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  • Ask and Answer

    On LearningGrids, we have recently published the Custom Clicker Set, Ask and Answer. This set is a content-free template and has been designed for pupils and teachers to easily create question-and-answer activities on any topic.

    Clicker 7 - Custom Clicker Set - Ask and Answer

    To use the set, click on Ask to go to the first recording page. On this page, you can record up to six questions by simply clicking on each of the microphone buttons. You can re-record any question as many times as you want. The final recordings will automatically transfer to the Answer page. Save your activity (Clicker Set ribbon tab > Save Clicker Set As…).

    Back on the Start page, click on Answer and then click on any of the question mark buttons to hear the questions. Use the microphone and speech bubble buttons to record and listen to the responses.

    Clicker 7 - Custom Clicker Set - Answer

    The Ask and Answer set is ideal for speaking and listening tasks for a range of different contexts. The template could be used as part of a research project – pupils record questions they want to find out about, and then record their answers after they have completed their research. It could also be used as an oral reflection task on a piece of text – the teacher or pupil records questions about a book or information text. Or it could be used to explore a fictional or historical character in a role play or hot seating task. One pupil could ask the character questions and another pupil could answer, taking on the role of the character.

    There really are so many ways to use this set – and it is so quick and easy to customise. Shift-click the Topic cell to change the text to match the activity. You can also go into Edit View to add pictures to any of the cells – always a great way to motivate your pupils.

    Clicker 7 - Custom Clicker Set - The Egyptian Pyramids & Little Red Riding Hood

    Be sure to visit LearningGrids for many more speaking and listening activities and ideas.

  • More than a Thousand!

    As Clicker 7 approaches its first anniversary we have reached an important milestone on LearningGrids - there are now more than a thousand Clicker 7 resources available to download!

    Recently added resources include a set of five storyboards using Clicker Board, the planning tool new to Clicker 7, some lovely shape sets using photos of everyday objects, new winter seasonal sets, and a whole range of science resources for younger children.

    There’s lots more on the way. We’ll be publishing regularly throughout the year, so whenever you are using Clicker 7, open LearningGrids and see what’s new.

    Clicker 7 - Montage of LearningGrids

  • Talking to schools recently it’s obvious that there is an increasing mixture of pupil devices now being used in classrooms.

    Technology can be very engaging for pupils and, when used effectively, can have a big impact on their learning.

    This is particularly so for pupils who, for a variety of reasons, may be struggling to write.

    Schools who have a range of devices are very pleased to learn that Clicker 7 and our apps for iPad and Chromebook all work in the same way and documents and resources can easily be shared between them.

    I illustrated how this works for a school recently using the Clicker Board diagram below.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Classroom

    In the classroom the teacher can use Clicker Board to both present to, and gather ideas from, the class. When it is time to do some writing a Word Bank can easily be created from the Clicker Board that the class has helped to create.

    The Word Bank could then be distributed and used as required:

    • In the classroom by individual pupils on laptops, iPads or Chromebooks

    • In the ICT suite where all pupils can access Clicker’s writing support

    • In the Learning Base where Clicker 7 can be fully personalised for individual pupils

    • At home to help with homework tasks (home user access is included if the school has a site licence of Clicker 7 or a site licence of either Chromebook App)

    This means that pupils get consistent support, such as talking word prediction and spell checking, regardless of where they are working.

    No matter if they completed their work in Clicker 7 on a computer, or Clicker Apps on an iPad or a Chromebook, the file format of the document will be the same and so it can easily be read by the teacher.

    So you can decide which pupils will benefit most from Clicker and where it is best for them to use it. You can then make it available on the most appropriate device, whether that is a computer, iPad or a Chromebook.

    In these examples a mixture of Clicker 7 and Clicker Apps for iPad and Chromebook is envisaged.

  • Did you know? – Clicker 7 Accessibility Tips

    Did you know you can apply a universal colour scheme and font to all Clicker Sets and Documents?

    For learners with low vision, you can configure Clicker 7 so that all Clicker Sets and Documents appear the same. This doesn’t change the appearance of the files themselves, just how they look on your computer.

    To do this, open the Options ribbon tab, click Accessibility and then open the Display tab.

    To set a high-contrast colour scheme, click the Colour Scheme box.

    To specify your own colours, choose the Custom scheme, and then click the Background and Additional colours below to change them.

    To always use a particular font, check the Always use this font checkbox and set your desired font options below.

    Did you know you can make Clicker 7 full screen?

    To keep a learner focused on Clicker 7, you can make it full screen. This minimises  distractions and temporarily limits the ability to use other programs (on Windows).

    To make Clicker 7 full screen, open the View ribbon tab and click Full Screen. You can also press the F11 key (Mac: while holding the Command key). Depending on your keyboard, you may have to hold the Fn key as well. Press again to leave full screen.

    To always start Clicker 7 in full screen, open the Options ribbon tab and click Program Management. On the Startup tab, choose In Full Screen mode and click OK.

    Did you know you can hide tools and change their size?

    To do this, open the Options ribbon tab, choose User Preferences and then open the Look and Feel tab.

    This tab lists all the tools that appear in the Document ribbon tab and above grids.

    To show/hide a tool, click it.

    To make tools bigger or smaller, choose a size in the Tools and Tabs Size drop-down box.

    Click OK to apply your changes.

  • Clicker 7 – Bett Awards finalist!

    We’re very excited to announce that Clicker 7 is a Bett Awards finalist in the 'ICT Tools for Learning, Teaching and Assessment – classroom aids' 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.

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

  • Winter and Christmas

    It’s that time of year again when many of us are thinking about Christmas, and the cold weather has well and truly settled in. Head to LearningGrids, where you’ll find lots of ideas to keep your pupils busy reading, writing and talking about festive activities!

    Check out our Getting Ready for Christmas sets. The book focuses on a group of children and their preparations for Christmas, like wrapping presents, posting Christmas cards and putting up decorations. The engaging pictures and simple text will help to get your pupils thinking and talking about their own experiences and preparations for Christmas too. They can listen to the story – and even record their own version or write their own Christmas book. Other resources linked to the story offer lots of opportunities for children to practise and develop their language skills – just search for Getting Ready for Christmas to see all the available activities.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Book - Getting Ready for Christmas

    Some of your more independent writers might enjoy using our supportive Christmas word banks. We’ve got a topic tabbed word bank for those children who need a little more guidance and an alphabetic word bank for more confident writers. Both resources are great for encouraging children to use a wider and more interesting vocabulary – and, of course, you can add your own words too.

    If you’re working with older students, you might be interested in the WriteOnline Wordbars based on Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol. After all, you’re never too old for Christmas!

    If the chilly weather is your focus, get your pupils to read and write about winter and the associated weather, traditions and changes associated with this time of year. We have a brand new, beautifully-illustrated range of resources all about this season. For older pupils, there are winter-themed word banks to support their extended and descriptive writing.

    Clicker 7 - Word Banks - Winter

    We hope you and your pupils enjoy what’s left of this busy term, and have a wonderful holiday (and well-deserved rest). We will be busy planning some great new content for LearningGrids in the New Year – as usual, keep your eye on the website to see what’s new.

  • London CPD Day

    On the 17th November we sponsored our annual CPD day. This year the day focused on supporting learners using technology in special schools.

    The day was a fantastic success with over 40 delegates from across the UK attending.

    During the day, I ran a talk on using Clicker to make the curriculum more engaging and accessible.

    The session focused on how Clicker 7 is our most accessible version ever, working with a mouse/keyboard, touch screens, Eye Gaze and switches.

    Also we looked at the range of activities it is possible to use with Clicker to support learners from p-levels up to level 3 from matching activities through to writing frames and word banks.

    Lastly, I demonstrated how the use of symbols within Clicker allowed them as schools to maintain their symbol usage.

    The day was a resounding success with many different types of special schools being able to network and share good practice with colleagues.

  • Clicker Apps for Chromebook – Getting Support

    Following the recent release of our new Clicker Apps for Chromebook, the Support team has been adding new content to our website’s Support section.

    While we’re swift to respond to support requests, our Support section provides a wealth of information that you can access immediately. Not only can you find solutions to technical problems, you can also get answers to commonly asked questions, so there’s a good chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for!

    The latest support articles are:

    1.    FAQClicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    Common questions and answers.

    2.    I can’t find the Clicker Apps in the Chrome Web Store - Clicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    The quickest way to locate the Clicker Apps.

    3.    Installing the Clicker Apps for Chromebook - Clicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    How to install the Clicker Apps, individually or to multiple Chromebooks at once.

    4.    “Domain not found” error when launching app - Clicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    Learn what this error message means and what to do next.

    5.    Cannot start evaluation because “Your subscription has expired” - Clicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    Learn what this error message means and what to do next.

    6.    The app doesn’t launch - Clicker Sentences / Clicker Docs

    Learn what you can do to fix this problem.

    We’re keen to continue improving the Clicker Apps for Chromebook, so we sincerely welcome any feedback you may have to offer.

    If you’ve encountered a problem that isn’t covered in the Support section, or have any suggestions for future improvement, please contact Support.

  • Clicker 7 success story – Manor Academy

    Manor Academy is a secondary special school in Sale for children with moderate learning difficulties and autism. They have been using Clicker 7 to support learners who are struggling with their reading and writing.

    Head of English Tracey Horne has given us some great feedback on how her students have been getting on!

    “We use Clicker a lot for class topic work. For example, when we are studying a novel, we can use Clicker to develop students’ understanding of the story in so many different ways. We are able to create sentence building sets, key word banks, story recollections, sequencing activities, character explorations…whatever best suits that student’s particular learning objectives and ability level.

    One of our favourite new tools in Clicker 7 is the Clicker Board planning area. Lots of our staff are using this across the school and in many different subjects. It’s a great way to introduce new topics and vocabulary, and a really useful document for students to refer back to. We have a lot of students that come up with great ideas, but forget them when it comes to writing them down; Clicker Board is a fantastic way to capture these!

    The students are very proud of what they are able to accomplish with Clicker 7. Many actively disliked English before, because of the reading and writing aspect of the lessons and their inevitable struggle with it. However, they are now able to achieve something independently. Every student can now participate, even those with the biggest learning challenges, albeit with a lot of support. Some simply couldn’t share their knowledge and ideas with us before in written form, now they can!

    I think what’s really key is that it’s not us recording their thoughts or doing it for them, the students are able to do it themselves, which is a real confidence booster.”

    You can read Tracey’s success story in full on our website.

  • Storyboard Templates on LearningGrids

    We have just published a range of storyboard templates on LearningGrids.

    The sets are built in Clicker Board and contain a framework for children to add their ideas using pictures, text, voice or all three. They cover a range of levels, from three step plans for beginning, middle and endings, to a story mountain template looking at the beginning, build-up, problem, resolution and ending of the story.

    When children are ready to write, open a document and use the tabs at the bottom of the screen to move between the storyboard and the document / the story and the plan.

    You will find the templates in the Literacy/Story Writing category on LearningGrids.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Literacy/Story Writing template

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