Better Data Tracking Can Rescue Special Education
This post is sponsored by mytaptrack
By Nikody Keating
There’s a problem with special education. In addition to educating special needs kids, teachers are asked to manually track their symptoms and behaviors throughout the school day. It’s time to help teachers manage this responsibility so they can get back to doing what they truly love—teaching—but how? A better data tracking tool is the answer.
In special education, missed symptoms and behaviors mean missed IEP goals, and that’s a problem for school districts. But how can one special education teacher be expected to track up to 10 kids for a total of 60 – 80 symptoms, and recall all of that data for end-of-day reporting? It’s simple: Special education teachers need an easy way to track symptoms and behaviors in the moment.
mytaptrack® is an example of an IoT button schools can have on-hand to track data. To use it, you click once, twice, or hold a click to instantly log a symptom or behavior. The teacher can click and get right back to teaching while each click is communicated via Wi-Fi to an online platform. Because this edtech solution is inexpensive, each child can have his or her own button customized with color-coded stickers.
This is a safe data tracking method that doesn’t require a cell phone or tablet, both of which can be distracting for teachers and students. The IoT button only connects to Wi-Fi when in use, and only encrypted numerical data is sent to the cloud-based platform. This configuration keeps private data protected from hackers, a common concern with education technology.
If you use a system like this it needs to be FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant to ensure the protection of a child’s educational and health data. mytaptrack® is both FERPA and HIPAA compliant, and CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) isn’t an issue because the IoT button does not provide Internet screen access.
When you track data using a tool like mytaptrack®, end-of-day reporting becomes easier and more accurate. Teachers can log in to the online platform, review all data for the day, as well as activities, patterns and trends associated with that data. Teachers can complete their special education reports with greater detail, citing true data, versus anecdotal information recalled from memory.
Best of all, a special needs child’s entire team of parents, doctors and other educators can receive data notifications and alerts about sudden changes. Suddenly, when a special needs child’s entire team can understand symptoms and behaviors, it opens the door to better treatment. As an example, an inability to hold attention during a reading class after lunch might suggest a dietary change that leads to better attention and faster progress in reading.
When you can accurately track and treat the symptoms and behaviors of special needs children, you allow their abilities to shine through. Better data tracking is the answer to rescue special education. As the father of a special needs child, it makes me excited for my kid’s future.
Nikody Keating is the Founder and CEO of mytaptrack®, an edtech company that gives special needs kids the best opportunity to succeed in their educational experience and life.