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  • Clicker in International Schools


    I’ve just returned to the UK following a short trip to the Middle East. During the trip, I visited International Schools in Qatar, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi – running training and demonstration sessions on Clicker 7.

    The schools were unanimously enthusiastic about our software. They loved the way students of all abilities are supported in producing high quality work. The main challenge facing the schools is finding successful ways of supporting students with dyslexia, children on the autism spectrum, and students who speak English fluently but struggle to echo this competence in their writing – Clicker is effective at meeting all these needs.

    While running the sessions I picked out an aspect of our products that was drawing the attention of the schools. They really liked the fact our Clicker 7 Unlimited OneSchool License included home use for students – parents were pleased that they could use the software at home to continue the support offered in school.

    Finally, during the trip, I had a chance to catch up with Emma Dibden from Jumeirah English Speaking School. She told me about how they are using Clicker in the school, and the difference it has been making for the children. We will be publishing this success story in January next year, so keep your eyes on the blog!

     

  • Clicker 7 and DocsPlus on Thin Client Networks


    While the concept of thin client networks has been around for decades, they’ve been relatively unused by schools in the past. However, recent technologies have made thin clients an attractive proposition, and many schools are now investing in solutions offered by companies like Citrix and NComputing.

    What is a thin client network?

    In a typical network, each computer is independent. It has its own set of installed software and stores its own files on itself.

    In a thin client network, everything happens on a central server. It feels like you’re using the computer in front of you, but you’re actually controlling a “session” on the server instead. All software and data is stored on the server, not on the computers themselves.

    Typically, thin client networks are either “session-based” (users control the server itself) or “virtualization-based” (users control virtual desktops stored on the server).

    The server can be located on the premises or in the cloud (on the Internet).

    What are the advantages of a thin client network?

    Thin client networks offer many benefits to schools:

    • Reduced costs - thin client computers are cheap to buy, cheap to run, and don’t need replacing every few years.
    • Reduced maintenance - less work required to install/update software, back up data, and manage the network.
    • Increased security - centralized data is easier to keep secure.
    • Increased flexibility - users can potentially access their software and files from anywhere using any device.

    Can Clicker 7 and DocsPlus be used on thin client networks?

    Yes! While we can’t test every thin client system, we’re not aware of any intrinsic compatibility problems and plenty of our customers are using Clicker 7 and DocsPlus on thin client networks without issue.

    However, there are two important things to mention.

    First, thin client networks don’t support per-computer licensing. Therefore, you must have an Unlimited OneSchool License of Clicker 7 or DocsPlus.

    Finally, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus have to activate a license before they can be used. This normally happens automatically over the Internet during installation. However, depending on the type of thin client network you have, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus may require activation every time the program is launched.

    If this happens, it will be necessary to activate Clicker 7 and DocsPlus via command line. In most cases, this can be automated by creating a Scheduled Task that runs at user logon. For details, please read this support article.

  • Clicker 7 – Bett Awards Finalist!


    We’re very excited to announce that Clicker 7 is a Bett Awards finalist in the ‘Special Educational Needs’ category.

    Considered by many as the most esteemed accolade in the industry, the awards highlight the most creative and innovative educational technology solutions available to today’s teachers and learners. Over the years, Clicker has won seven Bett Awards – we really hope that this will be number eight!

    Thank you to everyone who has shared their Clicker 7 success stories with us this year – the judges are especially eager to hear how teachers are using the shortlisted products in their classrooms.

    Here are a couple of examples from the success stories we’ve already received:

    “We’ve seen a lot of successes already, particularly from our children with dyslexia. They find the Dyslexie font so much easier to read, and the ability to rehearse and record ideas first using the Voice Notes tool is a brilliant innovation.” - Suzanne Lazarus, Inclusion leader

    “They absolutely loved using it! They love that they are able to listen to the different words in the activity themselves rather than having to ask a teacher, and having the speech feedback once they’ve finished a sentence helps them to go back in and self-correct.” - Lorna Bruce, Special Education Teacher

    We always love hearing about how our products are helping you and your students – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if there’s anything you would like to share!

    The winner will be announced during the Bett Show in January – we’re keeping our fingers crossed until then!

  • Setting the Scene with Clicker


    We have recently published a series of Clicker resources that are designed to help students use adjectives to create oral descriptions of people, places, or objects from traditional stories. The Adjective Options – Places set is ideal for students developing settings for stories.

    I have created a short video to demonstrate one way to use the set with your class.

    Be sure to visit LearningGrids for many more adjective resources and descriptive writing activities.

  • Getting Creative with Clicker at Thanksgiving Time


    With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your classroom activities. Clicker 7 has you covered with activities ranging from pre-writing to independent writing. More and more, classroom teachers are having to support a wide-range of learners in the same setting. Differentiating in a timely manner can be a difficult task…

    Time to visit LearningGrids!

    Searching “Thanksgiving” in LearningGrids gives me 36 results. Let’s get to planning!

    This is a Thanksgiving Dinner Matching Set.

     

    This set helps students to identify different foods associated with Thanksgiving – it’s a great activity for learners working at a pre-reading/writing level. We can also make this a bit more challenging for the same student who has progressed, or for a student working at a higher reading level. Through Edit View, I can change the choice from “picture” to “word.”

     

    Clicker Books, created from scratch or downloaded from LearningGrids, provide word prediction, speech feedback, and writing support grids . The "Thanksgiving Traditions" Set provides both Picture and Word Banks to help students create their own book on this popular holiday topic.

     

    For students working at an independent writing level, we have a Thanksgiving Haiku Word Bank, which provides 1, 2, and 3 syllable words related to Thanksgiving.

     

    These are just 3 of the 36 Thanksgiving resources available for download. Make sure to look through the other Clicker Sets related to Thanksgiving and see if they will be a good fit for the students in your classroom!

    If you have any questions about finding, downloading, or editing Clicker Sets in LearningGrids, please email us at USinfo@cricksoft.com.

  • Clicker 7 Research – Angus Council


    A study has recently been undertaken by Angus Council (a UK school district) throughout eight of its elementary schools to investigate the impact of using Clicker 7 to support writing. Clicker was used to support children across the ability spectrum, including those who usually had no additional support, and those who had significant levels of additional support.

    The study found that students experienced considerable benefits from using Clicker 7, throughout all eight schools:

    • Use of Clicker 7 resulted in almost three times the number of words being written, with more than twice the number of multi-syllabic words used.
    • Students requiring significant or average support took over a third less time to complete their work when using Clicker 7, and with over four times less help needed.
    • Overall, students required help or prompting 6.5 times less when using Clicker 7 to support their writing, highlighting the significance of Clicker 7 in encouraging independent work.

     

     

    Feedback from teachers and students has also been extremely positive:

    "I much prefer writing using Clicker. It helps me with my spelling."

    "Clicker greatly increases the children's motivation to write."

    "Students have benefited enormously. I have observed greater confidence and independence in their work."

    You can read the report in full here.

    If you’d like to find out how Clicker will help you raise writing achievement at your school, please get in touch so that we can arrange a free demonstration! Email us at USinfo@cricksoft.com or give us a call at 203 221 2697.

  • Funding Your Software and Apps Purchases


     

    Over the last couple of months, I have had many conversations with customers who are eager to upgrade to Clicker 7 before the upgrade window closes at the end of this year, or adopt the brand new Chromebook Apps, but are unsure about alternative sources of funding if they have missed this year’s budget allocation from their school district.

    If you ever find yourself in this situation, did you know we have a section of our website dedicated to federal funding? Here you will find a guide to both competitive grants and federal entitlement programs, some of which you may not have come across before. Each funding option has a summary and links to external sites so that you can find out more. We have also listed Crick Software products aligned to each of the options. We even have a section giving tips for success!

    The recently approved discretionary funding for Fiscal Year 2017-18 (which includes Education funding) highlights areas for increases this year, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE). Both of these can be found on our Federal Funding Sources page.

    When applying for funding, you will often be required to provide evidence to support your application. We’ve recently published a Clicker 7 study by Angus Council which found that students requiring significant or average support took over a third less time to complete their work when using Clicker 7. We also have a range of Success Stories and product reviews which customers have found useful in supporting their funding bids.

    If you need any further information or support for your funding application, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 1 866 332 7425, or by email to USinfo@cricksoft.com.

  • O Canada!


    We have recently published a group of Canadian Clicker Sets that were made in collaboration with Special Education Technology – British Columbia. SET-BC is a BC Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program established to assist school districts in utilizing technology with students with diverse needs whose access to the curriculum is restricted.

    Over the summer, SET-BC held a maker session for teachers to create Clicker resources to share with other colleagues through the SET-BC site and on LearningGrids. We worked with them to provide some custom graphics for their sets and the result is a wonderful collection of resources focused on the official emblems of the Canadian provinces and territories.

     

    Students can read about the flowers of Canada, write about the provincial and territorial flags, and talk about the birds of the different regions. There are matching activities, as well as picture banks to support their writing about Canada.

     

    In addition to the emblem resources, SET-BC also created a word bank to support writing about the Levels of Canadian Government and a sentence building set for writing the national anthem, O Canada.

     

    SET-BC will continue building Clicker sets in their upcoming maker sessions and we hope to be able to share more resources in the new year.

  • Clicker 7 for English Language Learners


    I joined Crick Software in 2005 and up until this Summer my focus has been on working with schools in the UK. I now work with International Schools and our partners across the globe.

    I have created a series of videos highlighting how Clicker 7 can offer support to learners of all abilities and needs. This week I will be focusing on why Clicker is such a powerful tool for supporting students whose primary language is not English.

    It’s vital for English language learners to be given frequent opportunities to listen to new vocabulary and practice using it themselves. "Listen and Say" activities provide a great way for students to do this, and are easy to put together. Click the image below to watch the video:

    Clicker 7 - Listen and Say

    Clicker provides the additional support that English language learners need to develop their writing skills - from the first steps of writing word labels or simple sentences, to more independent writing with word bank support as language acquisition grows. This video show how to use Sentence Sets and Connect Sets to support those critical first steps in writing; click on the image to watch:

    Clicker 7 - Sentence Set

    We also have a ready-made resource available, New to English, to rapidly build language skills and confidence for students at the start of their journey.

    I will be posting more videos in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes on our blog to discover more exciting ways that you can use Clicker 7 in your setting!

  • Back to School with Clicker


    It’s the start of a new school year – time to get to know your new class. Younger learners can use our latest Clicker Board Set This Is Me to tell you all about themselves. Students can also use the Clicker Custom Set Interview Me to record a personal profile to share with the class.

     

    The Myself Word Bank provides key vocabulary under the headings of Family, Home, School, and Spare Time to help students write an introduction about themselves. For older writers, the Clicker Set Autobiography provides a more extensive word bank to support their writing.

     

    The start of the new school year is also a great time to set goals for the year ahead, and we have a variety of resources to tackle this task. The Connect Set My Goals provides beginnings, middles, and endings to create sentences about what students need to work on at school. The Word Bank Personal Goals supports more independent learners to write about their targets. The Clicker Custom Sets My Goals One, Two, and Three provide different levels of support to help students of all abilities record their personal goals and review their achievements. And don’t forget to use the Connect Set Our Classroom Rules to write a collaborative list of classroom rules for the year.

     

    Be sure to visit LearningGrids for many more autobiographical and school-related Clicker resources.

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