School Psychology Tools App
I’ve now written several times about the School Psychology Tools app as updates have come out. A new update was released last week and provided some functionality I’ve been asking for. Woohoo! Ask and you shall receive, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has asked, but it makes me feel good nevertheless.
Entered students/clients can now be archived when they age out, move, exit interventions, etc. This helps me immensely in cleaning up my student list within the app so I do not have to scan through a massive amount of students to find the student I need.
Actually archiving the students didn’t immediately stand out to me but consistent with previously provided developer support, within an hour I had a response to my question.
First touch the “edit” button in the top right corner.
Then select the students you want to archive by touching the circle to the left of the picture/name (makes it turn to a red check mark). Once you select one or all the students to archive, touch the “archive” button at the bottom center.
If at some point you want to see the archived students touch the “select” button (bottom left) and choose “inactive” to view all of your inactive students.
The new features are definitely easy to use, once you know how to use them. These are great added features and I can now remove it from my wish list but I still have one big wish for this app. I would return to using this app for every observation if I could take notes while the observation was running, similar to the BehaviorLens app, rather than pausing the observation and then opening the notes section. I’m certainly not saying that the BehaviorLens app is a better app since it also has several notable weaknesses and both have strengths that make my work easier than before I had the apps.
Is there anything else you wish was an option with the School Psychology Tools app or any great parts of it that I’ve overlooked?
Are you wondering to yourself after reading the title how this post about game changing books relates to technology? Bear with me, I promise I’ll get there. (If you want to just skip to the tech part of this post, scroll to the bottom)
So as I’ve gotten older and wiser *wink wink*, I’ve started reading books not directly related to school psychology or education but rather books which help me learn and develop leadership skills. Some of these books been good and kind of interesting but others have been game changing for me and I just have to share them with you in a fairly random order.
- “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck
- “Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else” by Geoff Colvin
- “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work” by Shawn Achor
- “Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven Johnson (RSA makes those cool whiteboard videos and there is a great short synopsis of this book on YouTube)
- “7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen Covey
What I’ve Learned:
Here are some key things I’ve learned from all of these books but they aren’t listed in any particular order of importance.
- Many great ideas and philosophies can be viewed through many different lenses or frameworks but not matter how you think about them, they’re just tried and true principles. Many times while reading the above books I’d think, oh yea, that’s the same concept presented in another book, it must be applicable in multiple situations. Surprise, surprise!
- Having a growth mindset is of critical importance to feeling happy and successful in your life. Believing that you can learn new things or get better at something is beneficial in all aspects of your life, not just in work. Surprisingly, those who believe they can develop skills do so and there are a very few people are born with “God given talent”, but rather individuals that we believe have talent, actually have developed their skills with deliberate practice. Their deliberate practice was made more successful by beginning with a goal, having a plan and executing it.
- You have a choice. You have a choice to believe that you can learn new things. You have a choice to acknowledge and accept what you have influence over, including having a choice over whether you’re happy or not. You have a choice about what is important and unimportant in your life and thus you have the ability to choose to spend more time on the important aspects and less on the unimportant aspects.
- Great ideas and innovation rarely come from one person but rather a group of people. Groups can be very powerful. The groups of people who often achieve the most innovation or develop creative solutions are rarely homogenous. “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” – Stephen Covey. Diverse backgrounds and divergent opinions can create unique solutions that no one has yet to consider.
You may have noticed that none of what I’ve learned really pertains to other people and how to “lead” others which might make you wonder, “how are these books related to leadership?” You’re right, they don’t have anything to do with leading others, I can only hope to influence others by my own actions. During the last few weeks of summer and first few weeks of school I’ve been focused on Covey’s first three habits which are “Private Victories” (until I post this blog and they’ll be more public). I do have to say though, I’m feeling good about what I’m doing, the choices I’m making and I’m happy.
Since I have multiple personal devices, (iPad and iPhone) and an active lifestyle (what Mom doesn’t have an “active lifestyle”?), I HAVE to be able to “read” through the use of multiple devices. I like Kindle books and I’ve purchased all of the above books on Kindle. Through Kindle’s Whisper Sync I can have the book on my computer, iPhone or iPad and I can have them all sync to the most recent location I gotten to regardless of which device I used. This is great so that I don’t have to flip through pages and pages trying to find what I last read (sometimes I don’t remember).
A great NEW feature I recently discovered is that for only a few dollars more I can also purchase the audiobook through Amazon/Audible. Previously you had to pay full price for both the Kindle and Audiobook and that bothered me so much that I never bought both versions, just one or another. With the Audible Audio version for a few dollars more there is Whispersync for Voice . This allows you to read your book on Kindle app (iPhone, iPad, etc.) and then immediately pick up in the same place on the audio book. Once you listen for a while on your audio version and switch back to your Kindle it is automatically in the furthest point. HOW AWESOME!!! What is extra awesome is that any notes that you make on the Kindle version can be seen in Audible and you’re also able to make notes in Audible and the notes are viewable in the Kindle App. It just all syncs the way that I always wished that it would. AMAZING!