“Algebra Techniques Using an Excel Spreadsheet”
Chris Mackenzie. Teacher, Palomar Valley High School.
This guy has pitched a tent in the SCUD missile-marked territory between me and Christian Long. I suspect Christian would’ve enjoyed this guy’s unabashed amateurism, how he acknowledged at the start that he was just a teacher, not an expert, that he just really liked Excel’s applications for Algebra. When anyone corrected his math or technique, he’d say “You’ve discovered one of my weaknesses” or “Wow. That is a really good question.”
I was blogging inside of fifteen minutes, as soon as it became clear he wasn’t going to teach us anything. We were just going to talk, one amateur to a bunch of others.
Maybe this is only me but I would have been entirely unoffended had he baldly asserted his expertise and taught me how to make some of his dazzling — truly dazzling — Excel spreadsheets, with sliders that controlled variables which manipulated some beautiful graphs.
But in one-and-a-half hours I learned one Excel term (“CONCATENATE”).
He would open up Excel file after Excel file and demonstrate their operation but not their construction. For ninety minutes. He chided those of us who had opened up unrelated browser windows but, I mean, come on: if your kids are bored in class, is that their fault? Or yours.
Testaments to advance planning: his laptop’s hard drive failed the day before and he didn’t anticipate that every computer in the lab would be running Vista and Office 2007. Whoops.
For Your Consideration