Crick Software US Blog

RSS Feed
  • DocsPlus Release 2


    This week, we have released a new version of DocsPlus. It contains a wide variety of improvements, including several new features:

    Exam Mode

    DocsPlus can now be tailored to a user's additional access arrangements by disabling certain features that are prohibited in exams, such as spell checking, word prediction, and speech feedback.

    Split View

    When a DocReader is open and Split View is enabled, the DocReader is repositioned to occupy the bottom half of the window. This makes it possible for users to refer to an exam paper or worksheet while simultaneously writing in their document above.

    Editable PDFs

    Certain PDF files contain editable text boxes. Using DocsPlus, it’s now possible to type within editable text boxes (highlighted purple) and save your changes. While typing, you have access to the same word prediction and speech support as you would when writing in the document.

    Improved Word Prediction

    Over 2,500 subject-specific words have been added to the Predictor’s vocabulary, covering Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, and History.

    Automatic Backup

    DocsPlus now quietly creates backups of your files behind the scenes. If something goes wrong and your original file becomes corrupted, you can restore the last backup.

    New Smart Tab

    It is now much easier to create a new Smart Tab, simply click the + tab at the bottom of the page.

    To update DocsPlus, download the new installer from www.cricksoft.com/dplatest and install it over the top of your current installation.

  • Talk Sets for Science


    A useful way to enable children to show their understanding in science is to use Clicker Talk Sets. A set to look at on LearningGrids is Reversible and Irreversible Changes – Talk, which looks at six materials and how they might be changed. Students consider whether the changes shown are permanent, or whether the materials can be returned to their original states.

     

    The activity is open-ended – some children might describe what they can see in the pictures while others might give detailed interpretations of what has happened. Some may recognize, for example, that the candle represents both a reversible and an irreversible change. As such, the activity is suitable for a range of abilities.

    Having recorded their ideas, children could use the set as a prompt for writing.

    For other Talk Sets, use the quick search on LearningGrids.

     

    To view all of the science sets available on LearningGrids, click on Science in the Categories section.

  • Listen and Say with a Twist


    At a recent training session, a teacher showed me a really interesting way that they are utilizing Clicker to support new students at their school.

    They had created a Talk Set in Clicker, but with a difference!

    The Talk Set was populated with photographs of the staff. Each teacher right-clicked on their picture and recorded a little message about themselves, including their name, the class they teach, and some of their interests and hobbies.

     

    They use this at the start of the year, or when a new child arrives, to make the experience less daunting, and a bit more fun!

    To see how you could do this yourself, take a look at our training guide.

    I have used pictures of some of the Crick team in the examples here so you might recognize some faces…

     

  • DocsPlus Dyslexie Settings


    Looking to support older learners with dyslexia? DocsPlus can help you do just that!

    There are several settings you can customize to help your students with dyslexia succeed in their writing.

    To customize display settings:

    1. Open DocsPlus
    2. Go to Options 
    3. Select Accessibility
    4. Choose Display

    Once here, you can customize your color scheme or choose already offered color schemes.

     

    The settings above were selected to create a contrast between the background of the document and the font, as well as a contrast between the Smart Tab and the document. The Dyslexie font has also been selected.

     

    DocsPlus offers a specialized font called Dyslexie. This is a font designed specifically for children with dyslexia. It helps students who find it difficult to discriminate between letters that have similarities. With this font, letter differences are enhanced so that students can see the differences more clearly. The letters are weighted at the base to help with vibration. Capital letters are more pronounced and there are larger spaces between words to help with vibration.

     

    DocsPlus offers ‘SoundsLike’prediction, or phonetic prediction. SoundsLike predication will identify what the letter sequence being typed sounds like and then predict words with a similar sound.

     

    Students will also have access to planning resources. Voice Notes are a great way for students to brainstorm. They can get ideas out orally before having to type them out into a document. In addition, DocsPlus offers WorkSpace, a planning space for students to use before writing.

    Students with dyslexia often find longer pieces of written work harder to organize and structure. Problems such as a short-term working memory deficit and slow information processing speed can make it difficult for them to express their initial thoughts and ideas in the form of a logical, flowing document.

    WorkSpace provides users with a built-in planning tool to help them prepare for writing. Students can manipulate and link any combination of words, pictures and sounds together within the WorkSpace, mapping out their ideas in a way that is easier to understand and particularly effective for more visual learners.

    You can trial DocsPlus for 28 days to try it with your students. Let us know how it goes by emailing us at usinfo@cricksoft.com!

  • LearningGrids and the Human Body


    Whether you are using Clicker to learn about the parts of the body or DocsPlus to write about the skeleton or Clicker Communicator to talk about the five senses, LearningGrids has something for you. Just search for human body and you’ll find all sorts of resources to support your students’ reading, writing, and speaking.

     

    There are also Clicker Board activities about the senses and skeleton labeling sets. Younger students can use Clicker to match parts of the body. Pulse Rate Investigation is a writing frame and word bank that helps students write an outline of an investigation into the effects of different activities. They can then use the Talk Set Exercise and Pulse Rates to record their results.

     

    Older writers can use a DocsPlus Wordbar to write about the circulatory system or human physiology. Skeleton – Quick Words provides the key subject-specific vocabulary for writing about the human skeleton.

     

    Visit LearningGrids for more resources on the human body and many other science sets.