5 Reasons Your Traditional Paper Call Log Needs an Update

Jun 20, 2019 by

Making sure parents and the rest of the family are involved is essential to academic performance. There are many benefits of having parents and families updated and involved. Students experience:

– Higher average grades

– Regular attendance

– A big increase in motivation

– Engagement and enrollment in challenging courses/activities

One of the most effective ways to get parents and families involved is by communicating regularly by phone. By using one on one phone calls and text messages, schools are able to connect teachers, parents, and/or guardians together. What makes communicating via phones different from other mediums is the fact that it creates an open two-way channel.

This helps create a real dialogue, announce vital information directly, and also allows the schools and families to work together to create success for the students. The problem with this solution is that how the data is stored, recorded, and shared needs to be implemented efficiently and effectively to track student growth. It is also necessary for compliance.

If your organization is planning to create a communication log with families, you need to make sure that the data is easy to search, easy to track, reliable and cohesive with the existing student data.

Visualize it: The communication log can be used to offer the right resources to RTI committees, provide vital medical profiles of students, identify custodial rights, and also properly manage the conversation of parents.

Paper based call logs are not very efficient or effective. They need to be filed, have taken out of storage, are difficult to update, and are disconnected from other important data. It’s time that you get rid of handwritten call logs in exchange for a technology based solution that makes it easy to access, view, and manage communication data. Here are the reasons why:

Reason #1: It’s Difficult to Access Paper Call Logs

Most schools already have a digital system to manage other types of data such as teacher assessments, schedules, and grades. The purpose is to make it easy to access, share, and use the data. But when it comes to communication records, why is this the only thing that’s still outdated?

Your district is probably looking for ways to get parents more involved with their children’s performance in school. It makes perfect sense to convert call logs into a digital system to make it easy to manage communication, access important data, keep track of metrics, and stay compliant.

Just search “Parent Teacher Communication Log” in Google and you can find hundreds of PDF templates that you can download for free. The templates are designed with check boxes, lines, and blank spaces so that the teachers can add their own information.

So what teachers do is use these templates to and compile them into a thick binder to track communication. Teachers have to pull out these binders and write down what happened with their communication efforts by hand. If nothing important happens with the students, these binders are usually thrown away at the end of the year.

Did that just surprise you? Not only is your staff spending time using outdated paper forms, they’re also not managing sensitive information properly. This information can be used to help identify potential problems, help improve the behavior of students, and document IEP communication with parents. Yes, you can decide to have your staff save the paper logs, but they are incredibly difficult to search through and unreliable.

How Digital Based Logs Solve the Accessibility Problem

By using automatic digital based logs, you can enhance the process of recording data whenever communication with the parents are made. With digital based logs, the conversation will be recorded automatically. The conversation remain unique to each individual student, and they can be easily accessed by the administrators so that they can quickly and easily stay updated with what’s going on.

Reason #2: The Communication Logs Can Be Shared with Principals & Superintendents

Imagine this scenario: Joe Smith is currently in the 9th grade and his parents want to talk with the administrators about an educational evaluation. The parents will be looking to seek an IEP for Joe who is struggling.

Before a meeting happens, you’d need to get all of Joe’s test scores, ask the teacher for copies of past homework assignments, pull up medical reports, and of course, the entire communication history teachers have had with the parents. How do you track which of Joe’s teachers has reached out to the parents and how do you get records from each teacher?

You’d have to email each teacher one by one to collect information. A typical request would look like this:

“The math teacher Mr. Adams reports that he’s reached out to Joe’s parents at least two times and have heard him needed help from his science teacher Mrs. Fields. Mr. Adams had only written down one of the calls with Joe’s parents because the other call was taken during a weekend trip, and he wasn’t able to record it into his binder. Mr. Lee the Computer Lab teacher mentioned to Mrs. Fields that Joe was behaving erratically in class, but did not tell her that he needed special assistance.

Mr. Lee does record events in the communication call log, but he has only written a few small details and when the event happened. There a lack of detailed information and it’s hard to figure out what’s really going on. The school nurse may have called Joe’s parents asking about medication, but you can’t really say if it’s related to Joe’s parents. You’re left to dig for the information manually.”

As you can see, paper based call logs make it difficult for both teachers and administrators to access important student information.

Digital Logs are Saved on a Private Cloud for Easy Access

Digital logs make it easy to access and share information. The communication logs are 100 percent searchable, allowing you to get the right data, make the right decisions and respond to issues quickly. The information is also secure and can be exclusively shared with the right people.

Reason #3: Paper Communication Logs are Not Secure

Remember those call log templates compiled into a big binder? It’s currently sitting on some shelf in the teacher’s classroom. This means that it can potentially get damaged from things like rips, dirt, spilled liquids, and fires. It also means anyone can come in and access the sensitive information.

This probably isn’t the security you had in mind when it comes to managing important student data. You wouldn’t use this outdated method to store student test scores and medical information. So then why is it okay to store communication information in this manner?

A big part of building strong relationships with students and parents is making sure that their personal information remains secure. Students may be facing embarrassing situations like financial struggle, learning disabilities, health issues, mental illness, and abuse. It doesn’t make sense to be putting this kind of information in a paper file that can be accessed by the wrong person. It also doesn’t make sense to put this kind of information in a binder that’s hard to access.

A Digital Platform Can Offer Enterprise-Level Security

Your school’s communication records needs to be given the same kind of importance as the other student data. Digital platforms protects your data with the same level of security used to protect banking data. Using our platforms means you can feel comfortable knowing that data that can affect your students’ lives doesn’t get lost or get accessed by the wrong people.

Reason #4: Digital Logs Can Store Audio Recordings

Remember that childhood game called “Telephone”? One person whispers a message to the person next to them and continues until the end of the line. By the time the last message is given, the message is completely distorted from the original, which results in outbursts of laughter.

This might be funny if the original message isn’t so important, but there’s nothing humorous when it comes to important calls with parents. Leaving it to the person to remember the exact details of the call is not so far off from a game of Telephone.

Learn Every Detail of the Conversation with Call Recording Playback

Digital logs records all the phone calls that has been made into an audio format that can be played back. So when a teacher reaches out the student’s parent (via mobile app), you will always be able to access that conversation in the future as reference. In addition, a transcript of the phone call will be provided so that you don’t have to waste time going through the whole conversation.

By combining the audio playback with all the messages you’ve sent out to the parents, you can clearly see what is going on. And since this is attributed to each individual student’s timeline in your district, you can get a clear history to better help the students.

Just take this case study where a district was able to analyze communication performance.

Reason #5: Complete Data Visualization Allows You to Monitor Performance

When Galena Park ISD integrated digital logs into their communication system in 2018, they found that over 2,000 text messages were sent out in a matter of two weeks. This huge figure makes you think that if you can’t track how many messages are being sent out to families, how do you know if it’s even being sent out regularly enough?

Visual Logs that Help You Make Sense of Your Data

Whether you’re looking to see if a school is doing enough with their communication efforts or you want to see if teachers are following through on communication duties, you can do so with digital platforms. These platforms offer a wide range of performance data and visualization tools to help you make sense of the data.

These charts are easy to analyze and understand. They also come with advanced options so that you can get a clearer picture of what’s going on. For example, you may be wondering why a greater number of email and texts were sent on a specific day. The visual data system allows you to really dig in and see why.

Traditional paper call logs are making it difficult to find and access information that your schools need to improve student lives. A digital call log platform is the solution to getting this information, as well as understanding the performance of your communication efforts.

Why not give it a try? Give our platform a test run to see how big data can be used to improve your schools.

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