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  • 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.

  • Roald Dahl day


    13th September is Roald Dahl day! Roald Dahl was born in 1916 and during his lifetime was a spy, a fighter pilot and an inventor. His children’s stories have been published in almost 60 languages and sold over 250 million copies.

    Do you have plans for your literacy sessions based around some of his books? Here are some ideas of how you could use Clicker to celebrate Roald Dahl day.

    Clicker Board – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


    Clicker Board - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    You can create Clicker Boards with your class to recount or predict parts of the story. Adding pictures can help children make connections to what they have read. You can then turn your Clicker Board into a Word or Picture Bank to support their writing.

    Word Bank – The Enormous Crocodile


    Word Bank - The Enormous Crocodile

    Word Banks are a great way of encouraging independent writing by helping learners incorporate more difficult words. You can also add pictures to the word cells.

    Talk Set - Fantastic Mr Fox


    Talk Set - Fantastic Mr Fox

    Talk About activities are an ideal opportunity to practise speaking and listening skills. Children can listen to the character names and then either record their thoughts to describe the character’s part in the story, or take on their role and explain their perspective of events.

  • Preparing for a new school year


    As the new school year approaches, it’s a good time to audit your software licenses and consider whether they need to be moved around.

    Each year, the summer holidays provide a good opportunity for ICT Departments to refresh their school’s computer facilities while the buildings are empty. When staff return, they often find that things have been changed around!

    Computers generally get slower with frequent use and can develop problematic quirks that may be difficult to troubleshoot. Most schools wipe their computers every one or two years in order to restore them to “like new” condition. Some may be moved to new locations, old computers are retired from service and new ones are enrolled onto the network.

    As a result, it becomes quite difficult to keep track of which licenses are installed where!

    Therefore, it’s a good idea to reset your software licenses during this maintenance period. Once your computers have been refreshed, the full number of licenses will be at your disposal, and you can allocate them to the correct computers without complication or confusion.

    Fortunately, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus make this very easy. To transfer one or more licenses:

    1. Visit http://activate.cricksoft.com
    2. Enter your serial number, complete the I’m not a robot check and click Start.
    3. If your serial number is unregistered, you will need to register it before continuing. This protects your serial number against being lost in future.
    4. Click Manage licenses.
    5. Find a computer in the list and click its Reclaim License button.

    Once you reclaim a license, you can immediately reuse it on the next computer.

    If Clicker 7 remains on the previous computer, it will stop working after a short period. To avoid confusion, we recommend uninstalling Clicker 7 before reclaiming licenses.

    Chromebook Apps

    Unlike standard laptops, Chromebooks don’t need refreshing very often. Additionally, apps are assigned to Google accounts rather than particular Chromebooks, so a student can always access their apps no matter which device they sign into.

    However, if you have a Multi-User Subscription to our Chromebook Apps, remember that you can change which students have access to the subscription at any time.

    This may be necessary at the start of a new school year, as old students leave and new students arrive.

    To manage your Multi-User Subscription, please follow this guide:

    http://www.cricksoft.com/Files/Support/managing_your_clicker_app_subscriptions.pdf

  • Talk Sets for Science


    A useful way to enable children to show their understanding in science is to use Clicker Talk Sets. A set to look at on LearningGrids is Reversible and Irreversible Changes – Talk, which looks at six materials and how they might be changed. Pupils consider whether the changes shown are permanent, or whether the materials can be returned to their original states.

    Talk Sets for Science - Reversible and Irreversible Changes

    The activity is open-ended – some children might describe what they can see in the pictures while others might give detailed interpretations of what has happened, and recognise for example that the candle represents both a reversible and an irreversible change.  As such the activity is suitable for a range of abilities.

    Having recorded their ideas, children could use the set as a prompt for writing.

    For other Talk Sets, use the quick search on LearningGrids.

    LearningGrids - Talk Sets

    For an overview of the science sets available on LearningGrids, see our Science Curriculum Mapping documents on the Crick Software website.

  • DocsPlus Release 2


    This week, we have released a new version of DocsPlus. It contains a wide variety of improvements, including several new features:

    Exam Mode

    DocsPlus can now be tailored to a user's additional access arrangements by disabling certain features that are prohibited in exams, such as spell checking, word prediction and speech feedback.

    Split View

    When a DocReader is open and Split View is enabled, the DocReader is repositioned to occupy the bottom half of the window. This makes it possible for users to refer to an exam paper or worksheet while simultaneously writing in their document above.

    Editable PDFs

    Certain PDF files contain editable text boxes. Using DocsPlus, it’s now possible to type within editable text boxes (highlighted purple) and save your changes. While typing, you have access to the same word prediction and speech support as you would when writing in the document.

    Improved Word Prediction

    Over 2500 subject-specific words have been added to the Predictor’s vocabulary, covering Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and History.

    Automatic Backup

    DocsPlus now quietly creates backups of your files behind the scenes. If something goes wrong and your original file becomes corrupted, you can restore the last backup.

    New Smart Tab

    It is now much easier to create a new Smart Tab, simply click the + tab at the bottom of the page.

    To update DocsPlus, download the new installer from www.cricksoft.com/dplatest and install it over the top of your current installation.


  • Whether you are using Clicker to introduce students to new topic vocabulary in French or extending their writing skills in Spanish, Clicker has the tools to support them!

    The active skills are one of the hardest things for students to pick up when learning languages; writing and speaking. Here are just a couple of ways you can support your students in developing these skills using Clicker.

    Speech

    Students are often self-conscious when speaking another language to their friends or their teacher, but will happily talk to Clicker. Their recordings can be saved as part of the document for their teacher or peers to listen to and assess. 

    Clicker French - Voice Notes

    Writing

    The intelligent word Predictor and Spell Checker tools give students the confidence to have a go at writing without fear of making mistakes. If they’re attempting to spell a new word that they’ve heard before, the speech engine will read back their attempt. This allows them to hear whether they’ve spelled the word correctly.

    Clicker Sets

    The different sets provide students with support at whatever level they’re working. Sentence Sets give students the opportunity to begin to recognise the different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adverbs etc) in a foreign language in a fun and engaging fashion. The option to give students a model for support opens the door to further reading and listening skills as well!

    Clicker French - Sentence Set

    To provide support while students are working on their own pieces of writing, why not try a Connect Set? Students have the support of sentence starters and key vocabulary while having the freedom to write about what they want.

    Clicker French - Connect Set

    Follow the links to find out more about using Clicker French and Clicker Spanish in the classroom, as well as our other Powered by Clicker resources.

  • New Education Consultants


    We have been busy adding to our fantastic team of Education Consultants over the summer, so you will soon be seeing some new faces at exhibitions and school visits. 

    Katie Fitch

    Katie Fitch

    Katie is an ex-teacher who has supported schools using the International Primary Curriculum all over the world. She has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the education sector. Katie will be taking over London and the South East of England.

    Gemma Dean

    Gemma Dean

    Gemma has recently joined us after teaching Modern Languages in several secondary schools in Northamptonshire. Gemma will bring lots of great ideas about using Clicker and DocsPlus within secondary settings. She will be taking over the Central region.

    David Willingham

    David Willingham

    David has just arrived back from working in New York as the Technology Director for a school district. David brings a wealth of expertise in helping to integrate educational technology successfully in schools. He will be looking after the South West and South Central region.

    For a full list of our Education Consultants and the areas they represent, please visit our website


  • Whether you are using Clicker to learn about the parts of the body, DocsPlus to write about the skeleton or Clicker Communicator to talk about the five senses, LearningGrids has something for you. Just search for human body and you’ll find all sorts of resources to support your pupils’ reading, writing and speaking.

    Clicker - Five Senses

    There are also Clicker Board activities about the senses and skeleton labelling sets. Younger pupils can use Clicker to match parts of the body. Pulse Rate Investigation is a writing frame and word bank that helps pupils to write an outline of an investigation into the effects of different activities. They can then use the Talk Set Exercise and Pulse Rates to record their results.

    Clicker Board - Five senses & Skeleton

    Older writers can use a DocsPlus Wordbar to write about the circulatory system or human physiology. Skeleton – Quick Words provides the key subject-specific vocabulary for writing about the human skeleton.

    DocsPlus - Wordbars

    Visit LearningGrids for more resources on the human body and many other science sets.


  • Have you had a chance to read our latest Clicker 7 review?

    Louise Bounous is a teacher working for a pupil and school support service, assisting and advising schools on how best to help children with cognition and learning difficulties.

    Louise took a closer look at Clicker 7 for Nasen Magazine:

    “I have witnessed the Clicker evolution and have seen first-hand the significant impact it has, and continues to have, on learning and teaching. I also believe that I understand the potential it can have, which is why I strongly recommend it to all of the schools that I work with. The only limit to such innovation is your imagination…

    As well as improvements to its existing facilities, Clicker 7 contains a number of completely new features, including, notably, some that specifically support the process of planning for writing. Voice Notes could easily be used to support pupils with poor memory, dispensing with the need for a separate recording device to aid retention. Clicker Board, another new feature, provides a virtual planning space, facilitating note-making, plans and lists, and is fully integrated to allow many possible uses.

    The notion that Clicker is still predominantly an SEN support tool seems increasingly outdated. In fact, in my experience, quite the opposite is true and the more fully the software is integrated throughout the school, used by as many pupils and staff as possible, then the greater the impact: it becomes a tool to support learning rather than a tool to support learning difficulties. 

    This is a quality product with enormous potential, limited only by the extent to which we invest in it.”

    You can read Louise’s review in full on our website.


  • You may have noticed new resources on LearningGrids for DocsPlus, our latest tool for secondary school students. Offering writing support, we have Wordbars covering science, history, geography, literature and more.

    As a cross-curricular tool, DocsPlus can be used to support writers in all of their subjects. So whether you want to provide access to topic-related specialist vocabulary, offer suggestions to encourage the use of a more adventurous and varied vocabulary, or scaffold genre writing styles, have a look on LearningGrids.

    We will be busy over the summer creating resources to offer broad coverage for the secondary curriculum, so make sure you visit the LearningGrids site regularly to see what’s new.

    DocsPlus - Wordbars - All subjects

    Use Wordbars for writing in all subjects.

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