Crick Software US Blog

RSS Feed Go Back
  • DocsPlus


    We are very excited that DocsPlus, our new reading and writing product for secondary schools, has now been released. Our Education Consultants have been showing DocsPlus over the past few weeks to secondary schools and the response has been overwhelming!

    So many students of all ages struggle with reading and writing, which is not only an obstacle to their development in all subjects, it also affects their self-esteem which can lead them to feel they can’t succeed.

    DocsPlus provides the tools that students need to achieve reading success and develop into fluent writers, all in a single application with a grown-up look and feel that is appealing to secondary students.

    Writing support is provided in the form of a talking word processor that includes a powerful word predictor (that includes phonetic prediction), voice notes for on-the-spot prompts, Wordbars for curriculum support, and a graphic organizer for planning.

    Reading support is provided by our brand new DocReader, which is integrated into DocsPlus and reads aloud any part of a PDF. It’s really easy to move between the document you’re reading and the one that you’re writing – in fact it’s just one click!

    DocsPlus will really change how students with reading and writing difficulties access the curriculum and produce their written work. Find out more or download the trial version. I hope you’re as excited by DocsPlus as those schools that are already using it, and we look forward to hearing from you with your feedback.

     

  • Clicker Chrome Apps


    At the beginning of January, Crick Software released our highly anticipated Clicker Apps for the Chromebook. We currently have Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs available and Clicker Connect will be ready in March. We also recently expanded our licensing options for these apps:

    1.  The first licensing option is the Site License which enables every Chromebook in one building to have access to the apps. This license is $500, is a yearly subscription, and is an excellent value! If you have 10 or more Chromebooks on your domain then this is the most cost effective way of getting our apps.
    2. The second option is the Student Support License. This license allows districts to use the app they purchase throughout the entire district. Starting at 100 licenses of an app, districts can build up and distribute these licenses as needed. Other highlights of this license are that it originates from a single code, and it will work with any Google log in. Customers manage this license themselves - the site manager can remove a user from the list, free up a license, view all users, and expand it at any time. Contact us for more information on creating your custom quote for users throughout your district!
    3. The last licensing option is the Single User License. Customers have been asking for a single download, particularly for evaluation purposes, and can now purchase access for a single user for either of the apps. The cost is $50 per app per year. 

    Let us know if you’d like to know more about any of these license options – we’re happy to show you the apps and talk about the best option for you.

  • Clicker Apps for Chrome


    We’re excited to have Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs available for Chrome! Clicker Apps are already extremely successful on iPads in many thousands of schools, and now Chrome users can benefit too.

    We’ve done far more than just version the iPad apps for Chrome – we’ve actually created brand new apps that properly integrate with Chrome and Google Drive, making it quick and easy for schools to implement in their domain. Clicker Apps for Chrome are designed for schools – they are set up using your usual Chrome tools so there’s nothing new to learn.

    Also, we know that wireless networks sometimes struggle to cope with many users, so we’ve made the apps so that they work with or without an Internet connection.

    It’s easy for schools to try out Clicker Sentences and Clicker Docs, with 28-day free subscriptions available from Google Apps Marketplace.


  • As a literacy tool designed to support students of all abilities, Clicker has become the ‘go-to’ solution for thousands of schools and school districts. 

    We have traditionally offered licensing options designed to enable installation on a specified number of computers in each school building. While this works well for many customers, we have had consistent requests for an alternative licensing model from district level contacts who work with targeted students across many schools in a district. We listened!

    Launched in conjunction with Clicker 7 in January 2016, the Student Support License offers the perfect solution, and has already been adopted by many of our customers, especially those upgrading from Clicker 6.

    The Student Support License offers scalability and portability wrapped up in a ‘without walls’ model – each activation in the license can be used on any computer in any building in your district. 

    • Scalability – you can start your Student Support License from as few as 5 activations. You can add additional activations at any time (a minimum of 5 at a time).
    • Portability - you will have access to our brand new license management portal - allowing you to reclaim and reallocate activations yourself, cutting down on administration time.

     

    • Without Walls - you can assign the Clicker 7 activations to individual, targeted computers anywhere in the district - giving you the flexibility to support students wherever they are located.

    Early feedback from customers who have adopted the Student Support License is overwhelmingly positive – to find out how the Student Support License can work for you, contact our sales team for your personalized quote.


  • Over Easter we came out with three important new releases:

    Clicker 7 Release 4

     

    This release contains some important updates to switch accessibility. Here are my top 5 improvements:

    • Significant improvements to auditory scanning
    • If there is only one Clicker Set open, the bottom tabs are no longer scanned
    • Scanning of Sentence Sets has be improved and simplified
    • Fixed scanning issue with tabs in Clicker Sets
    • Simplified scanning of keyboards when using switch access with SuperKeys

    This update is now available at http://www.cricksoft.com/support/clicker7/downloads/installers.aspx

    Clicker Communicator for Widgit and PCS

     

    Many school districts have asked us for either a Widgit version of Clicker Communicator or a PCS version – so we’ve done both! In the App Store you’ll now see three separate versions of the app: Clicker Communicator (SymbolStix), Clicker Communicator (Widgit), and Clicker Communicator (PCS).

    The relevant symbol library is included, and the LearningGrids resources are also provided in your chosen symbol version, so you’ve got relevant curriculum-related Vocabulary Sets completely ready to use!

    SuperKeys App

     

    In January, we won the prestigious BETT Special Needs Award for SuperKeys, our unique accessible keyboard app for the iPad and iPhone. Since then we’ve made it even better by making it easier to customize the keyboard – for example, you can now change colors for individual clusters and customize the size of the predictor.

  • First School Visits with Clicker 7


    You’ll know from John Crick’s recent blog post that we have just launched Clicker 7.

    Over the last two weeks the Education Consultant team have been visiting schools doing the first demonstrations of Clicker 7. We have been delighted with the positive responses so far!

    A school I visited last week was wowed by the new children’s voices and loved the ability for students to record their own voice notes. A particular highlight for them was our new "Clicker Board," especially when used to plan a story.

    In this example we are using a "Story Mountain" on Clicker Board to plan the retelling of a traditional tale.

     Clicker Board - Story Mountain

    The graphics were selected from our new CrickPix library of around 3,500 pictures. We could have also used digital pictures from a camera or the internet.

    For each picture the students can record a voice note to plan their writing. Oral rehearsal prior to writing is an effective method of support - even for the most reluctant writers!

    The school has a number of students who work closely with the Special Needs team and need a lot of support with their writing. Many of the parents are enthusiastic about supporting their children with activities outside of the classroom.

    The school was particularly pleased that the Unlimited OneSchool License of Clicker 7 includes student use at home.

    If you’re considering Clicker 7 and would like to arrange a free demo in your school, please call us at 203 221 2697.

  • Clicker 7


    It’s always great to release a new product, but with Clicker 7 I’m especially excited. We’ve been working on it for over 2 years and the result is significantly more support for writing, huge accessibility improvements, and a new way of editing Clicker Sets that makes this the easiest version of Clicker yet!

    More support for writing

    Clicker 7 Voice Notes

    A particular favorite of mine is the new Voice Notes. It’s very simple – at any point in the document a student can record a Voice Note with just two clicks. It’s a great way for children to say aloud what they’re going to write in their next sentence. Voice Notes appear in the margin, meaning they can be played back at any time, and they’re automatically saved with the document.


    Another tool that helps children to think about what they are going to write is Clicker Board. It’s great for brainstorming words, which can be linked or moved around anywhere on the page, along with pictures and sounds. As well as being a valuable planning tool for students, it’s great to use on whiteboard – you can even turn your board into a word bank to support writing!

    Accessibility

    Clicker 7 and SuperKeys

    SuperKeys is a new way of providing keyboard and grid access for children who find it difficult to target small areas with the mouse or touch screen. We first implemented it on iPad®, and it’s been so popular that we had to add it to Clicker 7 too. And in Clicker 7, you can use SuperKeys with any access method – it works as well with eye gaze as it does with mouse or touch.

    Secondly, we are always being asked for eye-gaze access, and we’re delighted to have achieved it in Clicker 7. The pointer locks on to a cell while it is being selected, eliminating any distracting wobble and providing a visual indication of the timer. Clicker 7 is a great way for eye gaze users to take their first steps with reading and writing.

    Easiest Clicker Sets ever 

    Clicker 7 and Clicker Sets

    Everyone who has seen Clicker 7 demonstrated has been blown away by this! We’ve made it as easy to edit Clicker Sets as it is in the apps. For example, when you create a Sentence Set (by just typing or pasting your sentences), Clicker knows that it’s a Sentence Set. So whenever you want to make a change, Edit View shows you the relevant options – where you want the model sentence, how you want the words ordered, etc.

    The same goes for Connect Sets and Word Banks. No complicated Edit Mode – just the relevant options are shown, making it incredibly easy for teachers and teacher assistants to edit and create Clicker Sets on the fly to help students with the topic they are writing about at that moment.

    We’re really looking forward to showing Clicker 7 at BETT in London and ATIA in Orlando – we hope to see you at the booth!

  • Funding Options for the New Year


    School is back in full swing and that means a new year, new friends, and new materials to assist learning. We have several pages on our website that can help you with funding.

    Funding Home Page: This page gives an overview of what you need to know to start your funding research.

    Guidelines:  Learn the process of a grant application and tips on how to fill out all the sections completely. You can even access tips to increase your chances of writing a successful application here.

    Federal Funding Sources: Use this page to learn the difference between competitive and noncompetitive funding sources. This page also suggests which products of ours fit the funding program’s focus so that you can tailor your application accordingly.

    Product Information: This section provides you with information about Clicker 6 and WriteOnline. From here, information sheets may be printed or downloaded to submit with your funding application. These reference sheets contain information on pricing, licensing, research and success stories.

    Price List: If you are applying for a competitive grant you will need to provide a sample budget. This page has the pricing and licensing information for our products so that your proposed budget can be as accurate as possible.

    The Apple Volume Purchase Program: Here is another great way to save! The Volume Purchase Program (VPP) was designed for schools and allows you to receive a 50% discount when purchasing 20 or more of the same app. This is a great way to purchase for an entire classroom or school!

    Clicker Apps Bundle:  There is a way to save on less than 20 apps too.  It is called the Clicker App bundle and it allows you to purchase all four Clicker apps together for one price. This is equivalent to purchasing three of the apps and getting the fourth free.

    If you need more information about our products or our company for your funding application, do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Clicker Communicator – Top Tips 1


    I have been showing Clicker Communicator to a wide range of specialists, therapists, and teachers over the last couple of months, and I thought it would be useful to share some of the features that are generating the most excitement! In this first post, I am going to look at rapid editing, additional speech supports, and resource sharing. 

    Cell Population in Seconds

    When planning your own communication and curriculum sets, Clicker Communicator has a really intuitive set of features to enable rapid resource creation. This is a great one to start with:

    • Tap into Edit View from the toolbar, choose the topic you want to work on (or add a new one), then open either the Text or Picture popover (see screenshot).
    • Make your selection from the topic-specific symbols offered and then tap ‘Done’.
    • Make a multiple cell selection to change formatting (cell, text, or background color).

    Simultaneous Speak and Send

    Many users have been really pleased to learn that they can have the cell contents speaking as they are selected for use in the Message Area. This means that the components of a sentence can be heard as they are selected, in addition to the complete message being read out loud at the end. To enable this, select ‘Speak Each Word’ from the Speech menu in Settings.

     

    Sharing

    Although Clicker Communicator has only been available for a few weeks, many of our early adopters are already making use of the file sharing support as they start to exchange the Vocabulary Sets they are creating. Tap on the File Explorer icon in the toolbar, select your files, tap ‘Share’, then take your pick from AirDrop, Mail, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

  • Communication in the Classroom


    We’re very excited that Clicker Communicator is now available on the App Store.  This blog post explains why.

    Clicker Communicator Set example

    Well-established research shows the importance of the link between spoken language, learning, and cognitive development, and the classroom provides a vital opportunity for children to acquire the speaking and listening skills that we know are vital for them to be able to describe and make sense of the world.

    Children use spoken language to try out ideas (e.g. in a science lesson, predicting whether an object will sink or float), to ask questions (e.g. conduct a class survey), to join in a collective activity (e.g. saying a nursery rhyme), to discuss and debate, to re-tell a story, and in many other ways.

    Children who are not able to participate in verbal activities in the classroom are therefore missing out on an essential part of their learning.  Clicker Communicator, in addition to being a comprehensive AAC app for everyday communication, is specifically designed to address this issue.

    You will find ready-made Vocabulary Sets on LearningGrids that provide key vocabulary for children to participate in targeted talk situations across a range of specific topics.  In addition, it takes just minutes to create your own Vocabulary Sets to support particular lessons, using the curriculum-focused Crick Picture Library as well as your chosen symbol library, and your photos.

    We look forward to seeing Clicker Communicator enable many more children to fully participate in the rich learning experiences of the classroom.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next page