Want to learn my newest, most fabulous idea for keeping up with data logs for each student? Read on right here!! I am very excited about this discovery, and for the potential it has to make my world a lot easier. Keeping up with the logs in the course of busy day of therapy is no easy feat. My school district requires us to keep data on all students, every time we see them for therapy. Our data is kept in computerized logs using Microsoft Excel, so all therapists are using the same log system across the county. Many times during the week I conduct classroom-based interventions and whole group lessons. Other times I have three to four students around my therapy table, making meaningful data entries/anecdotal notes difficult to write at the end of our sessions. And with sessions back-to-back with little time in between to consult with faculty, write reports, plan or even use the ladies room…life gets crazy and I often find myself playing catch-up, transferring written notes from a spiral notebook onto the computerized logs (translation: working at home long hours to keep up with data!)
So what’s the Time-saving Tech Tool? All you iPad and iPhone users might be out of luck on this one…Voice-to-text data entries using my Android phone (so far not available on Apple devices, I believe.) This idea is so simple and so ingenious, I am still overwhelmed at the significance of this discovery. WHY I didn’t think of this idea sooner is beyond me! I use my phone’s voice action feature to complete many other tasks already — why not speech-language logs??? Check out this video for a quick overview of how voice-to-text with Android works:
Using this voice-to-text feature, I can enter student therapy data into a file by simply speaking. With some students, I may input data in a quick moment in between therapy sessions, or even when walking down the hall to get my next group. With most students however, I can input the data at the end of the session during the time I would review progress anyway. A simple, “Ok, it’s Adam’s turn.., ready, listen!” And then I can speak a quick sentence or two into the phone to summarize the data (e.g., Given picture scenes, Adam formulated simple sentences using is/are auxiliary verb forms with 70% accuracy and minimal verbal prompts. Progress and strategies reviewed with student.”) To ensure student understanding, I can then summarize the note, “Wow, Adam, that means you used those helping verbs correctly in 7 out of 10 of your sentences! Keep up the great work!” And it’s done, all while maintaining student engagement. Students seem to enjoy this chance for extra attention, and it provides opportunity for additional review and feedback. My voice entry is saved into the document on my phone, and it’s done. I am using Quickoffice Pro to create, edit, and store and transfer student data into files. Here is a video about the features of QuickOffice Pro and the potential it has for working on the go:
Are you ready for the best part??? Here it is…Dropbox. Some of you may be using this online storage tool already, but the combination of voice-to-text, QuickOffice Pro and Dropbox is a powerful case management tool that has changed my working world. QuickOffice Pro allows you to instantaneously transfer your updated files to a “cloud” storage. With QuickOffice Pro and Dropbox, my Excel files are instantly saved and uploaded, and those same changes are automatically stored on all of my computers and mobile devices.This means that the log entry I dictated into a student’s Excel spreadsheet while walking down the hall is already updated and saved on my computer when I arrive in my therapy room. I can dictate those last few notes while waiting in the carpool line at my daughter’s school, and the notes are automatically updated and stored on my work and home computers without me even being there. The files are secure and in compliance with HIPAA requirements, with Dropbox’s 256-bit SSL encryption. Is anyone else impressed by the significance of this discovery?? Check out the Dropbox video for an overview of the possibilities:
Click here to get more info on using Dropbox.
If you are a busy therapist (like ME) struggling to meet the demands of a large caseload while still maintaining accurate, data-based documentation, then this type of tool may be just what you need. It certainly is just what I needed! Let me know what you are using to track student data — I am curious to know if similar technologies are being used. Thanks for visiting LiveSpeakLove!
EDITED FOR UPDATE:
I wanted to update that I have actually changed the office program I am using on my Android device. While Quick Office Pro is a very useful program, I did run into some difficulty with my spreadsheet template and the formulas it involved. I am now using Office Suites Pro, which preserves the formulas and transfers the documents seamlessly from mobile to desktop versions.