Teaching beginning Excel can be a challenging adventure. Students are usually eager to learn what Excel has to offer, but the concepts are more complex than those of simpler programs like Word or PowerPoint. Each lesson lays the groundwork for the next, and eventually your students are calculating and charting all sorts of information.

But learning Excel can be difficult for new users. Solid coverage of the basics, including navigation and terminology, is important. The basics should include a review of the multiple functions of the Excel cursor and the many shapes it will take as your students navigate through their spreadsheets. If you’d like a creative way to explain the Excel cursor, download our space invader icons.

Colorful graphics of the Excel cursors will help your students learn and remember their functions.

A reader’s idea
Mail from a member gave us the idea for this download. TechRepublic member Garybench wrote to tell us how he explains the “Mighty Mouse” to his students:

“At the beginning of the lesson, I explain that the Mighty Mouse will morph into different characters depending on the job at hand. Then I go through all scenarios where the mouse morphs.…All of this is done with some type of story to go along with the tempo of the class. [It] provides a way for the adult learner to know why the mouse morphs as it maneuvers around the spreadsheet.”

We thought this was such a great idea that we came up with our own tale, based on a deep space theme, to go with each of the “mouse-morphing” scenarios. We call our tale “The Great Space Cursors from the Galaxy Excel.” Download “Space invaders can help you teach Excel” for a look at the full-color graphics of the mighty characters as they hurtle through the galaxy performing their fierce functions. I wrote the legends, and graphic artist Mike Covington designed the images.

Download our invaders
Download “Space Invaders can help you teach Excel” and you’ll have a fun way to spice up your next beginning Excel class.

We’d like to hear from you

Please e-mail us to let us know how you used the “The Great Space Cursors from the Galaxy Excel” download material and how your students reacted to it. Perhaps you’ll think of some fun ways to extend the theme, like maybe digging out that old Captain Kirk uniform?