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  • Installing DocsPlus


    Whether you’re upgrading from a previous version, or this is your first DocsPlus purchase, following these steps will ensure a successful DocsPlus installation.

    Registration

    The first step is to register your serial number (printed on the license card in your DocsPlus box).

    This makes it possible to retrieve your serial number upon request if it becomes lost in the future, effectively safeguarding your purchase. It’s also required to manage your licenses.

    To register, please visit: http://activate.cricksoft.com

    Previous versions

    As best practice, we recommend uninstalling any old DocsPlus versions first, as it reduces the likelihood of problems later. Uninstalling won’t delete any saved work.

    To help with uninstalling DocsPlus from a Windows network (e.g. if DocsPlus was installed as part of a system image), you can use the DocsPlus Uninstall Tool.

    Download

    We always recommend downloading the latest installer, instead of using a DVD or an old network package.

    DocsPlus Windows Installer

    DocsPlus Mac Installer

    Installation

    There are several ways to install DocsPlus:

    • Standalone – run the installer on an individual computer.
      • The Shared Files folder will be located on the computer itself.
    • Network – run the installer on your server to generate a unique network package, which can then be deployed to multiple computers simultaneously.
      • The Shared Files will be located on the network
    • System Image – run the installer on your server to generate a unique network package. Install the package to your image. After the image is deployed, activate DocsPlus on each computer via command line (Windows only).
      • The Shared Files will be located on the network

    Full instructions are provided in our Support section.

    Activation

    DocsPlus requires activating before it can be used, so a license can be assigned to the computer.

    This usually happens automatically over the Internet during installation. If it fails for whatever reason, DocsPlus will require activation when launched. You can retry activating over the Internet, or exchange codes with our activation website (using another device if necessary).

    You don’t need to be logged in as an administrator to activate DocsPlus.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Preparing For a New School Year


    As the new school year approaches, it’s a good time to audit your software licenses and consider whether they need to be moved around.

    Each year, the summer vacation provides a good opportunity for IT Departments to refresh their school’s computer facilities while the buildings are empty. When staff return, they often find that things have been changed around!

    Computers generally get slower with frequent use and can develop problematic quirks that may be difficult to troubleshoot. Most schools wipe their computers every one or two years in order to restore them to “like new” condition. Some may be moved to new locations, old computers are retired from service, and new ones are enrolled onto the network.

    As a result, it becomes quite difficult to keep track of which licenses are installed where!

    Therefore, it’s a good idea to reset your software licenses during this maintenance period. Once your computers have been refreshed, the full number of licenses will be at your disposal, and you can allocate them to the correct computers without complication or confusion.

    Fortunately, Clicker 7 and DocsPlus make this very easy. To transfer one or more licenses:

    1. Visit http://activate.cricksoft.com
    2. Enter your serial number, complete the I’m not a robot check, and click Start.
    3. If your serial number is unregistered, you will need to register it before continuing. This protects your serial number from being lost in future.
    4. Click Manage licenses.
    5. Find a computer in the list and click its Reclaim License button.

    Once you reclaim a license, you can immediately reuse it on the next computer.

    If Clicker 7 remains on the previous computer, it will stop working after a short period. To avoid confusion, we recommend uninstalling Clicker 7 before reclaiming licenses.

    Chromebook Apps

    Unlike standard laptops, Chromebooks don’t need refreshing very often. Additionally, apps are assigned to Google accounts rather than specific Chromebooks, so students can always access their apps no matter which device they sign into.

    However, if you have a Multi-User Subscription to our Chromebook Apps, remember that you can change which students have access to the subscription at any time.

    This may be necessary at the start of a new school year, as old students leave and new students arrive.

    To manage your Multi-User Subscription, please follow this guide: http://www.cricksoft.com/Files/Support/managing_your_clicker_app_subscriptions.pdf.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • DocsPlus has Arrived on LearningGrids!


    You may have noticed new resources on LearningGrids for DocsPlus, our latest tool for secondary school students. Offering writing support, we have Wordbars covering science, history, geography, literature, and more.

    As a cross-curricular tool, DocsPlus can be used to support writers in all of their subjects. So whether you want to provide access to topic-related specialist vocabulary, offer suggestions to encourage the use of a more adventurous and varied vocabulary, or scaffold genre writing styles, have a look on LearningGrids.

    We will be busy over the summer creating resources to offer broad coverage for the secondary curriculum, so make sure you visit the LearningGrids site regularly to see what’s new.

     

    Use Wordbars for writing in all subjects.

  • DocsPlus' Standout Features!


    We at Crick Software are so happy about the launch of DocsPlus. DocsPlus is designed specifically to support older students.

    Recently the sales team has started doing tailored demonstrations for schools and districts to show how support for students in middle and high school has changed with DocsPlus. Right away we noticed certain features as clear standouts for these teachers seeing it for the first time.

    The first standout being the Workspace feature and all the ways this tool can be further manipulated in DocsPlus. Workspace is essentially a graphic organizer built into the program that allows users to create their own visual aids for learning.

     

    These aids can be turned into an outline or a Wordbar, one of the most useful and handy elements of DocsPlus. This means that a teacher can build a graphic organizer with a student in a way that is most meaningful for them and turn those words into a Wordbar, used for more extensive writing.

     

    Not only does the Workspace make the creation of graphic organizers possible, it makes it even easier than ever before to make Wordbars to support students with their writing.

     

    The other standout feature is the DocReader, which makes it possible for PDFs to be read aloud to students. This means that students can work independently on worksheets, read longer texts with support from DocsPlus, or even use DocReader during exams if they are allowed. The DocReader enables students who struggle with being able to read a longer piece of text to be able to break it into more manageable, speech supported sections.

     

  • DocsPlus Support


    The Support section hosts a wealth of helpful information about our products and how to use them. Recently, lots of new content has been added to support the newly released DocsPlus.

    PDF Guides

    DocsPlus’ built-in User Guide is also available to download as a PDF. This can be printed out or opened on another device, so it can be viewed side-by-side with DocsPlus (particularly useful if you wish to work through the guide sequentially).

    If you use a Crick USB Switch Box, the Switch Timings in DocsPlus guide explains how DocsPlus can be adapted to suit the characteristics of a diverse range of switch users.

    If you use eye-tracking technology, the Using Eye Gaze in DocsPlus guide explains how the Eye Gaze feature in DocsPlus can make it easier for users to select things by looking at them.

    Answers to Common Inquiries

    These newly-published support articles provide answers to common inquiries:

    DPWH2 - How do I transfer licenses?

    DPWH6 - Does DocsPlus run on an iPad or Android tablet?

    DPWH8 - How do I change the pronunciation of a word in DocsPlus?

    DPWH9 - How do I add words to the DocsPlus spell checker?

    DPWH10 - Which switches can I use with DocsPlus?

    DPWH14 - How can students use DocsPlus at home?

    DPWH19 - How do I delete files from Explorer?

    DPWH21 - How do I stop the on-screen keyboard from appearing?

    DPWH24 - How do I see which spellings were corrected in a Document?

    DPWH25 - How do I save DocsPlus Document as a Word Document or PDF?

    DPWH26 - How do I set up picture shortcuts?

    DPWH30 - How do I make DocsPlus's Eye Gaze work on my Tobii device?

  • 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.