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  • Twilight Seminars

    The team just finished hosting their first round of twilight seminars in the northeast. These seminars gave us a chance to connect with new and existing customers in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts. The Connecticut seminars concentrated on the Clicker Apps for Chromebook, while the Massachusetts and New York seminars focused on Clicker 7.

    The Clicker Apps for Chromebook seminar in Cromwell, Connecticut had over 20 attendees including teachers, SLPs, and support professionals from the surrounding areas. Many were extremely impressed with the ability to create activities and share them to other platforms; this was mentioned to be a great way for teachers to save time. One attendee said, “It’s incredible that we can create Sentence Sets in Clicker 7 and then share them to Clicker Sentences on the iPad or Chromebook!”


    If you would like to attend a seminar, all future events will be posted here on our website.

  • We’ve just received a lovely Clicker 7 success story from Fiona Tyler. Her 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

  • 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 recognize 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.

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

    Some people find it challenging to tap things accurately on a touchscreen device.

    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.


    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 behavior:

    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 behavior back to default, repeat these steps.

  • Clicker 7 for Older Learners

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

    I realized that Clicker 7 would be perfect for my older sister, Aoife. Aoife has Down 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 in the UK version. 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 (Sharon and Will are available for North America):

    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 I quickly made was the font size and style. Clicker comes with a pre-set font of Sassoon, which is an elementary school font. In Options > Accessibility, I 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 mom and talk about what she wanted to write about. Voice Notes has allowed my mom 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.

  • With Clicker being 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 elementary writing tools available on Windows, Mac, iPad, and Chromebook.

    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.


    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 students 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 students will achieve success, as they can continue to try until they find the correct match. In the second, however, students can choose any match and their choices are summarized 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 Beach – Picture Pairs Soccer – 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


    In these activities, students 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, students 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!

  • Hidden Pictures in a Clicker 7 Word Bank

    I recently hosted an on-site training for a group of teachers who asked me to help them create activities with Clicker 7 for their students who are transitioning away from picture support. These students are doing well with writing but still need some picture prompts when selecting words from a Word Bank, for example.

    In Clicker 7, an invisible layer of pictures can be added behind the words in a Word Bank. This way, when a student moves his or her curser over a cell, the picture appears. This means the picture is not always visible and it also does not enter into the document with the word. This sounds tricky, but in reality it only requires a number of simple steps:

    1. Create a Word Bank in Clicker 7 using the wizard. You can find a video on how to do that here.
    2. Save the Word Bank as a Custom Set so that you can utilize the Custom Edit Mode. To save any activity as a Custom Set, simply click Save Clicker Set As on the Clicker Set Ribbon and change the file type to Custom Set.

    Before we move on to editing our Custom Set, we need to make the Advanced tab in the Cell Properties ribbon visible:

    1. Go to the Options tab.
    2. Click on Program Management.
    3. Click the Advanced tab.
    4. Check the first option - Show Advanced Tab in Cell Properties ribbon.

    We are now ready to add hidden pictures into our Word Bank:

    1. Click on Edit Clicker Set in the bottom left corner of the screen.
    2. Select your first cell.
    3. Click the Advanced tab and you can try all of the picture options.

    The options that made this group of teachers in the training the most excited were the Foreground Picture and Hover options.


    After a picture is selected you can see that the cell contains just the word until the mouse hovers over that cell. And then, like magic, the picture support appears.


    If you are interested in learning more about how Clicker 7 can support you students, please contact us. We can arrange a webinar demonstration, webinar training, or an on-site training.

  • 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:


    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 color box to choose the background color 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.

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

    • Click Edit in the top-left corner.
    • In the blue toolbar, click the icon on the left to view the Page Sorter.
    • 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.
    • 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.

  • 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 choose Harriet Tubman

    First select "Make a Clicker Board" from the Quick Start. I organized 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.

    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.

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

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

    You now have a Word Bank which can be printed out or saved to the network for students’ use on laptops, or any computer in the school. You could also open it in Clicker Docs on iPads or Chromebooks.

  • The first two Clicker Apps for Chromebook (Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs) were launched in October 2016, and I have long ago lost count of the number of webinars and demonstrations that I have done with them. With the release of Clicker Connect for Chromebook last week, I wanted to share some of the highlights so far: 

    1. Wi-Fi Independence
      Because the Clicker Apps for Chromebook are ‘packaged apps’, it means that they can be launched with or without an internet connection. Files are saved locally and then synchronized automatically next time you get connected. This feature is really popular, especially when considering WIFI connectivity issues in some schools!
    2. Google Drive Integration
      Whether you are working with a Document, a Sentence Set, a Connect Set, or a Wordbank, you have direct and integrated access to Google Drive when it comes to opening or saving your files, meaning that you can share activities with your co-workers and students in seconds.
    3. Free Curriculum Content
      With just a couple of clicks, you can access a wide range of pre-made, cross-curricular activities from our LearningGrids website. Free to download, these resources are a go-to for thousands of users.
    4. Use on Multiple Platforms
      I already mentioned that you can create a Document, Sentence Set, a Connect Set, or Wordbank on the Chromebook and save it directly to Google Drive. The Clicker Apps for iOS (iPad) also have a direct link to Google Drive, and it’s easy to get to your Google Drive folder from within Clicker 7 on your laptop too. What this means is that a file can be created on the Chromebook, iPad, or laptop, and then opened on any of the others, giving phenomenal flexibility to teachers and students working in blended platform environments.

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