Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Spreadsheet Software Designed for Kids

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Spreadsheet Software Designed for Kids

Article excerpt

The Cruncher 2.0 is a spreadsheet program designed for students in grades three and up. Fun animation, sounds and six well-designed tutorial lessons give elementary and middle school students a simple way to learn about using spreadsheets.

Just because the program is designed for the younger crowd doesn't mean that it is missing functionality. Twenty-three of the most commonly used spreadsheet functions such as Average, Sum, Maximum and trigonometric functions are included. The Cruncher 2.0 follows the standard form for creating equations used by other spreadsheet programs, so students can transfer their skills easily to Microsoft Excel or AppleWorks.

Charting features allow students to create bar, line, scatter and pie graphs easily. A preview window lets students see what the graph will look like before it is actually created, therefore giving them a way to experiment with different graph types and settings. However, unlike more advanced spreadsheet programs, students cannot edit the colors and fonts of their graphs.

One of the greatest features not found in other spreadsheet programs is the Show button. Students often don't understand the logic behind nested functions. By selecting a cell and clicking the Show button, students are given a step-by-step view as to how the computer performs the calculation required. …

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