Are you a special educator feeling overwhelmed with paperwork and looking for an efficient way to track your students' progress?

One potential solution is going digital! In this blogpost, let's dive into using Google Forms for special education data collection.

Why Google Forms?

Accessibility! Google Forms is not only a great organizational tool, it's part of the Google Drive suite, which includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, and even Google Slides. This means that all the data collected on Google Forms can be efficiently organized in your Google Drive, making it easily accessible.

Plus, Google Forms is designed for data collection. From tracking IEP goals to behavior observations, Google Forms provides a streamlined process.

Setting Up Your First Google Form

  1. Google Account: To get started, you need a Google account (like a Gmail account). If your school district uses Google services, you might already have one set up for you.
  2. Creating a New Form: On the top right hand of the screen in Google Drive, click on the ‘+ New’ button and choose Google Forms. You'll be taken to a blank form in editing mode.
  3. Naming Your Form: Before diving into questions, name your form. This could be related to the student’s name, school year, or the specific IEP goal.
  4. Choosing Question Types: There's a variety of question types ranging from short answer, checkboxes, to dropdown menu. Based on the IEP data you need, select the most appropriate type.
  5. Using Sections: If you’re tracking multiple IEP goals or different goals like academic and behavior goals, use the ‘new section’ feature. This allows you to organize your form and ensure your data stays neat.

Use Pre-Made Google Forms Designed for Data Tracking

Maybe you're reading this far and getting excited about using digital data tracking, BUT would rather skip the DIY steps listed above.

Here's a done-for-you set of MUST-HAVE special education data collection forms. Simply make a copy and they're ready for you to type into, edit if needed, and share!

Tips and Tricks for Special Educators

  • Linking to Google Sheets: The best part about data collection is seeing trends. Every time someone fills out your Google Form, the answers can automatically populate a Google Sheet. This means instant data sheets without the manual entry!
  • Digital Vs. Paper: While we're all for going green, sometimes having paper data sheets is a must. But here's a hack: Once you've set up your form, click on the eye button for a public view of the form. Then print that page! If you need an editable version for professional development purposes, you can export the form as a PDF, provided you have a free Adobe PDF reader.
  • Safety First: All special education data is sensitive. Always ensure that your data collection is in line with your school district's privacy policies. It's definitely doable, but you want to take this extra step before accidently sharing confidential information online.
  • Sharing and Collaboration: Google Forms allows you to share your form with co-teachers, social workers, or any other member of your IEP team. It's collaborative and a great way to gather multiple perspectives on student progress.

Ready to Save Time?

So, whether you're a seasoned special ed teacher or just starting out, Google Forms can be an effective way to manage student IEP goals, behavior observations, and so much more. Ditch those manual data forms and start the school year with a more efficient, digital approach. After all, the life of a special educator is busy enough, and any time saver is a win in our books!

Cheers to a more organized and efficient year of teaching! 🍎📚📊

Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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