Our latest app, Clicker Connect, brings additional Clicker functionality to the iPad®. Sitting between Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs, it provides another stage in supporting early and struggling writers to produce their own writing.
With familiar Clicker support, Connect offers children a structure to help them to extend their ideas and to write more. Using linked grids, they choose from clusters of words and phrases to write into the document. Sentence starters will get them going, and word choices will offer prompts and encourage the use of more adventurous vocabulary - would they prefer to describe the giant as massive, huge, or gigantic? Do they like apples because they are juicy, crunchy, sweet, or all three?
As with Clicker and all the apps, children can listen to the words in the grid before they use them in their writing. This enables them to decide on the best words to use – they can choose which words they like the sound of, and consider which words best convey their meaning. They are also more likely to use vocabulary with which they are unfamiliar so that their writing becomes more sophisticated and interesting. Children can also listen to their writing read back as they add punctuation in the document, a feature that is very valuable for reinforcement and for review.
Every Clicker Connect grid has a link on the toolbar to a keyboard, so that children can extend their writing. The keyboard has been designed with early writers in mind – it has fewer keys than a conventional keyboard and displays lowercase letters to make it more accessible. This offers a great opportunity to encourage children to take the next step as their writing skills progress.
Customizable support to meet individual needs is an important aspect of Clicker Connect. For example, you can decide on the number of words you want to display in a grid; you can organize the words in clusters to help children make their choices; you can color code cells to emphasize sentence structure or highlight word groups; you can use pictures to help identify words; you can use guided order to ensure that children work from left to right. This flexibility makes Clicker Connect suitable for writers at different levels and offers the opportunity to vary support as children’s needs change.
Additionally as grids can contain content on any subject, Clicker Connect can be used across the curriculum whenever your early writers will benefit from writing support.