Fellow Teachers and Professors of PK-12 Special Education Teachers:
Throw away your graph paper and do you data digitally. It is much easier. IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) can take a good percentage of your time. There is a lot of data to collect for your students and collaborating with your gen ed team is essential. This is especially so for students who have a BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan) where data collection is required daily, sometimes at 10 minute intervals.
With our busy schedules technology can help. I've found that by using Google Docs it is an effective way to keep data. Plus, best of all, it is free! Just go to Google Drive in your Gmail account and go under create form. There you can create bubble in forms, multiple choice, paragraph fill in for notes, etc. Plus, they have cheery graphics that you can add for each student. I love the argyle one. Send it out to the individuals on your team to fill out the data as per the IEP. As data is entered, you as the case manager can see stats in the form of bar graphs, pie graphs, and percentages which helps the team in seeing patterns. I like to go over the data with my students themselves so that they can see their progress, which builds academic confidence.
Further, collecting data digitally is especially great if you're a teacher like me and like to use the SmartBoard when conducting IEPs. By projecting data on the SmartBoard, team members and student family members can see progress and plan future goals. In sum, by looking at patterns within data it helps teachers guide instruction tailoring it to each student's needs. Afterall, IEPs are individualized plans and technology can help! I hope this is helpful for some teachers out there. Happy Data Keeping!
Image Reference: This is a picture taken at school of one of my colleague's cool staplers. (Go Ed-U-Gators!)