Crick Software UK Blog

RSS Feed

  • 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.

  • Clicker Sentence Sets on LearningGrids


    Sentence building activities support pupils in their first steps of writing in meaningful, cohesive units of text. They help to develop important literacy skills such as left to right directionality and the accurate use of capital letters and full stops.

    On LearningGrids, we have lots of these early writing activities across a wide range of curriculum areas and themes. The activities offer customisable levels of structured support, to provide appropriate prompting and reinforcement as pupils develop their writing skills. These activities are particularly useful for emergent writers and children learning English as an additional language.

    Each grid in a Sentence Set contains all the words you need to build a target sentence. A picture can also be used to support the sentence. A model sentence can be shown on the grid, in a pop-up, or aurally to provide the appropriate level of support. You can adjust the model in any Sentence Set, adapting to the needs of your pupils as they become more confident. You may also choose to provide no model at all. Simply go to Edit View to change the model for the set (or even for individual sentences within the set).

    Model on the grid

    This level of support is particularly helpful for children who are at the early sentence building stage – they can look at the model and click on the words in the grid to match the target sentence.

    Clicker Sentences - Sentence Building

    Pop-up model

    Offering a visual model which pops up as required subtly reduces the level of support. This time, the child has to ‘hold the sentence’ as they can see the model but must close it before building the sentence. This encourages independence and less reliance on the model.

    Clicker Sentences - Pop-up Model

    Listening model

    The aural model really encourages children to focus – listening and processing the accuracy and meaning of the sentence internally before building it. It’s a great task for building cognitive skills; making the link between the spoken and written words.

    Clicker Sentences - Listening Model

    Word order

    Another differentiation variable we can add is that of word order. In many instances, offering the words of the target sentence in a jumbled, random order is appropriately challenging. For some children at earlier stages however, this may be a step too far. To provide more structured support for these children, we can set the words in the grid to “Sentence Order” (so they can simply click on the words in order from left to right and build the sentence), or even “Guided Order” (which forces the child to click on the words in the correct sequence).

    Clicker Sentences - Word Order

    There are certainly many options to explore and use with the children in your classroom – it’s amazing how much scope such a simple activity can offer. Head over to LearningGrids and discover all these great sentence building activities and more for yourself!

  • Listen and say with a twist


    At a recent training session in Kent, a teacher showed me a really interesting way that they were utilising Clicker to support new arrivals at their school.

    They had created a Talk Set in Clicker, but with a difference!

    The Talk Set was populated with photographs of the staff. Each teacher right-clicked on their picture and recorded a little message about themselves, including their name, their class and some of their interests and hobbies.

    Talk Set - Listen and Say

    They use this at the start of the year or when a new child arrives to make the experience less daunting, and a bit more fun!

    To see how you could do this yourself, take a look at our training guide.

    I have used some of the Crick team in the examples here so you might recognize some faces…

    Talk Set - Listen and Say

  • Using DocsPlus in exams


    More and more secondary schools are moving away from human scribes and readers in favour of AT alternatives for students who require additional access arrangements in exams.  We’ve also noticed that a growing number of students, and not necessarily just those with specific special educational needs, are able to use word processors in their exams now if it’s their usual way of working.

    This is the time of year when a lot of schools start reassessing how they might support students in their exams in the future – why not take a look at DocsPlus? This fantastic new tool combines that day-to-day support struggling writers need with ‘exam-friendly’ options for those who qualify for extra help.

    The Joint Council for Qualifications has put together extensive documentation regarding access arrangement regulations; we’ve created a summary document for you that highlights the sections that specifically relate to using software like DocsPlus in exams -  you can access this here.

    We’re already getting some fantastic feedback from schools about the software – teachers particularly love that there is a PDF reader built-in, and that students can have the exam paper at the bottom of the document as they write rather than having to move between two screens!

    If you’d like to find out more about DocsPlus, you can visit our website or give us a call on 01604 671691 to arrange a free staff demonstration. 

    Using DocsPlus for Exams

  • DocsPlus Support


    The Support section hosts a wealth of helpful information about our products and how to use them. Recently, lots of new content has been added to support the newly released DocsPlus.

    PDF guides

    DocsPlus’ built-in User Guide is also available to download as a PDF. This can be printed out or opened on another device, so it can be viewed side-by-side with DocsPlus (particularly useful if you wish to work through the guide sequentially).

    If you use a Crick USB Switch Box, the Switch Timings in DocsPlus guide explains how DocsPlus can be adapted to suit the characteristics of a diverse range of switch users.

    If you use eye-tracking technology, the Using Eye Gaze in DocsPlus guide explains how the Eye Gaze feature in DocsPlus can make it easier for users to select things by looking at them.

    Answers to common queries

    These newly-published support articles provide answers to common queries:

    DPWH2 - How do I transfer licenses?

    DPWH6 - Does DocsPlus run on an iPad or Android tablet?

    DPWH8 - How do I change the pronunciation of a word in DocsPlus?

    DPWH9 - How do I add words to the DocsPlus spell checker?

    DPWH10 - Which switches can I use with DocsPlus?

    DPWH14 - How can students use DocsPlus at home?

    DPWH19 - How do I delete files from Explorer?

    DPWH21 - How do I stop the on-screen keyboard from appearing?

    DPWH24 - How do I see which spellings were corrected in a Document?

    DPWH25 - How do I save DocsPlus Document as a Word Document or PDF?

    DPWH26 - How do I set up picture shortcuts?

    DPWH30 - How do I make DocsPlus's Eye Gaze work on my Tobii device?


  • On LearningGrids, we have created three different types of Clicker Communicator sets with different colour-coding systems.

    The majority of our Clicker Communicator sets use a modified Fitzgerald colour-coding system, with people and pronouns in yellow, verbs in green, nouns in orange, places in purple, adjectives in blue, prepositions and social words in pink, and conjunctions and other miscellaneous words in white. This type of set includes our topic vocabulary resources which provide the opportunity for focused “scaffolded talk” in a curriculum context. With Materials and Properties for example, pupils can respond to questions about the materials that objects are made from. Guess the Shape allows pupils to play a shape guessing game by asking questions about the number and type of sides that a shape has.

    Clicker Communicator - Fitzgerald Colour-Coding System

    Some of our other Clicker Communicator sets using the modified Fitzgerald colour-coding system include resources which are designed to support pupils as they retell a familiar story, such as The Tortoise and the Hare or Jack and the Beanstalk.

    Clicker Communicator - Sets - Familiar Stories

    Our colourful semantics sets use a different colour-coding system. These sets help pupils learn the important elements of a sentence, and how to join these elements together in the correct order. Pupils learn to associate different “types” of words with different colours to help them to gradually build sentences in stages, adding increasing detail (who/orange, what doing/yellow, what/green, and where/red) as their confidence and competence grows.

    Clicker Communicator - Colour-Coding System

    Clicker Communicator sets such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and One Two Buckle My Shoe are designed for children to join in and recite nursery rhymes. Each line of the rhymes is divided into colour-coded sections. Children choose from the coloured cells to recite each line. With these sets, each cell speaks as it is tapped so that children hear the rhyme as they go. They can then listen to the entire rhyme by tapping the message area.

    Clicker Communicator - Nursery Rhymes

    With all Clicker Communicator sets on LearningGrids, the colour-coding, as well as the content, can be changed to match your own school’s system, or to provide different support for your pupils.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. Next page