Monday, August 20, 2012

Lookup & Moovl

We can't always just have fun - we need to do some serious work too.  :-) This evening the Sunridge Computer Club looked into Microsoft Excel - specifically the VLOOKUP function. This is probably one of the most useful functions Excel has to offer. It allows you to look up a value from a pre-defined list (table) by referencing it with a value you enter into the spreadsheet. 

One such useful application for this function is for us teachers to have a list of percentages 0% - 100%, and alongside that are listed the various levels used on our learners' reports for grades 6 & 7 for example.  Using this method, we can have one centrally located correct list where all the teachers can work from. Teachers enter their marks onto their own spreadsheet which converts the mark to a percentage. Their spreadsheet then uses that percentage to reference the level from the appropriate column in the pre-defined list.

Needless to say, the computer club members had no problem mastering this function - despite the fact that the VLOOKUP function uses four variables. I'll have to think up something more complicated next time. :-)

We had some time left so we had a look at a nifty online app (also available for smartboards) called Moovl. Moovle applies the laws of physics by allowing you to draw objects and have you manipulate factors such as gravity, it's density, and firmness by changing an objects "stickiness", "slippiness", and other fun descriptions.

Our next club meeting will be on Monday evening, 3 September 2012.

Until next time...

Monday, August 13, 2012

30 Seconds...

We looked at how to create our own online educational computer games tonight. There are various such websites available but is the one we used. has many templates available for you to simply add your questions and answers before turning it into a game. What's great about this website is that you do not need to register or log in at all. 

These games have great educational value as teachers can copy and paste questions and answers into the website and have it generate an exciting game with one or two clicks of the mouse. The games can even be password protected so that the questions are not meddled with. This way the same game can be used over and over for different classes.

The templates on offer take many different formats. You can shoot, catch, pick, and match the answers to name but just a few.

Our Game
We tried the out by creating a "30 seconds" type game. We had a long list of clues (with descriptions), and a second list with all the SCC members' names. A Jackpot slot machine-like game picked teams of 2 at random. One team member was made to sit down with his/her back towards the projector screen while the other stands in front of them describing the clue (which was also randomly produced) with hand movements and actions. Another website acted as the countdown timer. The rest of us played the part of the audience as we sat back ...and laughed team members frantically tried to get their message across before their 30 seconds were up.

Our next club meeting will be on 20 August 2012 @ 17:15 in Mr. Williams' computer lab.

Until next time...