Thursday, January 28, 2010

Career Portfolio

The Career Portfolio Assessment is a measure of job readiness completed by the student's teachers using a likert scale. The version on Iowa Transition Assessment contains a “Not Applicable” option but I have removed it from the google doc version to facilitate the calculation of statistics such as mean, mode, and standard deviation. I plan to send out this google doc to all of the teachers of each student on my roster. The information can be used for two purposes. 1) To assess and determine goals and services for an individual student. 2) Target skills for instruction as indicated by an overall review of all student Career Portfolios. To view the document in which the data from the form is collected, click here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Parent of Teenager Survival Checklist

Over the last two years I have used Parent of Teenager Survival Checklist which can be found on the Iowa Transition Assessment using the traditional paper and pencil method. Sending the survey home via the student and mail was not effective. Most of the time, the survey was lost or the parent would arrive at the meeting with an uncompleted form. Completing the form at the meeting, in my opinion, is not effective because the parent does not spend efficient time. I created a shorter Google Doc version of Parent of Teenager Survival Checklist. The survey consist totally of multiple choice questions, therefore, the data fed into the spreadsheet can be manipulated. Summary statistics can be used to identify learning needs of a group and to determine the discrepancy of an individual from their peers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Using Google Docs for Transition Assessments

In Iowa we are required to perform transition assessment. The Iowa Department of Education has created a great site to assist in this process. The site Iowa Transition Assessment includes assessments in PDF form. I have found that my students are more motivated to complete the assessments online via Google Doc forms. Assessments that require parents, employers, or others can be emailed directly. Completed assessments can be electronically attached to Individual Education Plans. Here is a Google Doc version of Job-Related Interest and Preference Inventory which can be found on the Iowa Transition Assessment site. I will post more Google Doc Transition Assessments in the future. To see the document in which the data is stored, click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Reading the books A Whole New Mind and Drive! by Daniel Pink ( inspired me to start this blog. In A Whole New Mind, Pink argues that we are exiting the Information Age and entering the Conceptual Age. Masters Degrees are still useful but people in other countries can also learn the same information and are willing to apply it for much less. Therefore having knowledge is a great base but not enough to be successful in the Conceptual Age. To be successful in the Conceptual Age you have to be able to bring disparate ideas to create solutions to current problems or unknown problems. But how can I find the time to search for all the information needed to make combinations to form solutions? Post a blog in which other people concerned with the education of students with special needs can comment on topics. The opportunity to converse with other professionals in the area of special education has always been my favorite aspect of continuing education. My hope is that this blog will replicate the discussions and sharing of information created when people with shared challenges and passion are able to collaborate.

In his book, Drive!, Pink presents research over the last thirty years that severely contradicts the theory that behavior is primarily based on external awards. Pink does an excellent job discussing research that shows that often the motivation to perform a task can be found in the task itself. In my occupation I often feel overcome by the mundane tasks and the feeling that financial and time constraints are preventing students from getting the services they need. My hope is that the purpose of this site, finding technology to serve students with special needs, will motivate me.

This will most likely be my longest blog. My plan is to find technology ( mostly free), try it out and share it with everyone. Using Google Docs, I created a Behavior Point sheet which I email as a form to the student’s teachers. The form is easy to complete and the results are recorded in the spreadsheet. The data can be shared with parents, administrators and others in real time. If you edit the form the changes appear in the spreadsheet. Send the form by following the dropdown menu under Forms. You will need to have a Google Account to use the Behavior Point sheet. Here is the link:

Behavior Point Sheet

If you would like to see the document in which the data is recorded, click here.