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Don't Fear the F Word — Google Sheets 101


Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Streaming Session
Recorded Session
Presented Virtually
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Director of Technology
Lakeland School System
Wanda Terral, Ed.D., is a veteran educator who began her career as a band director. After teaching band for nine years, she moved into the world of instructional technology, first as a tech coach and, since 2014, as the director of technology for the Lakeland School System outside of Memphis. She’s a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator, co-leader of Google Educator Group Tennessee, and manages her district's Google Workspace domain. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Memphis, focusing her research on self-directed professional learning for educators. Terral shares resources on and via social media.

Session description

Conquer your fear of spreadsheet "F"unctions and "F"ormulas. Get hands-on practice combining text functions into handy formulas that can be time-savers for any teacher. No spreadsheet experience required! Will focus on Google Sheets but most can be transferred to Excel.

Purpose & objective

Participants will be able to manipulate lists of text in Google Sheets using a variety of functions and formulas. Use of each function is demonstrated by the presenter while attendees are able to get hands-on practice through the use of a provided template. Throughout the session, the presenter will include common education-related scenarios where using these functions can be used. Attendees will be encouraged to share ways they can envision the functions being used in their own circumstances.

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Timing will vary based on the length of the length of the session. The bulk of time is spent in #4 and #5 on the list below.

1. Copy the provided template
2. Review basic spreadsheet vocabulary
3. How to build formulas
4. Basic functions for manipulating text
5. A few more complicated functions for manipulating text
6. Some useful formula recipes
7. Review resources for continued learning

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Supporting research

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Session specifications

Online tools, apps & resources
Skill level:
Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Attendees will need access to Google Sheets in order to be hands-on in the activities included in the session. Many of these skills can also be applied in other spreadsheet programs but examples included in the session are presented in Google Sheets. Attendees without a Google account or access to Google Sheets will still be able to view the resource.
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.