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  • Clicker 7 – Bett Awards Finalist!


    We’re very excited to announce that Clicker 7 is a Bett Awards finalist in the ‘Special Educational Needs’ category. 

    Considered by many as the most esteemed accolade in the industry, the awards highlight the most creative and innovative educational technology solutions available to today’s teachers and learners. Over the years, Clicker has won seven Bett Awards – we really hope that this will be number eight!  

    Thank you to everyone who has shared their Clicker 7 success stories with us this year – the judges are especially keen to hear how teachers are using the shortlisted products in their classrooms.  

    Here are a couple of examples from the success stories we’ve already received: 

    “We’ve seen a lot of successes already, particularly from our children with dyslexia. They find the Dyslexie font so much easier to read, and the ability to rehearse and record ideas first using the Voice Notes tool is a brilliant innovation.” - Suzanne Lazarus, Inclusion leader.

    “They absolutely loved using it! They love that they are able to listen to the different words in the activity themselves rather than having to ask a teacher, and having the speech feedback once they’ve finished a sentence helps them to go back in and self-correct.” - Lorna Bruce, Additional Support Needs Teacher

    (We always love hearing about how our products are helping you and your pupils – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if there’s anything you would like to share!) 

    The winner will be announced during the Bett Show in January – we’re keeping our fingers crossed until then!

  • Setting the Scene with Clicker


    We have recently published a series of Clicker resources that are designed to help pupils use adjectives to create oral descriptions of people, places or objects from traditional stories. The Adjective Options – Places set is ideal for pupils developing settings for stories.

    I have created a short video to demonstrate one way to use the set with your class.


    Come and take a look at LearningGrids which is full of many more adjective resources and descriptive writing activities.

  • DocsPlus training: step-by-step guides


    Here at Crick, we’ve all been very excited to see the launch of DocsPlus, our new writing support tool for secondary schools. You can find out more and watch a short video here

    Once you’ve got DocsPlus into your school or college, we understand the importance of good staff training. To help get you started, we have produced a series of free, easy to follow illustrated guides which you can download and print off from our website. The full set is here: 

    DocsPlus step-by-step guides

    For example, this PDF shows how simple it is to turn a WorkSpace into a Wordbar in a matter of seconds: 

    DocsPlus - Training PDF

    We have other training options available too, including face-to-face training. One of my favourite parts of being an Education Consultant at Crick is going into schools to deliver hands-on training for staff to suit their particular requirements. Just get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more or book a session. 

    Later in the year I will be putting together DocsPlus 90-second training videos to add to the training section of our website, so keep your eyes on our blog to find out when they are available!


  • There are many reasons why Clicker 7 is a fantastic tool for supporting learners with dyslexia.

    In this post, I’m going to explore some of the visual changes that you can make to Clicker.

    Some pupils describe various difficulties when trying to read text on a screen. Text can appear in-motion (vibration) or compressed. Individual letters can be difficult to distinguish. Those with tails (such as ‘y’,’j’ and ‘g’) are problematic. Similarly-shaped letters, or those that are reflections of each other (like ‘b’ and ‘d’) can also present challenges.

    Many learners with dyslexia have colour overlays or coloured glasses to assist them while reading. Black and white text has long been considered a poor choice for certain learners. Recent research has given additional credibility to this intervention by suggesting that dyslexia is primarily a visual learning difficulty.

    You can address all these issues with Clicker 7 by adjusting the ‘Accessibility’ settings (found on the ‘Options’ ribbon).

    In this example, you can see the standard Clicker settings with the Sassoon CR font in black, on a white background. Learners with dyslexia may struggle to read this:

    Clicker 7 - Sassoon font - white and black

    In the second example, we have changed Clicker to use custom display colours and selected the ‘Dyslexie’ font, which is included in Clicker 7.

    Clicker 7 - Dyslexie font - yellow and brown

    You can see that the letters are much easier to distinguish in the second example – the ‘d’ and the ‘b’ are more distinct from each other and the tails on the ‘y’, ’j’ and ‘g’ are very different.

    The font itself is heavy-based and loosely spaced – this helps to combat vibration and compression.

    To watch a video I’ve created this topic, please click here.

  • TES SEN Show - 2017


    Earlier this month we had the pleasure of exhibiting at the TES SEN show in Islington. This unmissable event is aimed at school leaders, teachers, support staff, parents and carers with an interest in SEN.

    It was a very busy event; in fact, the attendee numbers for Day 1 this year were higher than the total delegate count for the entirety of TES 2016! This meant a busy time for our team at the stand!

    Crick Software stand at TES SEN Show 2017

    One of the highlights for us this year was being able to showcase our brand-new writing support tool for secondary schools, DocsPlus.

    The response was fantastic; teachers could instantly envisage how effectively DocsPlus would support their students. One mainstream secondary school I met were particularly excited by the built-in PDF reader, and wowed by the fact that students could have the exam paper at the bottom of the document as they write, rather than having to move between two screens! They felt that DocsPlus would enable them to significantly reduce the number of readers and scribes they currently use in exam settings.

    I also spoke with a group of LSA’s from a secondary school in Birmingham who absolutely loved the idea of using the mind mapping tool ‘WorkSpace’ in DocsPlus to help students plan their writing. When I demonstrated how quickly you can take the notes you had made in the WorkSpace and convert them into a Wordbar, it was a revelation! They were immediately discussing how much time this could save them and how it could greatly add to the students’ independence.

    DocsPlus - Converting a WorkSpace to a Wordbar

    Overall, it was a fantastic show. We met with many schools that are keen to start using our literacy support solutions in their classrooms, and of course, lots of teachers who already are! It’s incredibly satisfying to catch up with existing users and hear their success stories.

    Looking forward to the show next year!

  • Clicker 7 research – Angus Council


    A study has recently been undertaken by Angus Council across eight of its primary schools to investigate the impact of using Clicker 7 to support writing. Clicker was used to support children across the ability spectrum, including those who usually had no additional support, and those who had significant levels of additional support.

    The study found that pupils experienced considerable benefits from using Clicker 7, across all eight schools:

    • Use of Clicker 7 resulted in almost three times the number of words being written, with more than twice the number of multi-syllabic words used.
    • Pupils requiring significant or average support took over a third less time to complete their work when using Clicker 7, and with over four times less help needed.
    • Overall, pupils required help or prompting 6.5 times less when using Clicker 7 to support their writing; highlighting the significance of Clicker 7 in encouraging independent work.

    Angus Council Research

    Angus Council Research

    Angus Council Research

    Feedback from teachers and pupils has also been extremely positive:

    I much prefer writing using Clicker, it helps me with my spelling."
    Clicker greatly increases the children's motivation to write."
    Pupils have benefitted enormously. I have observed greater confidence and independence in their work."

    You can read the report in full at cricksoft.com/Angus.

    If you’d like to find out how Clicker will help you raise writing achievement at your school, please do get in touch so that we can arrange a free demonstration! Email us at info@cricksoft.com or give us a call on 01604 671691.

  • Apple releases iOS 11


    Every September, Apple releases a major upgrade to the iOS software that runs on iPhones and iPads across the world.

    This year, they’ve given us iOS 11, which includes many exciting new features and big changes that affect the way users interact with their devices.

    Key highlights include:

    • A new Dock that provides quick access to favourite and recent apps.
    • A new Files app that catalogues all files across your apps and cloud services.
    • A redesigned Control Centre that makes adjusting common settings like volume and Bluetooth even easier, and you can now choose which controls are shown.
    • A redesigned App Store that makes it easier to discover new apps.
    • New Augmented Reality technologies that allow apps to display content on top of real-world scenes.
    • The ability to easily share your WiFi passwords with friends.

    Amidst all the excitement, many websites and news articles are reporting that iOS 11 is the first release to drop 32-bit support, leaving it unable to run approximately 187,000 apps (about 8% of the App Store). Understandably, this has caused some concern amongst users.

    Fortunately, the truth of the matter is less worrying. These are old apps that have been abandoned by their developers and not updated for several years. Yet despite this, some are still in popular use! Users of these apps will be forced to seek out newer alternatives.

    Rest assured, our Clicker Apps have been 64-bit for several years now, so they are unaffected by this change.

    In fact, over the last few months, we’ve been rigorously testing all of our Clicker Apps in developer preview versions of iOS 11. As a result, we’re proud to announce that every Clicker App is compatible with iOS 11 at launch!

    For guidance about upgrading your device to iOS 11, please consult this Apple support article:

    https://support.apple.com/HT204204

  • Black History Resources


    October is Black History Month and we have many resources on LearningGrids to help your pupils write about and celebrate the achievements of black people around the world. 

    We recently published a series of resources based on civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Pupils can read the story about how Rosa’s actions helped to change segregation laws in the United States – there is also a simplified Read It Yourself version of the text. They can also write sentences and talk about the boycott. Confident writers can use Word Banks to support their independent writing on the topic, and a picture bank to illustrate their work. 

    Rosa Parks Resources

    For an alternative historical figure focus, see the Mary Seacole sets which also include reading, writing, speaking and Clicker Communicator activities. 

    Mary Seacole Resources

    Older pupils can use Word Banks to support writing about a range of significant individuals and events in the context of Black History Month, including Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement and the Slave Trade

    DocsPlus - Black History

    See LearningGrids for all these and many more to help support your work on this theme.

  • Clicker 7 for English language learners


    I joined Crick Software in 2005 and up until this Summer, my focus has been on working with schools in the UK. I now work with International Schools and our partners across the globe.

    I have created a series of videos highlighting how Clicker 7 can offer support to learners of all abilities and needs. This week I will be focusing on why Clicker is such a powerful tool for supporting pupils whose primary language is not English.

    It’s vital for English language learners to be given frequent opportunities to listen to new vocabulary and practice using it themselves. ‘Listen and Say’ activities provide a great way for pupils to do this, and are easy to put together. Click the image below to watch the video:

    Clicker 7 - Listen and Say

    Clicker provides the additional support that English language learners need to develop their writing skills - from the first steps of writing word labels or simple sentences, to more independent writing with word bank support as language acquisition grows. This video show how to use Sentence Sets and Connect Sets to support those critical first steps in writing, click the image to watch:

    Clicker 7 - Sentence Set

    We also have ready-made resources available, New to English and Next Steps to English, to rapidly build language skills and confidence for pupils at the start of their journey.

    I will be posting more videos in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on our blog to discover more exciting ways that you can use Clicker 7 in your setting!

  • Back to school with Clicker


    It’s the start of a new school year – time to get to know your new class. Younger learners can use our latest Clicker Board Set This Is Me to tell you all about themselves. Pupils can also use the Clicker Custom Set Interview Me to record a personal profile to share with the class.

    Clicker - Clicker Board - Custom Set

    The Myself Word Bank provides key vocabulary under the headings of Family, Home, School and Spare Time to help pupils write an introduction about themselves. For older writers, the Clicker Set Autobiography provides a more extensive word bank to support their writing.

    Clicker - Word Banks

    The start of the new school year is also a great time to set goals for the year ahead, and we have a variety of resources to tackle this task. The Connect Set My Goals provides beginnings, middles and endings to create sentences about what pupils need to work on at school. The Word Bank Personal Goals supports more independent learners to write about their targets. The Clicker Custom Sets My Goals One, Two and Three provide different levels of support to help pupils of all abilities record their personal goals and review their achievements. Also don’t forget to use the Connect Set Our Classroom Rules to write a collaborative list of classroom rules for the year.

    Clicker - Connect Set - Custom Set

    Be sure to visit LearningGrids for many more autobiographical and school-related Clicker resources.

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