can be formatted or another column can be added. The same can be done by clicking on the row header. The video also describes how to sort data based on a certain value. Such a function makes the spreadsheet more organized and much easier to comprehend.
Google Spreadsheets is a useful tool because it allows the user to create a spreadsheet that they can have access to from any computer. It can also be easily shared with others; who, if given the opportunity, can view and even edit the spreadsheet with permission. The program is also fairly simple to use, especially if you watch the Lynda tutorials prior to working with it. However, if you choose to continue creating your spreadsheets on Excel, read the following blog posts to learn more about what the program has to offer: Excel: Using Formats and Functions for Calculations, Excel: Creating Basic Charts Quickly, and Formatting a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.
If you were to use Google Spreadsheets with your students, how would you do so? How can this program be an effective teaching tool? If you have used the program, what do you like and dislike about it? Please feel free to respond with any comments, thoughts, or concerns you may have!