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  • November was a busy month! It was spent traveling across the lovely state of Pennsylvania showing Clicker 7, the Clicker Apps on both iPad and Chromebook, and Clicker Communicator.

    The PaTTAN AT Expo was a huge success. PaTTAN is a traveling tradeshow. We started in Valley Forge, moved to Harrisburg, and then ended in Pittsburgh. It was an incredible way to connect with people from all over the state. 

    Clicker Communicator was the hit at PaTTAN. I enjoyed watching the expressions on people’s faces when they saw how easy it is to start using the app as soon as it’s downloaded. They could see themselves introducing students to one of the Core Vocabulary Sets provided with the app right away. One SLP spoke to me specifically about a student she could see using it throughout the day, but especially to participate more fully in his Social Studies and Science classes. Clicker Communicator really does make it very easy for users to participate more fully in the classroom.

    Many PaTTAN attendees were also Clicker 6 users. One teacher told me how she currently uses Clicker 6 extensively in her class and had come to see us to understand how we could have made it better. She was blown away by the many uses of the new planning tool, Clicker Board. She could easily see how she could use this during whole class instruction to get everyone’s ideas together before giving her class a wordbank to work with more independently. This, coupled with the new children’s voices, voice notes, and app interoperability that Clicker 7 has to offer, was more than enough to send her away ready to get a purchase order approval to upgrade!

     

    The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Conference is for Speech and Language Pathologists and was also in PA this year. This was ASHA’s biggest year, with over 16,000 attendees. The ease in which you can edit and create Vocabulary Sets with Clicker Communicator was very well received at this conference as well.

    Overall, November was a great month. We were able to connect with new and existing customers in Pennsylvania and talk to them about what we do best: literacy, AT, and AAC.

  • Sharing Clicker 7 at ATIA


    The beginning of February was spent in sunny Orlando, FL at ATIA 2016. This conference has an assistive technology focus, and this year was especially exciting for us because it was the first time that Clicker 7 was shown to everyone in the United States.

    The response to the enhancements and additions in Clicker 7 was overwhelmingly positive! People came back more than once to listen to the children’s voices speak with inflection. Multiple people came to the booth to see the interoperability between Clicker 7 and the Clicker Apps in action. But, the new features that had everyone talking were Clicker Board and eye gaze functionality.

    Clicker Board is the new planning tool that is built into Clicker 7 and allows graphic organizers to be turned into word banks or picture banks in a matter of seconds! Now teachers can create a writing plan with their students as a group and then the students can use the word banks to assist them with their individual writing; or students can work independently by using a pre-made mind map or creating one on their own.

    Dr. Caroline Musselwhite came to the booth to see Clicker 7 and in her blog she comments: “All of these wonderful features are now available for individuals who use eye gaze as an access method.”  Read more about what Dr. Musselwhite says about Clicker in her post - Clicker 7 – Great New Features!



  • Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Closing The Gap conference in Minnesota; it was my first time attending this event. I was thrilled to speak with many attendees who use and love our products! One attendee, Josh Dickson, loves our Clicker Connect and Clicker Communicator apps so much that he featured them in a presentation that he co-hosted with his colleague Hillary Jellison, both of Communicare, LLC.  I was able to attend this session and it was wonderful to see our products being used by educators out in the field and to hear how successful students were with writing while using our apps. 

     

    The session was titled, Written Composition and AAC, which focused on how to make writing achievable for all students through the RTI (Response to Intervention) model with the goal of students passing state level standardized tests.  Reading about the session before hand, and walking into the session, I understood how Clicker Connect would fit into this topic because this app supports students writing a document, even if the document is only a couple sentences.  But Clicker Communicator is our communication app and I was not familiar with educators using this app to create pieces of writing.  Josh explained that because the symbol support is available in the grid and the message area, this app is ideal for students who rely on symbol support when writing sentences.

    Josh used a LearningGrids example about the butterfly life cycle to illustrate how easy it is to create a complete sentence from a free, ready-made resource!  It was a new way of looking at Clicker Communicator and it is exciting to know that students are using our apps to write pieces that were not possible before. 

     

  • My First CTG


    Last week I attended my first Closing the Gap conference in Minneapolis. It was very exciting to meet so many special needs professionals who were passionate about finding literacy support tools for their students. Those who came to our Crick Software booth were very interested in learning about our Crick products and many already had familiarity with them, but wanted to learn more... 

     

    The visitors at our booth had a wide range of experience with our products. For example, some were using one Clicker App, such as Clicker Sentences or Clicker Connect, and wanted to learn more about the other apps – Clicker Docs and Clicker Books. Others were familiar with all of our apps, but wanted to get a look at Clicker Communicator. They were impressed with how easy it was to use, especially because the user interface is consistent with our other apps. They also were amazed by how quickly and easily you can create topic specific vocabulary sets. They enjoyed seeing a quick demo and asked for a free, one-hour webinar to get a closer look at its features and capabilities. I will be very excited to follow up in the next couple of weeks and show them the power of our literacy support tools, which will assist so many students with reading, writing, and accessing the curriculum in the classroom.


  • At the recent Closing the Gap Conference in Minneapolis, a Clicker Communicator set that proved particularly popular with delegates was the LearningGrids set Travel Survey. This set is designed to enable students to use questioning to collect data about how the children in their class travel to school.

    It was so well liked because the set puts the Communicator user in charge as they initiate and lead the conversation. They ask the questions and are no longer stuck in respondent mode.


  • We recently returned from Closing the Gap – the annual AT / AAC conference in Minneapolis. It’s one of our favorite events on the calendar, and our booth was packed with delegates all week. 

     

    With Clicker Communicator (our new AAC app) just 4 months old, we were delighted by the number of people who came to the booth requesting to see it, and it was a great opportunity to get feedback on the latest updates:

    Paint 

    You can now use Paint to customize any cell – in this example you can see the soccer player’s shirt being transformed from red to blue (using the Bucket Fill tool), and then having the number added (using the Brush tool). This new feature allows for personalization of existing symbols, as well as offering the opportunity to create your own from scratch.

     

    Pronounce

    There is now a Pronunciation option in the Speech settings which allows you to instantly fix any mis-pronounced words – especially important with names.

     

    Predict

    Many of our booth visitors at Closing the Gap were excited by the symbol supported word prediction in Clicker Communicator. We have done a lot of work on both the predictor database and the prediction algorithm for this latest release – the resulting in-word, next word, and phonetic suggestions are awesome!

     

    If you already have Clicker Communicator, don’t forget to update to the latest version (via App Store > Updates). If you don’t have it yet, it is available on both the App Store and through the Volume Purchase Program.

  • ATIA 2015


    We will be attending the ATIA conference next week – it is the largest international conference showcasing excellence in assistive technology, displaying the best products and services for people with disabilities.

    If you are going to be there, come and see us at booth 407 to find out what’s new. And, ask to see a sneak peak of our latest app, Clicker Communicator, available later this winter!

    If you haven’t already seen SuperKeys, our latest app, an accessible keyboard for the iPhone® and iPad, come take a look! The unique design of SuperKeys gives you just seven large keys to target instead of more than 30 small ones! Just tap the cluster containing the letter you want, and then tap the letter in the enlarged cluster. There’s no double-tapping, no essential swiping, and no learning required.

    Planning your session schedule? Join John and Ann Crick for their presentations Clicker Apps - Reading, Writing, and Communication on Thursday, January 29th from 2:20 - 3:20 PM in the Curacao 3 room, and Develop Writing with Clicker on Friday, January 30th from 11:00 - 11:20 AM in the Product Demo Center.

  • Clicker Books Comes Into Its Own!


    We recently attended the annual special education conference, Closing The Gap, in Minneapolis. It’s a major event on the calendar for Crick Software and for me personally, as I get to meet many, many practitioners, including teachers, speech therapists, and occupational therapists. I really enjoy hearing how our products are being used - and there are plenty of examples!

    One of the stand-outs this year was hearing how Clicker Books has made a real difference to so many children. As a creative book making tool, it does a great job -  children can create their books as you would expect, adding photos, painting pictures, recording their voice, and writing text.

    But what people are really excited about is that with all the supportive features of Clicker included in Clicker Books, children can achieve outstanding results with a high level of independence. Teachers love that all of their children can produce their own talking books.

    Many admitted that initially they hadn’t realized that Clicker Books offers so much. However, as they used it they could see that the way it supports children in their learning is what sets it apart from other book making apps.

    They especially loved that when children read and share their books, all of those supports are hidden away in the background!

    Clicker Books example

    A simple word bank enables the child to write sentences about his dog.

  • SuperKeys – SuperLaunch!


    As I mentioned in my last post, we attended Closing The Gap, a national AT conference which takes place in Minneapolis every October. On the Wednesday evening, we hosted a party for more than 80 guests, at which we announced a brand new addition to our growing family of apps. SuperKeys is a brand new accessible keyboard, designed for users who face challenges accessing the regular onscreen / iOS keyboard.

    We have launched many new products at Closing the Gap over the years, but the reaction to SuperKeys was even more exciting than we had anticipated. Word spread quickly around the conference that we had announced something pretty special (both by word of mouth and Twitter), and on Thursday morning our booth was swamped with delegates asking about our new app. It was really exciting to have 20+ people watching a SuperKeys demonstration while simultaneously accessing the App Store and downloading it on their iPhones and iPads!

    One of the best quotes (that we had time to write down!) came from Dr. Denise Coste, formerly of Montgomery Public Schools (MD) and now a national AT Consultant: “Superkeys is the most innovative alternate access app I've seen in years. Not just for kids with motor disabilities but for aging adults with low vision”.

    To find out more, search for “SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard” in the App Store.


  • Bett Awards 2015 – Finalists!


    We are excited to announce that we are once again Bett Awards finalists!

    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.

    The latest additions to our range of Clicker Apps for iPad have both been recognized; Clicker Books has been shortlisted in the ICT Special Educational Needs Solutions category, and Clicker Connect is in contention for the Educational Apps award.

    The winners will be announced during the Bett Show, which is being held at ExCeL London from January 21 to 24, 2015. We’ll be showcasing the apps along with our other literacy support products at Stand D210, but if you can’t wait until then, visit our website for Clicker Apps videos, reviews, success stories, and much more!

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