Fed up of students wanting only the latest, trendiest gadget (usually from Apple at our school), I created this lesson to get students to more rationally and thoroughly assess a range of gadgets. One of the intended outcomes is to encourage students to consider devices at different price points, with the aim of seeing what represents good value, where cut corners effect the whole experience, and what features are just marketing fluff.

Gadget Shop SpreadsheetGadget Shop Spreadsheet (XLSX)

Students could undertake this task individually, or in small groups, but my preference is to have them do it as a whole class, with the hope of promoting more discussion and passion about what is valuable, and what is not. The following instructions, included in the spreadsheet, should guide students in completing the spreadsheet:

  1. Decide on the 10 criteria you wish to judge each device on, or use the ones included. The criteria must be the same for all devices. An example would be “Screen Size”.
  2. Assign each criteria a weight according to it’s importance. Total weight must be equal to 100.
  3. Choose 9 devices (3 laptops, 3 tablets, 3 phones) and enter their names into the column headers (e.g. Laptop 1 name goes into “L1 Name”)
  4. Research the nine devices online, and enter details of the specs for each criteria under the “Detail” column for that device.
  5. Assign a “Score” for each criteria (from 0 up to 10), based on the information entered into the “Detail” column.
  6. Once the table is complete, the highest score total for each product type should be the best product.