GT student sits at desk for virtual learning

Manual GT Tracking VS the GT Identification System: Which do you need?

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Manual GT Tracking VS the GT Identification System: Which do you need?

Gifted and Talented programs can make a world of difference for students. For many, it’s the first step on the path to a bright future. But if the systems we use to identify and track gifted students become bogged down, then students can get left behind. 

Many school districts still use manual methods to track GT students because there haven’t been many other options available. After seeing this need in the school we serve, we decided to do something about it. 

We created the Gifted and Talented Identification System to help school districts easily identify and track their GT students. It’s the first system of its kind to specifically track students in Gifted and Talented programs. 

Wondering if the GT Identification System is right for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of different ways to identify and track GT students.

Manual tracking 

GT student sits at desk for virtual learning

Most school districts currently track their GT students manually. This can look like anything from creating complicated Google Docs to old-fashioned pen and paper tracking. 

Pros: 

  • Learning new products takes time

Sometimes sticking with what you already know is better. Having to learn a new system takes time and effort, and if all the members of your GT program team aren’t willing to learn a new one, it can be difficult to introduce something new. 

  • System currently works

As the old saying goes — if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If your district already uses an efficient and problem-free system to track GT students, you may not need to upgrade to a new one.

Cons: 

  • Less efficient in the long run

It takes lots of time to gather and input information about each student manually. Each step of the process requires communication with other people, and you can easily end up with long email chains and back and forth phone calls. Even in smaller school districts, having to manually track each student can cut into a teacher’s prep time. 

  • Students can get lost in the system

If an email gets lost or a member of the GT team forgets their part, it can cause costly delays. If each teacher uses a slightly different system or doesn’t completely understand what steps need to be taken, students can get lost in the system and not receive the service they need.

Digital tracking 

GT committee member has a virtual meeting

Pros:

  • Remote-friendly

The GT Identification System creates a portfolio of everything a GT committee member needs to make a decision, including who nominated the student, reasons for nominating, test scores, teacher and parent surveys, and examples of work. Committee members can view all of this information digitally, which is convenient during seasons of remote working. 

  • Efficient

The multi-user integration is really where the GT identification shines. Administrators, educators, GT staff, and parents can all access the systems, which makes communication easier and more efficient. When the GT Identification System is connected to your campus’s Student Management System, you won’t have to manually enter the personal information of students or parents. The platform will automatically enter their information into the proper fields, saving you valuable time. 

  • Tailored and specific toward identifying GT students

There are other student management systems out there, like Project Education, that track student data, but the GT Identification System is the only one specifically designed with Gifted and Talented programs in mind. You can use our premade templates or customize your messages to contain information specific to your district. 

  • Automated system

Communication is simple with the GT Identification System. The dashboard on the GT Identification System tells educators, administrators, and parents what part they need to complete and exactly where their child is in the identification process, eliminating the need for excess phone calls and emails. 

  • FERPA-compliant

The fully encrypted, FERPA-compliant technology allows student information to stay secure and only be accessed by authorized parties. Users can only see the information of the student they are responsible for, and they’ll only see the data that they have personally uploaded. The only people who can see all of the data are your district’s GT reviewers and coordinators. 

GT teacher in her classroom
  • Equitable

Your district has the opportunity to make each student’s identity anonymous to help achieve maximum equity in the decision-making process.

Cons:

  • Learning the new system

Learning a new system takes time and effort, and it requires everyone to be on board with the process. We think it’s worth it in the long run to upgrade your system to take advantage of the benefits of centralized digital tracking, but only you can make that decision. 

Want to learn more about the GT Identification System? 

Our team would love to answer your questions and give you a demo of our platform. You can find out more information or get a quote on our GT Identification System page, or feel free to contact us directly. 

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