Looking for clues. Picture from www.pixabay.com CC0
Some men love fast cars. Others love women. Me? I love spreadsheets and databases. But when it comes to teaching such things, how can you make them interesting? I think this applies particularly to databases. Flat file databases are, it seems to me, inherently boring. Relational databases are much more interesting. Perhaps because they are more useful, though I suspect the real reason is that they are so much more complicated.
Like most teachers I imagine, I introduced flat file databases before tackling relational ones, but after teaching the basics, and how to do simple and complex searches, I thought I'd try an experiment.
I had particular objectives in mind:
- The database had to be very large, because I didn't want the pupils to be able to find data simply by looking through the records or by sorting them.
- The searches had to have a real purpose, or at least real in the sense that they could be searches that someone would carry out "in real life".
- The activity had to be fun.
cross-posted at www.ictineducation.org
Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."