Datability

Category: Apps for Teachers

Ages: 5-7 7-11 11-14
Price: iPhone/iPad - Paid

Datability has been designed by a special education teacher who recognised the administrative burden that tracking multiple Individualized Education Plans can bring.  Within its easy-to-use design, Datability makes recording and accessing useful data easy. 

App Video

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Teacher Review

Whatever your opinions on the subject, teachers must keep and use data concerning their children both as a record and as a way of informing future strategies to help each child.  Teachers who work with children who have been identified as having a special need are used to juggling, maintaining, and using Individualized Education Plans.  Datability is designed with the goal of making this easier for teachers while enhancing the help that they can give to children.

The app's user interface is clean and straightforward.  Screens and options appear in a logical order.  Where appropriate, options are selected from a drop down list. Where a more open-ended entry is needed, the on-screen keyboard is used and fits in well with the display as it does not obscure any of the useful information or options.

The format in which you must enter that data may not be the precise structure you would choose but no app could be expected to match every individual's precise preferences.  For having to conform to the app's structure you gain all of the benefits of not having to set up your own.

The time saved will let you get on with the real job at hand which is not writing spreadsheets but using the data to help your children.  The security of the entered data ensures that only those for whom it is relevant may read it.  The safety of the data means that it cannot be lost with a misplaced or malfunctioning device.

Speaking of securing the data, the app does lock itself down after a short period and requires the password to be entered again.  As with all matters of data security, there is a fine balance between protecting sensitive information and irritating the user.  It can be frustrating to have to re-enter the password but probably not as much as it would be embarrassing or harmful for the wrong eyes to see the data it is protecting.  This feature will cause some slight annoyance but it is justified.

It is perhaps easiest for those starting afresh to use this app.  Add a child to the app and allocate their lessons and other useful information and you can begin to use it to monitor and support that child.  That isn't to say that you can't transfer data held in another system to this app or that it is arduous to do so.  The app's tutorial on how to prepare existing data for import into Datability is very clear and easy to follow.   And, just as important as it is to get data into the app, it can be exported into useful formats for adding to Excel, for example.

The tutorials for all other aspects of the app are similarly well written.  As well as showing how to use the app they should be a useful appraisal tool for anyone considering Datability.  They're available on the informative and supportive web site that supports the app.  Read through them and you'll gain a good idea of how it can aid your workflow.   Combine this with the free download to have a risk-free opportunity to see how the app could help you and other teachers in your school.  The full features are unlocked by subscription and it can be accessed across multiple devices.  

Datability has the potential to ease significantly the administrative burden on teachers who frequently use IEPs.  You may have your own system of spreadsheets that has served you well but, if you have a suitable device, you would do well to consider how much easier life can become with an app specially created for the purpose.

From the Developer

Powerful educational data collection, analysis, and reporting tool for the iPad.


Developed by a special education teacher, Datability is an inexpensive and powerful alternative to subscription based data collection services.

Features:
Easily import your IEP goals into Datability.

Improve compliance; Datability sends the user reminders when it is time to collect data.

Input data on your time; Reminders remain until data is collected and recorded for the day it was scheduled.

Produce beautiful, easy to read data reports; All pictures, notes, and percentage data are generated into a fully printable and shareable report. Datability graphs your percentage data and provides suggested progress report grades based on the data recorded.
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