++Software Definitions: The following definitions aim to explain the instructional software categories listed under each of the content areas. These descriptive definitions are from Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition).


Spreadsheets are a great tool for doing calculations and crunching numbers. By definition, "spreadsheets are programs designed to organize and manipulate numerical data. The term spreadsheet comes from the pre-computer word for an accountant's ledger: a book for keeping records of numerical information such as budgets and cash flow." Businesses use them for tracking travel expenses, employee time cards, and balancing checkbooks.(Roblyer, 4th Edition).

"Teachers may use spreadsheets to help them prepare classroom materials and complete calculations that they would otherwise have to do by hand or with a calculator. The most common uses of spreadsheets are for keeping club and classroom budgets, preparing performance checklists, and keeping gradebooks." However this trend is changing as teachers are discovering the relative advantages of teaching with spreadsheets. (Roblyer, 4th Edition).

Spreadsheet Lesson Plan

Description:The Pitfalls of Credit Cards

Whenever you turn on the TV or browse the web, a credit card add pops up and they want you to sign-up for their card. It seems like everyone is willing to lend you money. Credit Card companies encourage you to spend and buy things you cannot afford. Unfortunately a lot of college students are falling victim to these predators and the end result is debt that they may not be able to payoff in a life time. The following lesson plan will use an online credit card payment calculator, spreadsheets and graphs to help students see the relationships between high accrued interest rates and it’s affect on payoff months. Grade or Age Level of Students: K9 – 12, College & Adult Learners

Students will be able to:

  • Describe relationships between interest rates and their effect on payoff months.
  • Research Consumer Goods on the web and insert them into a spreadsheet.
  • Be able to compare credit cards for best deals.
  • Analyze data by inserting information into spreadsheet.
  • Describe relationships between interest rates and payoff months using a bar graph.
  • Describe relationship between high interest rates and the effect on principal owed.

Standards Addressed:

ISTE Standards Addressed:

1. Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative
    products and processes using technology.
     a. Students apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
     b. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

3. Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
     b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a
     variety of sources and media.
     c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness
     to specific tasks.

4. Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects,
    solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and
     a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
     c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

5. Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and
    practice legal and ethical behavior.
      c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

6. Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Timeline: 5 Day (one 50-minute class period)

Day 1: Students are given an introductory PowerPoint presentation about the pitfalls of credit cards. After the instructor has given the short presentation, students will be given an excel spreadsheet and with a hypothetical credit card with a credit limit of $10,000. Students are asked to max out the card by purchasing items on the internet. Students will need to give a description of the item, dollar amount, a link to the item on the Internet, and whether the item is a necessity or luxury item. Students will also need to make sure the item is within a reasonable prince.

Day 2: On day 2 students are slapped with a credit card bill with a monthly payment amount on the statement. Students are asked to go out to Bankrate.com and using the spreadsheet provided by the instructor students, fill in the missing spreadsheet information. The exercise will have students calculate the payoff amount using the minimum payment. Students will also need to fill in payoff months and the amount of accrued interest.The Spreadsheet consists of 3 tables that asks students to calculate the payoff amount for:

  • a fixed rate credit card.
  • a variable rate credit card,
  • amount of payments if they miss one credit card payment and it goes into a high interest rate.

After filling in spreadsheet, they will need to construct a bar graph to show the relationship of higher interest rate to the increase in payoff months .Students will also be asked to construct a second graph to show the relationship between a higher interest rate and increased accrued interest amounts.

Day 3: Students are given a handout and asked to answer questions pertaining to the information uncovered through the filling out of the spreadsheets and from the graphing of the data. After the being given 30 minutes to complete the hand-out, the instructor will give a power point presentation to reinforce what students should have learned.

Day 4 & 5: On the last two days of the lesson plan, students are shown the movie, “What a Wonderful Life.” Students are asked to fill out a worksheet that goes with the movie and with the goal of drawing the relationship between some of the evil Mr. Potter and the evil credit card companies of today. The movie also makes students think, “What would I do if I were in George Bailey’s shoes?” “How would I come up with the money?” which is exactly the predicament people find themselves in when they cannot payoff credit card debt.


Grouping Strategies: Students will work independently on their own spreadsheets in the schools or college computer lab. Day 4 & 5 do not require the use of the computer lab.

Learning Activities: See Timeline

Diversity: Students requiring any adaptive or assistive technologies to complete this assignment will have them in place. This is a self-paced project so that all students have adequate time to draw their conclusions. The instructor is free to circulate and assist students in need. Small groups will be diversified so that they can best help each other to learn.

Assessment: On day 3, students will be given a short assessment consisting or, true / false, multiple choice, and short answer. Worksheet #1 & #2 have grading rubric at the bottom of the worksheets.


ISTE Standards

Relative Advantage

  • Makes abstract concepts more concrete.
  • Makes it more efficient to demonstrate math concepts.
  • Saves time doing graphic displays of data.
  • Makes it easier to make corrections.
  • Spreadsheets make solutions more visible and clear.

Common sign language  phrases


Amazon.com (Credit Card)


Citibank - (Credit Cards)

GMAC - (Credit Card)


Visa - (Credit Cards)


US Bank - (Credit Cards)


Second Life - (Credit Card)



American Express - (Credit Cards)



Southwest Airlines - (Credit Card)



Wachovia - (Credit Cards)


Walmart - (Credit Cards)


Wheelchair Accessable Desk - (Students with Physical disabilites)