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APP 110 Business Computer Fundamentals
Week  4 Discussion
DQ1 – Microsoft Excel Professional Applications
Learning Objectives Covered
LO 04.01 – Discuss Microsoft Excel’s professional applications
Career Relevancy
Excel is a very powerful spreadsheet application that is widely used in almost every industry and profession, thus requiring an understanding of its many professional capabilities is very important to know no matter what type of career you choose. Most likely at some point in your career, you will be tasked with working with Excel no matter your job title, and are highly likely if you plan to freelance or start your own business.
Background
1880Census.PNGblank ledger form 1920s
You probably already know Excel is a spreadsheet application and that spreadsheets are electronic ledgers. Ledgers allow data organization in rows and columns. In the past, ledgers could be specially printed with specific column headers, fill-in-the-blank pieces, and custom row widths such as the example shown from the 1880 United States Census. Other ledgers were more standardized with pre-printed blank columns and rows such as the accounting ledger example shown from the 1920s.
Some of the benefits of having an electronic ledger over a physical one include (but are not limited to):
Calculations can be done with the content electronically
Saves physical space because they are stored on the computer or on a server rather than in file cabinets or on shelves
Easier to correct errors
Can manipulate the data in advanced ways not possible on a printed sheet
Can interconnect the data across multiple sheets easily
Updates made in one spot can be processed automatically across all sheets rather than having to update manually
Sheet size is customizable to as small or large (within limits) as you want rather than just what your pre-printed sheet dictates
As you probably noticed these ledgers were most likely used by accountants and business people who have to create and read accounting ledgers. But what about other professions?
First, anyone who works for themselves needs to understand spreadsheet basics for their business accounting needs. But beyond that, spreadsheets now are used across professions and for many personal applications as well. Let’s get some of the personal ones out of the way just to give you an idea.
Budget
Exercise tracking
Organizing hobby collections
Tracking food storage
Auto maintenance schedule
You can easily find many more examples by looking at the templates available in Excel—which also works for professional uses. Another way to find ways Excel can be used is to add it to Google search terms, like “rabbit breeding Excel” or “Pokémon Excel” or just “Excel templates.”
The following video explains a bit about how to create your own Excel template: (5:44 min)
Professionally, depending on your career, you might use Excel to:
Track a project (business & graphic arts)
Track a patient therapy or prescription schedule (medical fields)
Track inventory (all careers)
Evaluate time commitments (all careers)
Sometimes you may download an app that is specific to an individual task, but they are basically adaptations of basic spreadsheets (a collection of data arranged in columns and rows). Which again means understanding the basics of Microsoft Excel and spreadsheets generally will be of help in your future career.
Prompt
Should Excel and other Microsoft Office products—or their competitors—be as large a part of our work today as they are? Why or why not? In other words, we seem to want to record everything today and organize it endlessly. Is this truly productive or a waste of time? Do our careers/companies need the information we gather or are we addicted to the business of making reports, gathering and analyzing data, and tracking everything?
Before responding, remember to think of this not just from the perspective of a person who is subject to data collection, but a future career person who will use data to make decisions.
Reply Requirements
You must submit:
1 main post of 150+ words with 1 in-text citation and reference (follow the Institution Writing Guidelines)
2 follow-up posts (replies) of 50+ words
Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be:
Your own words (no copy and paste)
Unique (no repeating something you already said)
Substantial in nature, which means there has to be some meat to the reply not something like: “Good job, Rasha, your post is excellent.” A substantial post will do one of the following:
Extend the conversation deeper,
Challenge the post being responded to, or
Take the conversation in a career-relevant tangent
Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.
DQ2 – Beyond the Basic Apps of Office 365
Learning Objectives Covered
LO 07.01 – Discuss ways Sway, OneNote, and OneDrive can be used to enhance educational and professional workflows
Career Relevancy
Microsoft Office 365 is actually a suite of applications that go beyond the basics covered in this class of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Knowing the basics of some of the other applications can help you be more effective and efficient in school and work.
Background
APP101_wk4_D2.jpgWith the power of Office 365 and all of the different app’s it offers, it can seem pretty intimidating and overwhelming to know what they all are and when you should use one over another when they appear, at first glance, to accomplish the same or similar things. Microsoft has been around for a long, long time, and they keep adding ways to help people be more efficient with everyday tasks in their professional as well as school, and personal life. Just like people have different learning styles, Microsoft recognizes that there are people that have different needs to accomplish similar tasks. Let’s take a look of three apps that you may be able to utilize not only in school but in your personal life as well as the workplace. OneDrive, OneNote (Notebook), and Sway.
The following brief video explains what cloud storage is all about: (2:07 min)
Image of OneDrive, OneNote, Sway Icons
OneDrive
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Stored on the cloud” or “Cloud computing” at some point in time. All this means is that you have a document or are running an application that is NOT stored or running on the device you are using to access it. With so many different ways to share files in today’s connected world, how does one decide when to use what? OneDrive (Links to an external site.) is “Cloud storage” and is ideal for sharing any type of file with colleagues within an organization, or with anyone that also has a OneDrive account. Unlike Facebook or Pinterest, which limits you to only sharing images, you can store Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on it, or any other type of file format you create. With a 365 account, Microsoft includes a set amount of storage space you can use to store your files, but be aware that it is not unlimited. So, if you fill it up, you will have to either delete files you don’t need anymore, or buy more storage space from Microsoft.
This video will give you an overview of what you can do with OneDrive. (1:01 min)
What is OneDrive? (Links to an external site.)
This additional video will give you a bit more insight into managing files through OneDrive. (3:04 min)
OneNote
So now you have a place to store your files, what is Notebook all about? This little gem, called OneNote (Links to an external site.), can help you keep your schoolwork, projects, and work tasks organized. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have one place where you can organize each of your classes you take (or anything you need to keep track of), put in notes, sketch ideas that come to mind and be able to even do voice recorded notes if you just can’t type that fast? This is just the beginning of what OneNote is capable of.
Take a look at this short video to give you an overview of what OneNote is all about. (1:22 min)
Create a notebook in OneNote (Links to an external site.)
This additional video gives a few more details to what OneNote is and how useful it can be. (3:24 min)
Sway
This leaves us Sway to talk about in this discussion. An interesting name for what it does. This app allows you to create visually dynamic newsletters, presentations, and create communication pieces from just about any resource you can access. You can also share your Sway creation with others to contribute, comment, or just view. You may ask, why did we just learn how to use PowerPoint? Isn’t that an app to create presentations? Well, yes it is, however Microsoft, contrary to the rumors, didn’t develop Sway to replace PowerPoint. Each app has its uses. A couple of the differences between the two is Sway is web-based and free to use, and PowerPoint is a licensed desktop product. You also have a lot more control over how the content is presented in PowerPoint versus Sway where you are at the mercy of how the content is viewed for the most part. So, depending on your needs, you should choose which is the best choice for your project. Both have their place in the workplace.
The following video is a short tutorial about Sway to give you a better idea whether it could be useful to you, whether on the job, in your schooling, or in your personal life. (2:35 min)
Prompt
Looking at the three additional Microsoft Office 365 apps we have covered (Sway, OneNote, and OneDrive), what are some ways you feel these could be effectively used (at work or in college) and why?
For this discussion, you will be evaluated on the quality of your thoughts so avoid being superficial like writing 250 words of “I think OneNote could help me organize.” Go much deeper than that. You do NOT need any citations for this discussion, though you are certainly welcome to use them.
Reply Requirements
You must submit:
1 main post of 150+ words. No citation is required, but if you do cite, follow the Institution Writing Guidelines.
2 follow-up posts (replies) of 50+ words
Responses can be addressed to both your initial thread and other threads but must be:
Your own words (no copy and paste)
Unique (no repeating something you already said)
Substantial in nature, which means there has to be some meat to the reply not something like: “Good job, Rasha, your post is excellent.” A substantial post will do one of the following:
Extend the conversation deeper,
Challenge the post being responded to, or
Take the conversation in a career-relevant tangent
Remember that part of the discussion grade is submitting on time and using proper grammar, spelling, etc. You’re training to be a professional—write like it.
Click here for info on the Institution Writing Guidelines (IWG) if you have questions.
References and Resources
Simoes, J. (2018, March 18). Microsoft Sway vs. PowerPoint: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.groovypost.com/howto/microsoft-sway-vs-powerpoint-whats-difference/ (Links to an external site.) 

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