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  • Last quarter I visited a very inspiring School for the Deaf, where I demonstrated some of the ways in which Clicker can be used to support its learners.

    Students at this school are between 12 and 18 years old and around 80% of them are profoundly deaf, with very few using cochlear implants.

    For those students whose deafness preceded their language development, the acquisition of language is particularly challenging. Making the link between how a word (or letter) looks and how it sounds is a major issue, and there will often be language and vocabulary delay.

    Signing is a very different and less sophisticated language and it can be especially difficult to learn the rules of grammar. A Clicker resource such as the one below can provide valuable support, with tabs offering words for each part of the sentence:

    Grammar resource example

    Learning that adding an ‘s’ to a word makes it plural can also be very difficult. I showed how an activity like this can be made – and personalized – quickly and easily:

    Writing activity - plurals

    I also created this very simple resource which allows learners to record themselves adding the ‘s’ sound:

    Recording activity - plurals

    In addition to showing how the use of instant pictures in the document and predictor can provide pictorial cues for the meaning of words, I demonstrated different ways of using British Sign Language symbols with Clicker:

    Using BSL symbols with Clicker

    Using BSL resources with Clicker

    ...and how the school could also use its own pictures of students, staff, or the school environment with Clicker to make learning really personalized and engaging. 

    Personalising resources with photos

    If you would like to organize a Clicker demonstration tailored to the particular needs and learning objectives of your students, please do get in touch!

  • Clicker Books Success Story

    We recently posted a new success story from Brewster Central School District.  Donna Schneider is a District Wide Assistive Technology Specialist and has been using Clicker Books in a self-contained 6th grade life skills class, where students are functioning at a second to fourth grade level. Students use Clicker Books almost on a daily basis, and Donna uses the app to review and summarize topics they have been studying in class. She finds it especially useful for sequencing activities, such as writing about a science investigation on ice melting.

    Donna writes, “They used Clicker Books to sequence the steps of the investigation, which involved predicting which type of material would keep an ice cube from melting when held under a light bulb. They wrote about the problem, their hypothesis, listed the materials and the steps, and their conclusion that bubble wrap worked best. They took photos of tables, graphs, the materials, and the different steps with their iPads and easily inserted them into their books. When students are using Clicker Books, they are totally engaged. We can get them to write.”

    You can read all of Donna’s thoughts on Clicker Books, here

  • New Success Story - Clicker Connect

    We’ve just added a new Clicker Connect success story to our US website.

    AT Consultant Erin Sheldon specializes in iPad®-based literacy and communication strategies for children with Angelman Syndrome. Angelman is a rare neuro-genetic disorder associated with developmental delay, lack of speech, and motor control issues. Erin has been using our Clicker Connect app to work on her students' engagement levels, motivation, and the development of their early writing and comprehension skills.

    “Clicker Connect is an ideal app to use because it is so flexible in terms of resource creation and ability-appropriate differentiation. I can quickly create beautifully personalized materials that are immediately engaging. Clicker Connect is an ideal tool to support predictable chart writing activities, where a repeating sentence stem can be completed by the student with a choice of words. The QWERTY keyboard allows students to construct their own novel sentences and to scribble or explore ‘writing without standards’. The finished document is often a popular book for the student to choose for reading.”

    Clicker Connect resources created by Erin Sheldon

    Erin has also found Clicker Connect to be an essential tool for assessment:

    “I am quickly and easily able to construct cloze maze reading activities, where I delete targeted words from a sentence the student is familiar with, then offer the student multiple choices to fill in the blank… The biggest benefit for me is that Clicker Connect gives me extremely valuable assessment data - sentences are produced in an exportable, printable document, so I can save them as a snapshot of comprehension, word identification and as an artefact of exploratory writing with the QWERTY keyboard.”

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

  • Backing up Clicker App Files

    As with all computers, it is important to regularly back up data on your iPad®.

    iPads are portable devices, which are prone to accidental damage. Broken iPads are often replaced rather than repaired, so your files are lost. Additionally, the high value of iPads makes them prime targets for thieves, who will wipe them before trying to sell them. While you may be able to recover the iPad itself, it is unlikely that you will recover your files.

    Fortunately, there are a number of ways to safeguard your files.

    Copy files to Dropbox, Google Drive, or WebDAV

    A key feature of the Clicker Apps is the ability to easily share files via email, Dropbox, Google Drive, or WebDAV.

    Dropbox/Google Drive are free “cloud storage” services that enable you to store files safely online.  Once a Clicker App is linked to your Dropbox/Google Drive account, you can open and copy files directly.

    If your school uses a WebDAV file server, you can also link it to a Clicker App. The principle is the same, but your files are stored on your school’s server rather than the Internet.

    If you regularly copy files to Dropbox, Google Drive, or WebDAV, you will still be able to access them from another device should something happen to your iPad. It also makes it easy to share files between devices.

    To learn more about using Dropbox, Google Drive, and WebDAV with the Clicker Apps, consult the appropriate section of the app’s User Guide. These are available as PDFs in our Support section.

    iCloud Backup

    Your iPad can be configured to back up data to Apple’s own iCloud service. This includes “app data”, containing settings and files created in each app.

    To ensure that iCloud Backup is turned on, open the Settings app, tap iCloud on the left, and tap Backup on the right.

    Your iPad will make daily automatic backups to iCloud when the screen is locked, provided that it’s connected to a power source and a Wi-Fi network.

    Unfortunately, it’s not possible to restore an individual app’s data from an iCloud backup. You can only restore the entire backup, which requires wiping your iPad of all content.

    Therefore, for maximum flexibility and security, it is a good idea to copy files to Dropbox, Google Drive, or WebDAV as well.