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  • You may have a class, a group or an individual learner who would benefit from being able to have instant access to certain Clicker Sets as they are working.

    For example, you might provide a word bank or a writing frame that pupils can open without having to navigate to where these have been saved.

    A really easy way to do this is by using Clicker 7’s Favourites tool. If Clicker 7 is installed on your network it doesn’t matter which computer a pupil goes to, their User Preferences and their Favourites will be saved centrally.

    In this example, I have set up a class on the Quick Start screen for my ‘Higher ability’ group.

    Clicker 7 - Quick Start Page - Higher ability group

    To the left, you’ll see the yellow star which is the Favourites button.

    Clicker 7 - Quick Start - Favourites

    When pupils in the ‘Higher ability’ group click on this, they can immediately open particular resources I’ve added for them.

    Clicker 7 - Quick Start - Favourites - Higher ability group

    I have downloaded four word banks to help extend their vocabulary and encourage them to be a little more adventurous in their writing.

    These four are all ready-made Clicker Sets I’ve simply downloaded from LearningGrids and saved.

    This one provides great alternatives to the overused word ‘said’.

    Clicker 7 - Document & Word bank - Alternatives to said

    So, how do I add Clicker Sets to their Favourites?

    Whether it’s a Clicker Set I’ve created or one from LearningGrids, I first need to ensure I have saved it. To do this, go to the Clicker Set ribbon tab, and select Save Clicker Set As. The ‘Higher ability’ group folder will open automatically in the Save Clicker Set dialog and you can save the resource in it.

    Clicker 7 - Document & Word Bank - Save Clicker Set As to the Higher ability group folder

    Now, still on the Clicker Set ribbon tab, go the Favourites tool – the yellow star on the tool bar. You will now be able to click ‘Add current Clicker Set to favourites’. Note that, bottom right, I can see the name of the class, group or individual I’m creating a favourite for.

    Clicker 7 - Document & Word Bank - Add current Clicker Set to favourites

    I have repeated this with the other word banks too.

    The predictor will now include words from the word banks they are using!

    Clicker 7 - Document & Word Bank - Predictor

    You can have more than one resource open at a time. Each pupil can flip back and forth between any of the resources just by clicking on the tabs along the bottom.

    Clicker 7 - Document & Word Bank - Clicker Set - Bad Characters

    Now when this group starts working they can access these from the Quick Start screen. Or, if they are in the document, they simply go to their Favourites star on the Clicker Set ribbon tab and they will see them all listed there too.


  • Did you know you can change the pronunciation of any word?

    Clicker Communicator features state-of-the-art speech technology, enabling text to be spoken aloud in clear, natural voices.

    While the accuracy of speech technology has improved drastically over time, the complex intricacies of language mean that some words can be pronounced incorrectly from time to time. For example, there are many names with unique pronunciations that differ from common language rules.

    We recognise that accuracy is a key factor in a successful communication aid, so we include a feature in Clicker Communicator that lets you specify the pronunciation of any word:

    1. In the top toolbar, tap the Settings (cog) icon. 
      (if the toolbar is hidden, tap the black line to show it)
    2. Tap Speech, tap Pronunciation, and then tap Add New.
    3. In the top box, type the word you want to change.
      In the bottom box, spell the word phonetically, the way you want it to be pronounced.

    Clicker Communicator - Speech, Pronunciation, Siobhan

    Did you know that enabling SuperKeys makes it easier to tap words?

    Some people find it challenging to tap things accurately.

    A basic solution is to make targets bigger, but this inevitably results in fewer targets on-screen. In a communication aid, this places an unfair limitation on a person’s immediately available vocabulary.

    Our solution is SuperKeys. It works by grouping the word cells into clusters. Tapping anywhere within a cluster enlarges it, making it easy to then tap the desired word cell inside.

    Clicker Communicator - SuperKeys

    To enable SuperKeys:

    1. In the top toolbar, tap the Settings (cog) icon. (if the toolbar is hidden, tap the black line to show it)
    2. Tap Accessibility, tap SuperKeys, and then turn on SuperKeys.
    3. If you don’t want the cluster to close automatically, turn off Close Cluster After Selection.

    Please note: enabling SuperKeys doesn’t change the layout of the Vocabulary Sets themselves, just how they behave on your iPad.

    Did you know you can turn a Vocabulary Set into a soundboard?

    By default, tapping word cells within a Vocabulary Set will build a message in the top Message Area. At any point, you can tap anywhere in the Message Area to hear the full message spoken.

    However, it’s also possible for a Vocabulary Set to function like a soundboard, where tapping each word cell immediately speaks its contents. This may be a preferred form of communication for some people.

    To enable this behaviour:

    1. If you’re not already in Edit View, tap the black line at the top of the screen to show the toolbar, and then tap the icon in the top-right corner.
    2. In the bottom-left corner, tap Format.
    3. On the Details tab, turn off the Message Area.
    4. When prompted, tap Speak When Tapped.

    To change the behaviour back to default, repeat these steps.


  • We’ve just received a lovely Clicker 7 success story from Fiona Tyler, whose daughter Becky has been using Clicker for a number of years now:

    “My daughter Becky is 14 years old. She is extremely bright and has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which affects her whole body. She cannot sit unsupported, stand or walk, so is a full-time wheelchair user. She struggles to coordinate her arms and hands and she cannot talk.

    Becky first started using Clicker when she was 5 years old. At first she accessed the program using a head switch, which was successful but rather slow going. Then, about 7 years ago, she started working with Tobii eye gaze technology, which was when things really took off!

    As Becky has grown, Clicker has grown with her. When she was younger she used it to produce many beautiful pictures. Now, it’s her preferred tool for tackling curriculum writing tasks at school and at home.

    It’s so important that Becky can just go into Clicker and get on with her work – she is able to keep up with her writing in class and needs much less help from her support assistant. It also makes the act of writing a lot less laborious than she has found it with other writing tools she’s tried, which ultimately makes for a much more motivating and enjoyable writing experience.

    Clicker 7 plays a big part in making literacy tasks accessible and achievable for Becky.”

    You can read more about how Becky uses Clicker here.

    Photo of Becky who has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy

  • Clicker for Windows, Mac, iPad and Chromebook


    With Clicker a core literacy tool in so many classrooms, it’s important to have it available on a range of devices. The recent release of Clicker Connect for Chromebook means that we now have all of our core primary writing tools available on Windows, Mac, iPad and Chromebooks.

    The three apps – Clicker Sentences, Clicker Connect and Clicker Docs – work on iPad and Chromebook, while Clicker 7 for Win/Mac includes the functionality of all three and more.

    We aim for complete consistency across Desktop, iPad and Chromebook, while ensuring we get the right look-and-feel for the device. We’ve also made it really easy to share files between any device using Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.

    Clicker Apps - For Windows, Mac, iPad & Chromebooks

    Perhaps most importantly of all, you can use the same resources across all the devices. So when you find that great Connect Set on LearningGrids, you can use it on your desktop computer, on iPad and on Chromebook. (And it’s the same for Clicker Docs and Clicker Sentences files.)

    Our focus has always been on providing practical writing support to enable all learners to achieve success. Making Clicker available on a broad range of devices expands the number of learners we can help as we strive to make a real difference in the classroom.

  • Clicker Matching Sets on LearningGrids


    Matching activities help to develop visual discrimination and language acquisition, as well as problem-solving skills. They also help to improve concentration and memory, and of course all of these are important pre-reading skills. Making links between words, pictures or sounds, and explaining why they go together, is important for cognitive skills and ability.

    They can be used to support children of different ages and abilities, but are particularly useful for emergent readers and those learning English as an additional language. On LearningGrids, we have lots of different types of matching activities across a wide range of curriculum areas and themes. The activities may focus on matching pictures, words or sounds, so pupils are supported as they progress in their learning.

    With many of our Matching resources, we try to provide two versions of the same activity. The first is designed so that children will achieve success, as they can continue to try until they find the correct match. In the second, however, children can choose any match and their choices are summarised on the final page, offering an assessment of their performance.

    Matching Pictures


    Clicker 7 - Pirates – Picture Pairs Clicker 7 - At the Seaside – Picture Pairs  Clicker 7 - Football – Picture Pairs 
    Pirates – Picture Pairs At the Seaside – Picture Pairs Football – Picture Pairs

    Matching Words

    These activities can often be used for introducing or reinforcing new topic vocabulary so are suitable for all ages.

    Clicker 7 - Electrical Circuit Symbols – Look and Read Clicker 7 - Animal Skeletons – Look and Read
    Electrical Circuit Symbols – Look and Read Animal Skeletons – Look and Read
    Clicker 7 - In the Town – Read and Find clicker 7 - Pets Matching
    In the Town – Read and Find Pets Matching

    Sounds

    In these activities, children match words, sentences or spoken descriptions to pictures or words.

    Clicker 7 - Animal Groups Matching Clicker 7 - Getting Dressed for Snow – Listen and Find
    Animal Groups Matching Getting Dressed for Snow – Listen and Find

    Association Matching

    In some matching activities, children use cognitive skills to make links between pictures by matching associated words or images.

    Clicker 7 - Animals and Their Young – Make the Link Clicker 7 - Food and Parts of Plants – Make the Link 
    Animals and Their Young – Make the Link Food and Parts of Plants – Make the Link

    There’s certainly lots more to explore … so why not get over to LearningGrids and discover all these great matching activities and more for yourself!

  • 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.

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