How to Teach Programming Indirectly-Using Spreadsheet ApplicationReport as inadecuate

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Acta Didactica Napocensia, v9 n1 p15-22 2016

It is a question in many countries whether ICT and application usage should be taught. There are some problems with IT literacy: users do not understand the concepts of a software, they cannot solve problems, and moreover, using applications gives them more problems. Consequently, using ICT seems to slow work down. Experts suggest learning programming to get some practice in computational thinking; but learning programming is very difficult for many people. In this publication a method is suggested how to teach computational thinking and how to prepare students for programming. The focus is set on the spreadsheet software, but the method is more general: the teaching of programming is embedded into the teaching of application usage. While discussing a specified software or problem to solve, indirectly, one teaches computational thinking and programming. Advanced spreadsheets are known as programming like language but in this case the focus is on the spreadsheets as a program in everyday use. While examining how to solve a problem using spreadsheet and what does spreadsheet do, computational thinking and key competences of programming are developing. Later known data types, data structures, algorithms, functions and methods give the conceptual basis of programming practice.

Descriptors: Programming, Technological Literacy, Information Technology, Spreadsheets, Teaching Methods, Computer Software, Thinking Skills, Computation

Babes-Bolyai University. Kogainiceanu 1, Cluj-Napoca, 400084 Romania. e-mail: submit_adn[at]; Web site:

Author: Tahy, Zsuzsanna Szalayné


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