If you ask most people to tell you what Excel is used for, what would they say? Calculations, reporting, graphing, organizing data… After all, Excel does resemble the typical math grid book.
Creative uses of Excel
But what about more ‘creative’ or ‘interesting’ uses of Excel? Let’s review our Excel drawing board and see if we can make things more exciting.
Even though Excel isn’t a graphics program, it does allow us to use colours, insert graphics as well as use form controls such as sliders and buttons. And what’s more is that this type of functionality, combined with the widespread availability of Excel, will increase, not only the look and feel of your model, but also enhance the information you present and increase usability plus make Excel an excellent educational tool.
How to use Excel to increase interactivity
Here’s an interesting article about how Excel can be used to increase interactivity in schools, with a downloadable Excel workbook created by Tom (senior researcher, Centre for Learning Innovation in Australia).
So, what can you do with a spreadsheet? When you download the workbook (and enable macros), you’ll get a glimpse into some of the really interesting things that can be done with Excel:
- Use sliders to create animated story boards
- Create battleship-like games
- Animate virtual puppets
- Create contour-maps
- Simulate brain scans
- Create bidding games
- Simulate ‘chatterbot’ programs
Sounds interesting? Read Chandoo’s article and download the Excel workbook – it’s free!