For the past few years we have been using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of student reading data. Our school district prepares the spreadsheets for each primary level teacher. The spreadsheet includes cells to record various reading achievement data based on our reading assessments. These include DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) reading level, phonemic awareness assessments, spelling assessments and a phonics survey among others. Three times each year I am required to distribute and then gather up the assessments from teachers and then email them to the central office. We also utilize the data internally to make support decisions and to deploy support based on classroom need.
I know... Some type of web application would make this process a lot easier for everyone involved. Well, rather than wait for one to be built we are going to use one "off the shelf." We are utilizing Google Spreadsheets to collect and share this information within our building staff.
It is very easy to import the existing Excel spreadsheet into Google Spreadsheet. The Google Spreadsheet interface is pretty spartan, and since it is saved to my Google account, I can not only share it with the individual teachers, I can also share the sheets with our reading support teachers. Thinking in a larger view, I could also share the data with school district specialists. Using RSS, I can keep track of student data as it is entered.
With the introduction today of Google Docs, I can see more and more schools turning to these kind of tools to collect, and share school information.