Although children do not usually work with spreadsheets until the later years of key stage two, teachers can take advantage of the inbuilt feedback features of spreadsheets to create tasks for much younger children. The screen capture movie below shows how the IF function can be used in a formula to create a simple addition spreadsheet, which instantly tells children if they are right or wrong. The software here is Excel, but any spreadsheet can be used in this way. The software used for the screen capture was CamStudio, which is a free download for Windows - its easily as good as paid-for products and very easy to use.
Tony Pickford is a tutor and writer on primary education.