Excel With Students.
Only this year, 2014, have I started using excel graphing with students focusing upon line graphs which are useful in Science. The use of excel in doing this is very powerful as it can easily be re-manipulated, changed, and modified as new data is added or discarded. This is something that a paper graph cannot do.
Excel can also be used to extrapolate graph lines and calculate and display a graph formula.
In the ‘graphing with senior physics’ subsection of ‘Excel with students’ there is a video outlining how to do this along with an outline of the process with screen shots and the original files.
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Relevance & use of Excel with Students.
The use of excel as part of the teaching of Science is very relevant. During some practical investigations and other activities students often need to tabulate, graph, and analyse results and data. The use of excel in this is very efficient and effective. The fact that excel can generate lines of best fit (trend lines) to data points that can be extrapolated (extended) makes it extremely useful in science. Also with the click of a button the equation of a line can be generated allowing for gathered data to be analysed at a deeper level. Also, due to the dynamic nature of excel, if a mistake is made the applicable data can be easily corrected generating a corrected graph rather than having to draw a new graph all over again as is the case with paper graphs. Also, efficiency can be improved by having groups of students contribute a section of data to an excel table from which the combined data is graphed. This increases the collaborative nature of science in the classroom and also improved efficiency.