By Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH
The world is changing, and data can now be collected electronically, on the fly with an app and a portable device such as a tablet or phone. In the last decade, we have all lived through the movement from paper medical records to digital and the medical community is reaping the benefits. Now is the time for Education to take the next step and join the revolution.
Digital data management is here to stay but as educators and school systems move from paper to digital, some are approaching this frontier with gritted teeth.
Special education is data rich especially when it comes to progress monitoring IEP goals and objectives. Special educators develop IEP documentation, including IEP goals and objectives. These documents are stored digitally, but educators must also collect data to progress monitor and evaluate student’s achievement of their IEP goals and objectives. Historically, this data has been collected by pencil and paper, graphed by hand or more recently graphed in excel – it was A LOT of work and still is!
You may be thinking: Why Should I care? What are the benefits to digital data collection? There are 5 major benefits of digital data collection:
- Data is analyzed instantly! With electronic data collection the data can be graphed and analyzed instantly. No more calculating by hand and moving data into a spreadsheet.
- More Time to spend on other projects! Every teacher wants more time, using digital data collection for progress monitoring can buy you some valuable time.
- Say goodbye to transfer errors! We all like to think that we are perfect but transcribing numbers from paper to a spreadsheet leaves room for error.
- It’s green! You won’t have endless stacks of papers that need to be shredded and recycled.
- Timely Instructional Decisions! Simply press the record button and data analysis is available immediately. No more waiting until the end of the quarter to adjust instruction. Instructional decisions can be made in a timely manner for maximum benefit.
Join the revolution, start collecting your data digitally!