Crick Software US Blog

RSS Feed

  • 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!