...how much I rely on good old-fashioned pen and paper.
Hello again! It's been a while, but I have some exciting news! I picked up a handful of extra clients, and more are steadily rolling in as the days creep along. I've been itching to spend more of my days ~in~ therapy, so it's nice to feel busy again. The world of teletherapy moves only as quickly as you can churn out an email. "Paper" trails are your best friend, and so, it's a slow-moving process. The nice thing, though, is that I can quickly correspond in my brief 5-minute breaks (if you can even call them that?) between clients and usually get a response before my next break. Ahh, technology.
But, that's not why I popped in today. After picking up these new students, I came to the realization that my favorite (in an I-love-office-supplies-too-much kind of way) data collection method is by far pen and paper. No connection errors, no technological glitches, no iCloud lost files. It's always there. It always works. Okay, maybe not if the pen runs out of ink or if my paper happens to rip, but you get the gist.
I may not be the most gung-ho about solely relying on technology for my data and therapy needs, but I'm trying. So I use my document camera to write lists for comparing/contrasting? So I used 12 sticky notes yesterday to record each student's data points? So I print every IEP in full so they're sitting at my fingertips in case the internet crashes? So, sue me.
That being said, I am a big proponent of paper recycling. I can't bring myself to throw out even the tiny dots made by my holepunch. Yes, I put those in the ever-growing heap to take to the paper recycling facility. So, sue me, again.
But again, I'm trying. I've slowly made the switch over to an Excel spreadsheet of student goals with everyone's DOB, age, grade, IEP due date, and objectives listed out nice and neat. I've started keeping my therapy notes in Excel, and I type time in/time out so when I need to verify my invoice billing, I can. I even put little Sheet tabs at the bottom for each school I service (4 virtual and 2 brick-and-mortar). Fancy, fancy.
I've got a ways to go, but I definitely am transitioning. For example, since I began drafting this post (embarrassingly long ago), I've stopped printing my IEPs! The printed ones have been shredded and used as scratch paper for data tracking (let me have my baby steps). I still keep my therapy schedule sticky-tacked to the wall, though, because that one time that iCalendar didn't ding for me to log in for my student, hell broke loose. (Okay, maybe not, but I was embarrassed at being a pinch unprofessional.)
I also bit the bullet and bought Articulation Station. (And you, lucky readers, can take part in the sale right now, which I was not fortunate enough to wait for. I'm not sponsoring this app, I'm just saying it's pretty much fantastic for data-keeping) Half my caseload gets drill therapy every session, and then a few speech game minutes, and finally their earned game minutes. Data's done, and I have spent none of my unpaid planning time. Win.
Any tips, SLPs? How do you make life less paper-dependent?
The Cyber Speechie