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  • 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.

  • 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 elementary 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 personalized – 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 students in your classroom.

    Clicker Books are a great way of engaging children of all ages, combining captivating illustrations with lively or informative text. Students can read, listen to, or even make their own versions of a range of different books, covering an array of both fiction and nonfiction topics and themes. Take a look at some of the examples below … we’re sure you will find something you and you’re children will love!

    Stories

       

    A Trip to the Park - Read a Book

    A Perfect Pet - Read a Book

    Rosie's Busy Day - Read

    Information/Nonfiction Topics – Science, History, Geography … and more!

     

    Parts of a Tree - Read a Book

    Animal Growth - Read a Book

    Owl Life Cycle - Read

     

    Old and New Toys - Read a Book

    Coastal Landforms - Read a Book

    Symbols of Ancient Egypt - Read a Book

     

    Brazil - Read a Book

    Weather - Read a Book

    The Ancient Olympics - Read a Book

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

      

    Toys and Materials - Make a Book One

    A Perfect Pet - Make a Book

    Animals in Their Habitats - Make a Book One

    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 blog posts 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

    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.

     

    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 organization’s subscriptions.


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

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

    This is particularly so for students 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. Plus, all platforms have access to LearningGrids, our website for free resources!

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

     

    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 students on laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks

    • In the computer lab where all students can access Clicker’s writing support

    • In the resource room where Clicker 7 can be fully personalized for individual students

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

    This means that students 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 with 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 students 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, an iPad, or a Chromebook.

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

  • Clicker Communicator Success Story


    We’ve just published a fantastic 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, is trying to spell more difficult words like ‘excited’, is using more complex vocabulary, and incorporates 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.

  • Clicker Chrome Apps


    At the beginning of January, Crick Software released our highly anticipated Clicker Apps for the Chromebook. We currently have Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs available and Clicker Connect will be ready in March. We also recently expanded our licensing options for these apps:

    1.  The first licensing option is the Site License which enables every Chromebook in one building to have access to the apps. This license is $500, is a yearly subscription, and is an excellent value! If you have 10 or more Chromebooks on your domain then this is the most cost effective way of getting our apps.
    2. The second option is the Student Support License. This license allows districts to use the app they purchase throughout the entire district. Starting at 100 licenses of an app, districts can build up and distribute these licenses as needed. Other highlights of this license are that it originates from a single code, and it will work with any Google log in. Customers manage this license themselves - the site manager can remove a user from the list, free up a license, view all users, and expand it at any time. Contact us for more information on creating your custom quote for users throughout your district!
    3. The last licensing option is the Single User License. Customers have been asking for a single download, particularly for evaluation purposes, and can now purchase access for a single user for either of the apps. The cost is $50 per app per year. 

    Let us know if you’d like to know more about any of these license options – we’re happy to show you the apps and talk about the best option for you.

  • 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 students and teachers to easily create question-and-answer activities on any topic. 

     

    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.

    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.

     

    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 – students 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 on a piece of text – the teacher or student records questions about a book or informational text. Or it could be used to explore a fictional or historical character. One student could ask the character questions and another student 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 customize. 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 students.

     

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

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