ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Special Educators! Work Smarter and Save Hours by Automating Your Workload

Location: Hyatt Regency Jackson C

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Tuesday, June 26, 2:45–4:15 pm
Location: Hyatt Regency Jackson C

David Paszkiewicz  
Special educators focus on the goal of student learning while navigating through mountains of data and paperwork to serve our students' varied needs. Learn how simple automation tools can streamline your IEP notes, student goals, instructional processes, record keeping and parent communication so you can focus on your students!

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: This session will explore the power of Google Forms, Google Sheets, and Google Docs. To get the most out of this session, you do not need to be a "power user," however you will need to have a Google account.

Create your free Google account here:

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Creativity and productivity tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Special education
ISTE Standards: For Administrators:
Systemic Improvement
  • Lead purposeful change to maximize the achievement of learning goals through the appropriate use of technology and media-rich resources.
  • Recruit and retain highly competent personnel who use technology creatively and proficiently to advance academic and operational goals.
For Educators:
  • Use assessment data to guide progress and communicate with students, parents and education stakeholders to build student self-direction.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Special educators have been experts in data analysis long before it took hold in general education classrooms. With the increasing demands for data and accountability comes a mountain of added paperwork for the special educators. By embracing digital age strategies, special educators (both classroom teachers and special education administrators) can maximize their organization and analysis of student learning data and collaborate with other student service providers to best support each student.

Simple, inexpensive tools--now in the hands of educators--take the complexity out of formerly wicked tasks. New York Times writer and author Thomas Friedman describes tools like these as “fast, free, easy-for-you, and ubiquitous.” I repeat that phrase often in my work, and it forms a foundation for this session.

Attendees at this session will be given many pre-crafted resources to customize for their schools: “Crazy-Fast IEP notes” forms, data collection tools for physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language specialists, school-to-work tracking, and pre-school readiness assessments. To illustrate these concepts, participants will be given access to a website with free-to-take examples for our attendees. ( They’ll learn innovative ways to use of Google Forms, and its connection to Google Sheets, followed by a comprehensive hands-on lesson using autoCrat, a Sheets add-on created by the New Visions for Public Schools Cloudlab. Honestly, this tool is magical, and my special educator colleagues who use it say that they’ve shaved hours off of their weekly workloads. Attendees will enter common IEP notes, and get an instantaneous email with a complete IEP report. From there, I’ll guide the audience to resources that will help them create these reports in their classrooms. I’ll end the session by demonstrating even more uses for Google Forms, focusing on applications for instruction, and soliciting ideas from the attendees for other uses for the tools.
My goal for this session is to show special educators that, with a bit of creative problem solving, they can greatly innovate their classrooms and their workflow.

By attending my workshop, participants will be challenged to:
-Have a greater understanding of the what automation is, and how it can be used to a teacher’s benefit
-Rethink their workload to streamline their tasks by using automation tools
-Envision how a greater handle on data can be used to directly benefit students
-Dig into Google Forms, Sheets, and Slides to create an automated document
By the end of my session, participants will:
-Create, on their own, a Google Form, connected to a Spreadsheet, that will automatically populate a boilerplate Doc, giving participants confidence and agency to create their own projects
-Have access to a variety of pre-made samples for inspiration and modification
-Feel the “itch” to start automating all the repetitive tasks in their professional lives


90 Minute Plan

--5 minutes: Welcome and explore our resource websites.
--25 minutes: "Engage Students" | I'll demonstrate the Power of Google Forms for students assessment and documentation, as well as present tech-enhanced Classroom Strategies, Creating Simple Exit Tickets, Guide-on-the-Side Strategies for Student Writing using Google Docs comments, Managing Student Goals, using the Google Voice tool to help students strengthen Writing Skills.
--15 minutes: "Save Time" | Explore the autoCrat tool. Demonstrate how it can automate: IEP Notes, PT/OT documentation, student goals, speech and language documentation. (Samples provided on the resource website, above)
--45 minutes: Create automated documents with autoCrat. I’ll give a step-by-step tutorial to lead attendees through the process of creating their first automated document, with plenty of time to play, customize, and collaborate.

Supporting research

“The quality of the special educators in your building, and the time and energy they devote to teaching your children, are critical. The more support they have, the better job they will do and the more likely they will remain in teaching. Providing a work environment where they have manageable caseloads, and enough time, support, and resources to complete their work, will reduce the likelihood that paperwork and administrative duties will affect the quality of their teaching. Their performance will improve— and so will their students’.” | Reducing Special Education Paperwork

“The results indicated that the attrition rate of 20% for special education teachers was higher than for general educators (attrition rate of 13%) in 1987-88. Of the teachers who left education, 12% of the special education teachers, versus 7% of the general education teachers transferred to a different school. Also, more special education teachers (8%) than general educators (6%) left public school teaching altogether.” | Teacher Burnout In Special Education: The Causes and The Recommended Solutions

“Despite escalating special education costs and increasing student needs, policies governing special education caseload remain inconsistent, and implementation is even more variable.” | Caseload in Special Education: An Integration of Research Findings

What about student privacy? Autocrat does not identify or record sensitive student data. Read Cloudlab’s terms of use here:

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David Paszkiewicz, La Canada Unified School District

David Paszkiewicz is a Southern California Instructional Technology Specialist who shares his passion for ed tech as a presenter at ISTE, CUE, Lead3, and CETPA. He is a Google Certified Educator (1/2) and Trainer, and leads summer boot camps for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, classified staff and substitute teachers. David was happy when Project-Based Learning became a hot topic, as he had struggled for years to put a name to his style of teaching. A world traveller, he has worked with students and teachers in Japan, Europe, and Africa, but his heart is in his work with educators here at home.

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