Hands on Data was this weeks workshop presentation. Sarah and Jonelle did a great job of presenting what most people would classify a very ‘dull’ topic as it is to do with databases and spreadsheets. Here is a link to their presentation…Hands on Data. The presentation started off with a brief overview of what a database is and different types of databases. It was interesting to learn about the 3 different types of databases which include:

  • Online Database – stored on the web (YouTube) or sites to create databases (Dabble)
  • Physical Database – not electronic (address book, phone book)
  • Application Database – allows you to create a database offline (Microsoft Access). Application Databases can either be Flat file Databases (containing only one table) or Relational Databases (containing more then one table linked together).


The task completed in the presentation was using itunes and excel in which we were able to demonstrate skills of storing, sorting, filtering and reporting data that was within the itunes database environment. We created a playlist and added songs according to a given genre. We then rated songs from highest to lowest and saved this file out as a Unicode text file which we opened in excel. In excel we opened this text file as a report which demonstrated adding data to a database.  The last part of the activity was using a Mac program called Grab. This program allows you to do a ‘print screen’ of a window which we did using our itunes playlist.


Some teaching methods I learnt from this presentation:

  •  itunes is a great example of explaining hands on data by relating it to something the students would be familiar and interested with (music). As teachers we should be relating the content to the students as much as possible.
  • Demonstrating tasks is a good way to maintain pace in the lesson and control the classroom. Throughout the task the girls were demonstrating how to go about doing things in an orderly fashion.
  • The website that went with this presentation has a great range of alternative tasks you could complete with your students, for example using Microsoft Access and the movie online database (IMDb). These activites do have complex tasks but are a fun and enjoyable way of going about doing this topic.

Links to other Workshop Presentations

Tuesday 11am Workshop

Tuesday 2pm Workshop

Back to Workshop main page


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