Thursday, September 22, 2022

Google Sheets in 20 Minutes

Google Sheets is easily one of the most powerful tools in the Google Workspace suite of programs. I use it every day in one way or another.

It can be used for many tasks such as:
  • Analyzing student data to identify at-risk students
  • Tracking student behavior
  • Managing inventory
  • Collecting attendance from a PD session and generating certificates
  • Providing conditional formatting feedback in learning activities
  • Building a learning database for students to draw conclusions from
  • Making pixel art
  • Creating interactive learning games and activities
  • And much more!
Unfortunately many people can feel intimidated by spreadsheets and not be sure where to begin. I want to take that fear away and help ease you into the wonderful world of spreadsheets!

To help with, below you will find a 20-minute crash course video on Google Sheets where we cover topics including view options, freezing rows and columns, sorting data, filtering data, formulas, charts and graphs, sparklines, conditional formatting, and even pivot tables.

You will also find templates you can make copies of to follow along and try out each of the features demonstrated. I am excited to see what you do with these skills, and welcome any questions you have as you learn!

▶️ Tutorial Video (20 minutes)

🧰 General Resources

📄 Templates

Make copies of these templates if you want to follow along with the video and try out the examples that are demonstrated.

🔎 View Options

There are several helpful tools to make it easier to see our data, especially when working with a large amount of data, or when trying to navigate around our Sheet.

⬆️ Sorting Data

A common way to analyze your data is to use sorting. With sorting you can rearrange your rows of data by number or alphabetically.

🔻 Filtering Data

Another helpful tool when working with your data in a spreadsheet is filtering. Filtering is an option that allows you to hide the rows you don't want to see, and only display the rows that meet your criteria. This can be very helpful when you have a lot of data to analyze.

✖️ Formulas

Although spreadsheets are a great way to collect, sort,  and organize all your data, one of the most powerful benefits of a spreadsheet is the ability to add formulas that can do calculations based off of your data.

📊 Charts and Graphs

Another great way to understand your student data is to represent it visually with a chart. This can be helpful as we might see a trend or spike or valley more easily if we are looking at a visual representation rather than just the numbers.

📈 Sparklines

Google Sheets has another option for visually displaying your data called sparklines. Sparklines are different from charts in that each sparkline graph fits entirely inside of a single cell.

🟩 Conditional Formatting

Conditional Formatting is a tool in Google Sheets that will format cells by changing the color or making the text bold or such, all based on the values of the cells and the rules you set up. For example with conditional formatting we can see at a glance any student grades that fall below a certain value.
  • Adding conditional formatting - Google help page
  • Conditional formatting rules
  • Using color gradients

🔀 Pivot Tables

A Pivot Table is a special tool in Google Sheets that creates a new tab where a large amount of data can be grouped and subtotaled into a simple easy-to-understand table.

🏁 Conclusion

Hopefully this 20-minute video gave you a helpful introduction to the basics of Google Sheets. Certainly this just scratches the surface of what you can do with spreadsheets, so feel free to reach out with questions you have.

If you would like to explore spreadsheets more, be sure to check out a 1-hour video I did on creative learning activities you can do with your students using Google Sheets and many of the features we covered. You can access that video and all its resources below:

Post by Eric Curts
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