Online education is here to stay, and along with that, there has been a phenomenal growth of educational software applications to assist teachers in collecting qualitative data on their students. A significant number of software applications help both teachers and students communicate and facilitate transparency so that teachers know what kind of data they need to store and what to avoid. The leading software brings together under one single platform all the students, teachers, and parents and is very powerful and effective. These applications are used for secured data storage and data analytics and make it easy for students, teachers, and parents to interact without any hassles.
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The benefits of such data collection apps for special education teachers are numerous. Therefore, institutions have made it mandatory to store student data and use it for future analysis. The data collection process is done with the help of specialized educational software tools. It helps in interpreting each student’s progress in their respective fields, making error-free judgments, and enabling new classroom teaching methods. Eventually, there is no room for conflicts of interest, which helps the teacher-student rapport on a higher level. The former can track student progress and give necessary feedback to the parents.
Data Collection in Special Education
Special education teachers need data to closely monitor each student’s progress toward IEP objectives and goals. The IEP documentation is stored digitally and has tremendous benefits for both educators and students. It is noteworthy that the data is analyzed instantly, saves both time and energy, and is mostly error-free. The data can then be graphed, analyzed, and moved into a spreadsheet. It also helps teachers attend to other projects as they have more time. It also ensures timely instructional decisions for students from teachers without any lag whatsoever.
The collected data is then kept in a binder or a clipboard so that the teachers may use color-coding to organize them and transfer them to each student’s sheet after the class instructions are over. In this way, through unique data collection apps for special education teachers, it becomes easier for educators to evaluate each child’s progress in specific areas. It not only revolutionizes the student’s learning experience but also ensures teaching becomes more dynamic for the teacher. In other words, data-driven classrooms open the door for the future of academic education and help app-based predictive analytics monitor and determine which subjects each student is learning well and in which subjects they are weak.
If you were given the option to choose the best web-based management platform, then the same should assist teachers in identifying student performance with a clear assessment of learning and grasping of subjects. It would mean that the features of such a tool should include high-standard data tracking, performance assessment, teacher comparison analysis, and sharing of common goals and objectives. The app should also include students’ attendance, calendar, grade book, assignment creation, subject-related assessment of each student, personalized activities, discussion forums, and time management.
Keeping to the Basic Requirements
Sometimes, too much data can be confusing, and an institution may need the service of data analytics as a full-time job. Big data has the advantage that teachers can cross-reference written work with that in public databases and other sources on the internet. Again, teachers have an edge while imparting new teaching methods and advanced skills.
However, too much data can be a setback, as you need to segregate the relevant information from a lot of unwanted data to focus more on a specific level. Hence, prioritizing information can become a problem. Again, as stated earlier, segregating relevant information from big data would require a full-time data analyst whose pay may be higher than that of the teachers, which many institutions may not be able to afford.
Hence, keeping things to the basics is the best option for teachers who have only to educate high school students. Here, basic tools and techniques are sufficient, and then you make a plan to scale to higher levels in a stage-by-stage manner. At every stage, you must keep track of the progress of the data tool you are using. The real progress is when you watch the students’ reactions during data-driven instructions. You may easily use a graph or a chart for this and communicate the findings with the students and their parents. Again, it would do you good to engage your students by setting goals and making them reflect on their daily, weekly, or monthly progress.
Best Teaching Software
Although there are pretty high-standard data collection and tracking apps, there are also very good software tools for online and offline teaching. Teachers can use this software to help them interact with students and their parents through video conferencing, creating teaching plans, making reports, and starting with virtual lessons on a computer or mobile device. A few names stand tall in this category, including Google Classroom, Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, Edmondo, and SkoolBeep.
Some platforms allow customized roles for teachers, students, and parents. However, these platforms can only serve you if you have data collection apps for special education teachers to improve the data level management platform. The latter helps you make convincing and appropriate steps to help students enhance their learning experience by engaging them.
Brief Glimpses into the Top Apps
The following are the best apps that students, teachers, and parents can use for interactions and enhancing the learning environment.
- Google Classroom: Google Classroom is free LMS software and provides most of the tools to create standard teaching plans, make reports, and host virtual lessons. For additional features, you can get the paid edition. With just a few clicks, teachers can track student progress and export grade marks to the school student information system. You can use frequently used phrases with customization and prepare and schedule tasks, assignments, and other activities across multiple classes.
- Blackboard: Blackboard is a free, user-friendly virtual learning app with numerous solutions. It includes analytics, grading, messaging services, reporting, and students’ assessments. It is a very popular mobile classroom experience and encourages active participation on the go. Students can remain connected with their virtual classes, classmates, and digital class discussion anytime, from anywhere.
- Microsoft Teams: Microsoft Teams is a free app that enables teachers and students to work together and share resources. It has some great features, including channels for conversation between teammates, a chat function, and document storage in SharePoint, where all files are shared and automatically saved. Apart from these, you have online video calling and screen sharing, and last but not least, there is full telephony, online meetings, and audio conferencing.
- Edmondo: Edmondo has all the available features, but before creating classes on the app, teachers need to create an account connected to their existing accounts. The information from these accounts is not shared with students or parents. The most significant advantage of this app is that it can provide total privacy, as students need to enter their name and surname and create a password. There is no need for email or other personal information to stay connected. The next step is to enter their class code and create groups to share photos and other resources.
- SkoolBeep: SkoolBeep is a straightforward interactive platform that facilitates easy handling of data, conducting virtual classes, and managing parent-to-teacher communication. It is a comprehensive application that will easily integrate all information from the school diary, paper circulars, SMS, and email and share various multimedia audio, video, and pictures. It will track just about everything that a school needs.
Keeping things Simple
Teachers would be better at handling basic data if trained as data analysts. It is noteworthy that detailed data with measurable goals and objectives that measure each student’s progress will not require the full-time employment of a data analyst. All the educators need to do is develop a data collection system and represent the data visually for their purposes and those of their students. Evaluation is pretty straightforward too, and teachers can do the same with little training under the guidance of professional data analysts. They can also adjust their data to guide instructions after evaluating it.
In the end, the main aim of the educator must be to choose the data that is relevant to their subjects or curriculum. It is essential that, from the huge data, they be able to meet their needs, like enrollment numbers, grades by students from tests and quizzes, course completion rates, attendance rates, engagement levels, and even rates from extracurricular activities.
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