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  • Clicker 7 for older learners


    When I first began working for Crick Software last summer, I was instantly impressed with how customisable Clicker 7 is. Although used mainly in primary schools, there are so many ways to tweak Clicker 7 to suit older learners.

    I realised that Clicker 7 would be perfect for my older sister, Aoife. Aoife has Down’s Syndrome and although she has done many remarkable things in her life (winning a gold and two bronze in the Special Olympic World Games being one of them!) literacy is an area that has always held her back.

    When Aoife began using Clicker, mainly for writing college assignments, there were several changes I made to ensure Clicker was more suitable for her.

    Clicker has two children’s voices – Rosie and Harry. Two adult voices, Rachel and Graham, are available from our website. I downloaded these voices for Aoife to use. Both are available to download here: http://www.cricksoft.com/support/voicedownloads.aspx

    Secondly, when Aoife began to use Clicker it became apparent that the speed of the speech was a little too quick for her to listen back to and process.

    In the Options ribbon tab, I selected Preferences. Within the tab marked Speech, I set up Rachel as the voice and slowed down the speed of speech as indicated below.

    Clicker 7 - Preferences - Speech options

    Another change we quickly made was the font size and style. Clicker comes with a pre-set font of Sassoon which is a primary font. In Options > Accessibility, we changed the font in both the Document and Clicker Sets as shown below.

    Clicker 7 - Accessibility - Display options

    Here is an example of what Aoife’s word processor now looks like. It is set up to be both age-appropriate and level appropriate for her. She is currently in college completing a module on human biology.

    Clicker 7 - Human biology word bank & document

    The stand-out feature for Aoife has been Voice Notes. As she has a poor working memory, allowing her to capture her ideas before the mechanics of writing has made a huge difference. Until Aoife began using Clicker, she would sit with my mum and talk about what she wanted to write about. Voice Notes has allowed my mum to take a step back and let Aoife work more independently.

    All of us, including Aoife, did not think we would find a resource that would make a real difference to her writing, particularly as she is now an adult, but we were wrong. Clicker helps Aoife every day to demonstrate her knowledge in a more clear and coherent way.

  • Did you know? – Word Banks in Clicker 7


    Word Banks are a great way to provide vocabulary support to learners. Sitting beneath the Document, they provide inspiration and can guide a learner’s writing on a particular topic.

    Word Banks are one of several Clicker Set types in Clicker 7:

    Clicker 7 - Word Bank

    Did you know you can set up Word Banks within a Clicker Book?

    Each page of a Clicker Book can contain a Title Box and a Text Box. You can configure these objects to display a Word Bank when learners write inside them:

    1. Create or open a Clicker Book.
    2. Click Edit in the top-left corner.
    3. In the blue toolbar, click the icon on the right and choose Object Settings.

    On the Title Box or Text Box tab:

    1. Type a name for your topic into the top-left box and click Add.
    2. Type any words you want to include into the Words box, or copy and paste text from elsewhere.
    3. Type any punctuation marks you want to include into the Punctuation box.
    4. Click the Order box to choose how your words will be sorted.
    5. Click the colour box to choose the background colour of the grid.
    6. To show the Word Bank first when a learner starts writing (rather than the on-screen keyboard), check Show Word Bank immediately.
    7. Click Close to finish.
    Clicker 7 - Object Settings - Text Box

    Clicker 7 - Animals in their habitats - Make a book one

    To set up a Word Bank on multiple pages at once:

    1. Click Edit in the top-left corner.
    2. In the blue toolbar, click the icon on the left to view the Page Sorter.
    3. Hold down the Ctrl key and select each page you wish to include. To include any future pages that may be created, select the final blue + page
    4. Click Object Settings at the top and follow Step 4 above.

    Did you know you can generate Word Banks from a Clicker Board?

    A Clicker Board is an effective planning tool that provides a canvas for noting ideas. Individually or as a group, learners can add words, pictures and sound recordings to a board, and link them together to form mind maps or storyboards.

    When a learner is ready to start writing, they can easily convert their ideas into a Word Bank by right-clicking any blank space on the Clicker Board and choosing Create Word Bank.

    Clicker 7 - Pirate Mind Map

    Clicker 7 - Pirate words & document

  • Become a Clicker Champion


    Are you based at a UK school that’s using Clicker 7?

    One of the questions we get asked most frequently by teachers is whether other schools in their area are already using the software. We are planning an update to our Clicker Champions webpage, where teachers can find out if there are any ‘Clicker Schools’ nearby, and we would love it if you could help us!

    We would like as many of our Clicker 7 users as possible to join our Clicker Champions list, so this term we are offering each school that agrees to take part a £75 voucher to spend on the Crick Software product* of their choice!  You could put this towards more Clicker licenses, invest in one of our fantastic Powered by Clicker titles or use it to organise a discounted training session!

    All we would need from you is permission to add your school’s name, location and office email address to the Clicker Champions list on our website.

    If you would be interested in being included on our list simply email info@cricksoft.com with your details and we’ll let you know how to claim your special voucher.

    *Voucher can be used towards purchasing any Crick Software product with the exception of our iPad apps, switch boxes and symbol sets. 


  • The latest release of Clicker 7 (v7.0.281) is free to all Clicker 7 users. It includes some enhancements to ‘drag and drop’ functionality which makes Clicker Board even better!

    You can drag images directly onto Clicker Board from the web. If you are using some browsers (for example Google Chrome) you can actually drag directly from the thumbnail overview on an image search.

    In this example we will use History programmes of study: key stage 1: “Pupils should be taught about the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements”.

    I am going to choose ‘Florence Nightingale’.

    First select ‘Make a Clicker Board’ from the Quick Start. I organised my desktop by dragging Clicker 7 to the right and my browser to the left.

    A quick image search brings up plenty of appropriate photos.

    Depending on your browser you can drag straight onto Clicker Board. If your browser doesn’t support this, click on the image, choose ‘View Image’ and then drag.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Florence Nightingale photos

    Resize the image on Clicker Board and double click to add boxes for associated words. This could be created as part of the lesson – gathering ideas from the class and entering them on the Clicker Board.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Florence Nightingale associated words

    In the example I used the palette on the left hand side to colour the cells. You can select multiple cells with a CTRL + Click and then CTRL + right-click to line them up, equalise their size and distribute them evenly.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Editing cells

    After the initial discussion with the class, right-click on the background of the Clicker Board and choose ‘Create Word Bank’.

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Board - Florence Nightingale Word Bank

    You now have a Word Bank which can be printed out or saved to the network for pupils’ use on a bank of laptops. You could also open it in Clicker Docs on iPads or Chromebooks.

  • Clicker Books on LearningGrids


    One of the great things about being a Clicker 7 user is having access to hundreds of ready-made resources. All professionally-made and designed to support primary learners of all abilities, our resources are updated regularly and can be downloaded FREE on our LearningGrids site. We carefully design our Clicker Sets to fit in with your curriculum themes, so you get instant, ready-to-use resources. And if you’re feeling inspired, all of our resources can be personalised – they are incredibly easy to edit, enabling you to tailor activities to your exact requirements.

    In a series of blogposts over the next few months, we will be exploring different types of resources we have on LearningGrids, and taking a look at some examples to help you see just how these might support you and your pupils in your classroom.

    Clicker Books are a great way of engaging children of all ages, combining captivating illustrations and lively or informative text. Children can read, listen to, or even make their own versions of a range of different books, covering an array of both fiction and non-fiction topics and themes. Take a look at some of the examples below (click on the link below each picture to go to the set on our website) … we’re sure you will find something you and you’re children will love!

    Stories

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Books - Stories

    Mary and Billy...

    I want a pet...

    Rosie goes for...

    Information/Non-Fiction Topics – Science, History, Geography … and more!

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Books - Information/Non-Fiction Topics – Science

    The trunk is...

    A young human is...

    For the first...

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Books - Information/Non-Fiction Topics – History

    This is an old...

    The gang of...

    Before the...

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Books - Information/Non-Fiction Topics – Geography 

    It is raining...

    Brazil is a...

    A bay is an...

    Make a Book – create written or spoken (text-free) versions of our reading books

    Clicker 7 - Clicker Books - Make a Book

    The teddy is...

    A perfect pet...

    Remembrance...

    As you can probably tell, there are far too many to show you them all … so why not get over to LearningGrids and discover all these and more for yourself! We hope this quick snapshot has inspired you to explore these fantastic resources further! And don’t forget, our Clicker Books are often complemented by Sentence, Connect, Talk and Matching Sets, as well as Word Banks and Clicker Boards. Keep an eye out for future blogposts where we’ll be taking a closer look at each of these activity types.

  • Managing Your Clicker App Subscriptions


    We are pleased to announce a new Subscription Management website for Clicker Apps for Chromebook customers. This enables customers to view information about their subscriptions and control which people have access to them.

    To get started, visit apps.cricksoft.com and sign in with your Google Account.

    To use the website, you must be a Subscription Manager for your organization’s subscriptions. If you’re not, the Manage tab won’t appear after signing in.

    If you have an individual subscription, you are automatically the Subscription Manager.

    Active Subscriptions

    Clicker Apps for Chromebook - Active Subscriptions screenshot

    This section displays information about your current and upcoming subscriptions (including evaluations) for each Clicker App.

    If you have a subscription that applies to a specific number of users, you can control which users have access to it by clicking Manage Users.

    Clicker Apps for Chromebook - Manage Subscription Users screenshot

    To add users to the subscription, you can:

    • Type or copy/paste their email addresses into the Add User box.

    • Have a user launch the Clicker App while signed into their Chromebook and enter the Enrollment Code.

    To remove users from the subscription, click their Remove button in the list.

    If you want to prevent removed users from enrolling again, click Change Enrollment Code.

    Expired Subscriptions

    This section lists the Start and End Dates of any previous subscriptions (including evaluations) that have expired.

    Subscription Managers

    This section lists the people that have permission to manage your organisation’s subscriptions.


  • Find Out and Write About is our award-winning series, designed to help children to access non-fiction text, and then report on what they have read.  

    Now you can download fully functioning extracts from each of the titles to try in your classroom. For each Find Out and Write About title we have chosen one topic and published three resources on LearningGrids - download each of the versions to see how the information is presented at differentiated reading levels with appropriately levelled writing support. This approach of linking reading pages and writing grids encourages independence by offering a clear and manageable structure, particularly for struggling and disaffected readers and writers.     

    Find Out and Write About The Human Body - Digestive system using Book 1, 2 & 3

    Examples of extracts from The Human Body, one of the Find Out and Write About series. Read and write about the digestive system using the Book 1, Book 2 or Book 3 extracts.

    Like everything on LearningGrids these resources are free and will download directly into Clicker 7 so you can get started straightaway. So if you are covering any of the Find Out and Write About topics or just want to give your children access to general interest non-fiction texts, try these extracts from LearningGrids.

    If you are interested in purchasing the full titles, they are available from our web shop.

  • Clicker Communicator success story


    We’ve just published a lovely new Clicker Communicator success story!

    Nicola Saadati is a Speech and Language Therapist at Bridge College, a specialist college for 16-25 year olds with learning difficulties and disabilities, complex needs, communication disorders and autism.

    Nicola had been looking for a new communication aid to support one of her students, an 18 year old with cerebral palsy. She wanted something motivating, easy to program, with a specific literacy support element – so she chose Clicker Communicator.

    “One of the key benefits I’ve noticed since he started using Communicator is how quickly and easily he can react to new scenarios and conversations as they happen, just adding in new vocab ‘on the fly’.

    Clicker Communicator is really helping him to develop his literacy skills in particular – he’s started to produce longer sentences, have a go at spelling more difficult words like ‘excited’, use more complex vocabulary and incorporate more punctuation. His writing speed is increasing too.

    From my perspective, the app has saved me hours of preparation time – it’s so easy to use and to program. It’s also given me real peace of mind when the student is out doing his work experience; I’m confident he will be able to spontaneously communicate and chat when put on the spot with a new person or scenario outside of the college.

    I’m so glad we found Clicker Communicator – it’s a fantastic communication tool for educational settings like ours.”

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

  • 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

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