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Getting Started with Spreadsheets

I was asked to take it down about 1000 notches and just answer how to get started with spreadsheets.

Why do spreadsheets?

  • It will make you more organized
  • It will save you hours of time
  • It will help you to better manage your classroom
  • For students it can be an excellent application of math and algebra

At it’s basic level a spreadsheet is just a grid or table that you organize information into.  Once you get into it, you can harness the super power of spreadsheets to do all kinds of amazing things.

So lets start simple, there are many different spreadsheet programs.  I will use Google Sheets for this because it is free and web based so everyone should be able to access.  You will need a Google Account.  I recommend making a Gmail if you do not have one.  If you prefer not to make a Gmail, you can link your current email address to a Google account: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp

Step 1: Go to drive.google.com

Step 2: Click on the create button and choose spreadsheet

Step 3: Click on where it says “untitled spreadsheet” in the upper left and rename it.  We are just getting started so name it “delete me” if you want.

Step 4: It is not necessary, but I highly recommend clicking on the blue share button and checking your sharing settings.  My work flow with ALL Google Docs is to rename and blue share button before I do anything else.

By default the spreadsheet is private so any student information or grades you put on the spreadsheet is not accessible by anyone other than you.

Click on the word “Change” in order to change it from being private to being publicly viewable.  This is how I share my spreadsheets on twitter and with colleagues and students.

At the bottom you can enter the email addresses of anyone you want to share with.  This will give them the ability to edit the spreadsheet with you AT THE SAME TIME.  This collaboration piece is particularly exciting about Google Sheets.

Again, this is optional, you can leave the blue share button alone if you prefer.

Step 5: Treat this like a text document, just put text in the boxes (called cells).
Get use to using a spreadsheet, type things in the cells, see what ways you an create classroom documents and lists just by having the ability to easily put information anywhere on the sheet.  You are not constrained to go line by line like you are in a text document.

Try making a list of your students, this is a great place to start.

Next steps: 5 things everyone should know about spreadsheets


3 thoughts on “Getting Started with Spreadsheets”

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