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  • We recently returned from Closing the Gap – the annual AT / AAC conference in Minneapolis. It’s one of our favorite events on the calendar, and our booth was packed with delegates all week. 

     

    With Clicker Communicator (our new AAC app) just 4 months old, we were delighted by the number of people who came to the booth requesting to see it, and it was a great opportunity to get feedback on the latest updates:

    Paint 

    You can now use Paint to customize any cell – in this example you can see the soccer player’s shirt being transformed from red to blue (using the Bucket Fill tool), and then having the number added (using the Brush tool). This new feature allows for personalization of existing symbols, as well as offering the opportunity to create your own from scratch.

     

    Pronounce

    There is now a Pronunciation option in the Speech settings which allows you to instantly fix any mis-pronounced words – especially important with names.

     

    Predict

    Many of our booth visitors at Closing the Gap were excited by the symbol supported word prediction in Clicker Communicator. We have done a lot of work on both the predictor database and the prediction algorithm for this latest release – the resulting in-word, next word, and phonetic suggestions are awesome!

     

    If you already have Clicker Communicator, don’t forget to update to the latest version (via App Store > Updates). If you don’t have it yet, it is available on both the App Store and through the Volume Purchase Program.

  • Did You Know? – Clicker 6 Accessibility Tips


    Here are some useful hints and tips for customizing Clicker 6! 

    Did you know you can apply a universal color scheme and font to all Clicker Sets and Documents?

    For learners with low vision, you can configure Clicker 6 so that all Clicker Sets and Documents appear the same. This doesn’t change the appearance of the files themselves, only their appearance on your computer.

    To do this, open the Options menu, choose User Access and switch to the Display tab.

    To set a high-contrast color scheme, click the Color Scheme box.

    To specify your own colors, choose the Custom scheme and then click the Background and Additional colors below to change them.

    To always use a particular font, check the Always use this font checkbox and choose your desired font options below.

    Did you know you can make Clicker 6 full screen?

    To keep a learner focused on Clicker 6, you can make it full screen. This minimizes distractions and temporarily limits the ability to use other programs (not on Mac).

    To make Clicker 6 full screen, press the F11 key (Mac: while holding the Apple key). Press again to leave full screen.

    To always start Clicker 6 in full screen, open the Options menu and click Program Management. On the Access Control tab, choose In Full Screen mode.

     Did you know you can disable Edit Mode?

    To prevent learners from editing Clicker Sets, you can disable Edit Mode.

    To do this, open the Options menu and click User Preferences. On the Clicker Set tab, uncheck Enable Edit Mode.

    This disables the buttons used to access Edit Mode.

  • Creative Writing with Clicker Docs


    October is a great time to spark your students’ creative writing using our Clicker Docs resources on LearningGrids.

    Spooky Words and Spooky Words A-Z provide a large range of nouns, verbs, and adjectives to liven up ghost stories and other eerie tales. The Halloween word bank supports writing about the traditional games and activities associated with Halloween celebrations. And Haunted Haiku offers vivid words and phrases to help write a haiku poem about Halloween or another ghostly occasion.

    For less spooky stories, students can use the Fall A-Z word bank to write about the signs, changes, and traditions associated with the season of fall. Fall Description and Fall Words offer an interesting assortment of words under tabbed headings to help students create a free verse poem or descriptive text.

    With the Clicker Docs set Traditional Story Words, students are provided with vocabulary to help develop their traditional story writing with a particular focus on characters, the setting, and transition words. For more focus on character descriptions, be sure to share the Character Words and Good Character, Bad Character word banks with your students.  

    LearningGrids also includes a number of general word banks aimed to encourage students to use more varied vocabulary in their writing about any topics. Alternative Adjectives and Powerful Verbs offer synonyms for a range of overused words. The Alternatives to Said word bank groups vocabulary by different emotions or moods to support the use of dialogue in their stories.

    Visit LearningGrids for more Halloween and fall-themed resources, as well as lots of other Clicker Docs word banks to support your students’ writing.


  • Many of the Clicker Communicator sets available on LearningGrids focus on curriculum vocabulary and are designed to introduce children to the new words and language structures associated with their classroom topics. The aim is to help children to become familiar with the brand new vocabulary, and to make it readily available so that they can join in within the classroom.

    A set designed around topic vocabulary focuses attention on the curriculum importance and relevance of the specific language it contains. Having the words together also minimizes the navigation challenges presented when the vocabulary is ‘hidden away’ in a larger set. This makes classroom participation a more realistic and achievable possibility - the relevant language is immediately available for children when they need it.

    Essentially, the LearningGrids sets provide the opportunity for focused ‘scaffolded talk’ in a curriculum context.

     

     Clicker Communicator sets to talk about the life cycle of a butterfly and the properties of materials.

  • Training for the New School Year


    Schools all over the US have been asking for training on our product range to get everyone on board and ensure their investment in our products has a significant and sustained impact on their students’ literacy levels. We’ve been very busy with trainings on Clicker 6, WriteOnline, and Clicker Apps over the last month.

    Training enables participants to not only see but use our products with the guidance and support of Crick Software’s team. Helpful How To Guides are given out to help everyone who attends a training – these are great for when you are back in school and want to refer back to a part of the training. Participants create and save activities that they can actually use in the classroom.

    We have several training options for anyone who wants an in depth look at our products and the best tips and tricks for how to use them. There is online webinar training which is booked by the hour – we have worked with a number of schools to tailor this training to their specific needs. We also have face-to-face training options. Here we trained a number of teachers within a school district on how to support their learners with Clicker. These can be booked as a half day or full day.

    All of our training options can be found on our website at: http://www.cricksoft.com/us/training/us-training.aspx. If you want to know about the sessions in more depth, give me a call in the office at 203 221 2697 and we can talk through your requirements.