The basic suite of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software is a great tool for teachers and students as it provides tools that can be used across all of the subject areas, Word processing is a great way for students to write explanations as well as inserting graphics, photos, tables, and other information so students are able to show their creative side. Employers currently expect that employees will know how to use a word processing program and the other programs in the basic suite. Knowing the basic functions therefore is important to getting a quality job. (Davenport, 2015) On the teacher side, word processing tools give teachers more ways to have students show their understanding of different concepts. Some of the word processing tools also provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively on the same document, which allows them to share ideas and try different things so they become the teachers and the classroom teacher is just the facilitator as it should be. Teachers can also use word processing in many ways for the classroom, such as, creating monthly newsletters, permission letters, and any other type of letter that might be needed throughout the year. (Roblyer, 117)
Spreadsheet software provides a tool that allows students to keep track of information and data as well as creating dynamic visuals using that illustrate that data in an engaging way. Students can process formulas on larger amounts of data than they can by hand, which allows them to take project further and show that they understand what the numbers mean and apply that understand to real life situations. Spreadsheets can also give students the opportunity to show that they know how to organize data in tables and charts that can be easily customized to meet the needs of the student for a variety of projects. For teachers, spreadsheets not only have a large number of instructional applications, it is also a great tool for staying organized and tracking data. One of the best uses of spreadsheets that I have found is in tracking formative assessment data. By using a spreadsheet I can easily identify standards and concepts where students are struggling and organize small groups to provide targeted instruction to those students in need. This is especially helpful for primary concepts that are spread out throughout the entire year. It makes it easier to track progress.
Presentation software is the final of the typical basic suite of software programs that are bundled together. As its name suggests, presentation software is great for providing students and teachers with the opportunity to create presentations. This is great for students to create culminating projects that really show what they know. This software offers a great amount of flexibility and not only provides students with the ability to add graphics and text, but it also provides the option to add music and video. This makes creating an engaging presentations a lot easier for students. Presentations also promotes collaboration as students work together to create the different parts of their presentation. This is not just the case for students either. Teachers can use presentation software to increase engagement in their instruction as well. Video Clips, photos, and interactive tools can be easily inserted into the presentation. By having students create a quality presentation you are also teaching them to focus on the most important details of a topic and then support that information with additional details through their spoken words, which allows the teacher to gather more information about what the student actually knows and understands, making it a powerful assessment tool.
Roblyer, M.D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th Ed.). Allyn & Bacon