Crick Software US Blog

RSS Feed
  • 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 Inquiries

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

    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 color-coding systems.

    The majority of our Clicker Communicator sets use a modified Fitzgerald color-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, students can respond to questions about the materials that objects are made from. Guess the Shape allows students to play a shape guessing game by asking questions about the number and type of sides that a shape has.

     

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

     

    Our colorful semantics sets use a different color-coding system. These sets help students learn the important elements of a sentence and how to join these elements together in the correct order. Students learn to associate different “types” of words with different colors 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 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 color-coded sections. Children choose from the colored cells to recite each line. With these sets, each cell speaks as they tap so that they hear the rhyme as they go. They can then listen to the entire rhyme by tapping the message area.

     

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

  • DocsPlus


    We are very excited that DocsPlus, our new reading and writing product for secondary schools, has now been released. Our Education Consultants have been showing DocsPlus over the past few weeks to secondary schools and the response has been overwhelming!

    So many students of all ages struggle with reading and writing, which is not only an obstacle to their development in all subjects, it also affects their self-esteem which can lead them to feel they can’t succeed.

    DocsPlus provides the tools that students need to achieve reading success and develop into fluent writers, all in a single application with a grown-up look and feel that is appealing to secondary students.

    Writing support is provided in the form of a talking word processor that includes a powerful word predictor (that includes phonetic prediction), voice notes for on-the-spot prompts, Wordbars for curriculum support, and a graphic organizer for planning.

    Reading support is provided by our brand new DocReader, which is integrated into DocsPlus and reads aloud any part of a PDF. It’s really easy to move between the document you’re reading and the one that you’re writing – in fact it’s just one click!

    DocsPlus will really change how students with reading and writing difficulties access the curriculum and produce their written work. Find out more or download the trial version. I hope you’re as excited by DocsPlus as those schools that are already using it, and we look forward to hearing from you with your feedback.

     


  • I am often asked how best to use Clicker 7 to support students who have autism. All students will have different needs; however, Clicker is the perfect tool to meet some of those needs.

    Social Interaction

    Students with autism can often have difficulties interacting with both their peers and with adults. I worked with a student who could not remember the names of the teachers. He had learned that using “Mr.” and “Miss” was perfectly adequate, so did not see the need in knowing their names. You can use the matching activities within Clicker to help.

     

    Just add the pictures into a matching activity, select “word” for the target and “picture” for the choice. This works extremely well as a touch screen activity, as students can tap on the text to hear the name read out to them.

     

    Social Stories and Sequencing

    Clicker Books are ideal to use for Social Stories. The stories can then be shared with others, either on the device used, or as a printed out book.

    You can also use Clicker Books for sequencing activities, from getting dressed for gym class to making your own sandwiches.

     

    Photographs can be used instead of symbols and they make the sequencing activity much more personal and meaningful to the individual.

    Special Interests

    Students with autism often have special interests. These can vary, and often, staff members have little or no knowledge of the subject. Examples of special interests can include trains, bus schedules, flags, Pokémon, or even pylons. Using a special interest is often a great way to encourage and motivate students to write.

    Often, learners have a really good knowledge of the subject, but have difficulties in getting this down onto paper. Clicker Board can be a great tool to help.

    Working one-to-one with a student, they can give their assistant the vocabulary and information that they want to include in their writing, and the adult can create a Clicker Board.

     

    The board is a very visual resource which is ideal as students with autism are often visual learners.

    The Clicker Board can be easily converted into a Word Bank (right clicking on an empty part of the board will bring up this menu).

     

    Students can then use the Word Bank to create a piece of writing about something that really motivates and enthuses them.

    These are only a few of the resources that can be created and used to support students on the autism spectrum, but Clicker’s ability to be tailored to the specific needs of the individual can make it a very motivating and rewarding tool.


  • Did you know you can pin cells?

    Pinning a cell keeps it locked in place. A pinned cell can’t be dragged and won’t move if another cell is dragged in front of it. If the topic is populated further with additional text or pictures, pinned cells will keep their content.

    To pin/unpin cells:

    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. Tap a topic on the left.
    3. Tap Select near the top-right corner.
    4. Tap cells to select them.
    5. Tap the Pin icon near the top-left corner.

    Did you know you can set an action and sound for individual cells?

    By default, tapping a cell sends the text it contains to the Message Area.

    However, you can configure a cell to perform a different action when tapped:

    • Send – send different text to the Message Area, with the option of returning to the previous grid automatically.
    • Open – open another grid or topic, the on-screen keyboard, favorites, or another Vocabulary Set.
    • Command – email the current Message as a PDF, or delete text from the Message Area.

    You can also configure a cell to play a sound when tapped. It can speak its own text, some different text, the current Message, or play an alert sound to attract attention from a caretaker/teacher/parent/etc.

    To change a cell’s action or sound:

    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. Tap a topic on the left.
    3. Tap a cell on the right.
    4. Tap Action or Sound.

    Did you know you can change how the Delete button works?

    By default, tapping the red Delete button in the Message Area clears the entire Message.

    If you prefer, this behavior can be changed so that one tap deletes the last word and a second tap clears the entire Message.

    To do this:

    1. In the top toolbar, tap the Settings (cog) icon (if the toolbar is hidden, tap the black line to show it).
    2. Tap Message Area and then tap Delete Button.
    3. Select Delete last word first.

    Did you know you can download extra voices and symbol libraries?

    Clicker Communicator includes male and female child voices for UK and US English – four in total.

    Other voices are available as in-app purchases, including teen, adult, and bilingual voices. Most are free!

    To download extra voices:

    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 Voice, and then tap Download a Voice.

    If you have the SymbolStix edition of Clicker Communicator, the Mayer-Johnson PCS and Widgit symbol libraries are available as in-app purchases.

    To download extra symbol libraries:

    1. In the top toolbar, tap the Settings (cog) icon (if the toolbar is hidden, tap the black line to show it).
    2. Tap Symbols and then tap Download a Library.

  • 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 students 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 Favorites tool. If Clicker 7 is installed on your network it doesn’t matter which computer a student goes to, their User Preferences and their Favorites will be saved centrally.

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

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

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

    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’.

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

    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.

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

    I have repeated this with the other word banks too.

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

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

    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 Favorites star on the Clicker Set ribbon tab and they will see them all listed there too.

  • Electrical Circuits and Clicker


    If you are teaching electrical circuits, have a look at the Clicker 7 resources on LearningGrids.

    Use the Talk Sets for children to show their understanding of how circuits work. For example, in the set Will the Circuit Work, they explain whether or not a bulb will light in different configurations of a simple series circuit. In the set Change the Circuit, they explain how changes to a circuit, such as adding an extra battery, will affect how the bulb functions.

     

    Use Clicker Talk sets to show understanding of how circuits work.

    For writing, see the word bank Electrical Circuits, which provides the key topic vocabulary to describe how a circuit works. Alternatively, see the set Electrical Circuit Investigation, which offers a frame for writing a science report.

     

    Use word banks and writing frames for writing about electrical circuits.

    And for learning and revising the symbols for circuit diagrams, see the Electrical Circuit Symbols sets which offer differentiated levels and content for children to become familiar with the symbols.

     

    Use differentiated sets to become familiar with electrical symbols.

  • Colonial Jobs


    We have recently published some new Clicker resources for students learning about life in Colonial America, with a specific focus on jobs. The resources, incorporating beautiful new graphics, enable students to read, write sentences, and talk about colonial jobs.

    As well as the main reading book, we also have a simplified “Read It Yourself” version of the text, designed to encourage independent reading. In this version, the book pages don’t include a sound button so that students are encouraged to read the book for themselves.

     

    Students can make their own Clicker Books about any of the individual jobs or use the Connect Set to write with more support about all of the trades. More confident writers can use either Jobs in Colonial America A – Z or the tabbed word bank Colonial Jobs to write about the topic.

    In a related activity, students can use Clicker’s integrated paint tools to design their own Colonial Shop Sign. And our Clicker Communicator set enables all students to join in with discussions about different jobs during colonial times – responding to questions such as “What did a wheelwright do?” or “What did cobblers make shoes out of?”

     

    For more history resources like these (including the recently added Find Out and Write About history resource extracts on Ancient Egyptians), head to LearningGrids!

  • 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

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