Technology for Teachers

Caseload Management

Digital Tool Makeover – Communication Log

August 1, 2017

Digital Tool Makeover – Communication Log

I know you are enjoying summer and the freedom to do whatever you want but August is here which means school starts creeping into my mind from time to time.  In all honesty, I have already been to my classroom and started to rearrange and hang things up on the wall.  This is one of my favorite parts to heading back to school.

I also like updating the digital tools I use to manage my caseload.  One important tool is the communication log.  Documenting conversations with parents and guardians is important and can easily be overlooked.  Using Google Sheets I created a simple contact log that has a tab for each student and collected the basic information needed for a communication.  I filled out a column with the date, method of communication and a description of the conversation.  Since a Google Sheet is an online document I put it in my Bookmark Bar on Google Chrome for quick access.  After communicating with parents or guardians it was a simple click on the link to access the form and document the conversation.

Here is my original Communication Log using Google Sheets:

Now it’s time for the makeover!  I originally was going to convert my communication log to a Google Form, but I realized I like the ease of having my entire caseload in one document already sorted by student name.  I know there are ways I can use a Google Form and sort the attached Google Sheet but it wasn’t a quick and easy task.  When quick and easy is what you are going for I decided Google Sheets was the best digital tool for the job.

To give my Communication Log a makeover I added a few columns that will allow me to collect information about the interaction that I can later sort and use to look for communication patterns.  To make inputting information consistent I used the Data Validation feature “List of items'” to create drop down menus for some of the columns. Check out this video on how I customized the Person Contacted column to individualize the column for each student on my caseload.

The makeover is complete!  Good luck on your Communication Log makeover.  If you want a copy of my Communication Log you can get it here.

What digital tool do you use as a communication log?  I’d love to hear what works for you.

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