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  • Clicker Books Success Story

    We recently posted a new Clicker Books Success Story from Boston Public Schools on our website. Aubrey Rubin is a speech therapist in a K-8 inclusion school and has been using Clicker Books with her students. Aubrey quickly realized how the app can support her students in many different aspects of their curriculum, and has found wonderful ways to apply its use in the classroom.

    Aubrey writes, “The students created an obstacle course and then used Clicker Books to create a book depicting each step of the course. Even though my students have significant issues with reading, writing, and formulating sentences, they were able to create this book with minimal assistance.  They were so proud of what they had created and were eager to show all their classmates.”

    You can read Aubrey’s success story in full on our website.

  • World Cup

    It’s World Cup soccer time again and we’ve got some fantastic resources on LearningGrids – so celebrate the occasion and get your students working on their language arts and math skills at the same time!

    Whether your focus is on the soccer competition itself or on learning about the host country of Brazil, you will find some great activities appropriate for all ages – and right across our range of software tools (including Clicker 6, WriteOnline, and the Clicker Apps). Many of the resources feature brand new graphics too. Whatever the age or ability of your students, there is plenty to engage and motivate them in learning through this topic.

    With brand new, beautiful illustrations, Brazil – Read will help your students to learn about the geography, people, and culture of the fascinating country which plays host to the competition this year. After reading the book, students can also create their own written or spoken books about Brazil. For students who require structured writing support, try the sentence building activity, or use the topic word banks to support your more confident writers.

    Sticking with the World Cup theme, of course there are lots of soccer-based activities too - from matching and counting activities for younger students, to activities where students can sort competing countries alphabetically or track the teams’ progress during the 2014 World Cup games. Get your students writing generally about a soccer game or about the World Cup competition specifically, using the word banks Soccer Game Words and World Cup Soccer Words. These are great for encouraging independent writers to use wider, topic-specific vocabulary!

    There are Wordbars about Brazil and World Cup Soccer to support older students in their written work on these topics too.

    To find all of these, and many more resources to support this and other topic work this summer, simply search on LearningGrids.

  • Editing Writing with Clicker

    An important aspect of writing composition is the ability to evaluate your text and to make improvements, including additions, revisions, and corrections. Clicker provides three very effective strategies to help young writers to achieve this.

    The first is the speech feedback in the document. Children can listen to what they have written - automatically when punctuation is added, or using the speech button to hear the whole text. They can then reflect on what they have written, considering whether it makes sense or whether it is clearly expressed. Once a student has isolated an error or an area for revision, they can consider how they will deal with it.

    Clicker’s word predictor has a part to play, too. For example an error in grammar can be corrected by moving the cursor within the text. In the sentence ‘I walking to the park,’  the verb form doesn’t sound as it should. If I move the cursor to the end of 'walk,' I am offered some alternatives – I can now make the correction by selecting ‘walked’  from the predictor drop down.

    The Clicker word predictor

    The third way of helping children to edit their own work is by using Clicker grids. Consider the criteria by which the writing can be improved and provide a grid of suggestions as a starting point for editing.

    For example if the focus is on powerful verbs, students should evaluate their writing in relation to the variety and effectiveness of the verbs they have used. Providing a grid of unusual verbs means that they can include these in their text - click on the word in the grid to replace the highlighted verb in the document.  Equally, students can add more attention-grabbing adjectives or improve the cohesiveness of their writing using a grid containing a range of connectives. Involve the children in creating the grids, and this strategy will be even more effective.

    Clicker word bank

    In each of these ways Clicker puts students in a better position to improve their own texts and enables them to take control and responsibility for their writing.

  • Windows XP has been incredibly successful. After nearly 13 years, 1 in 4 computers still use Windows XP, making it the second most widely-used operating system in the world after Windows 7.

    However, technology continues to advance and there comes a point when upgrading starts to become a priority. In 2007, Microsoft announced that Windows XP support would end on April 8th 2014. As of this date, Windows XP will receive no more patches, security updates or technical support from Microsoft. Therefore, schools that continue to use Windows XP should be aware that:

    • Windows XP is old software. Despite years of updates, its core architecture is very outdated, which makes it inefficient, insecure and incompatible with modern hardware and software.

    • Windows XP is now a prime target for viruses and hackers because it is no longer updated but still widely used. The next few years could prove dangerous for Windows XP users.

    • Software developers are beginning to phase out support for Windows XP in their products.

    We will continue to support our customers who use Clicker 6 and WriteOnline on Windows XP.

    However, our future products will not be designed for Windows XP. This will allow us to focus our efforts and enable us to design modern software for modern computers.