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  • 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.

  • SuperKeys wins BETT Award!


    The BETT Awards are considered the ‘Oscars’ of Educational Technology, so we’re really excited to have won the 2016 BETT Special Needs Award for SuperKeys.

    SuperKeys - keyboard

    There are lots of children (and adults too) who have physical difficulty in using a keyboard. A typical computer keyboard has more than 60 keys, an iPad keyboard has 38, and even an iPhone has 33.

    For some, this means the keys are too small and too close together for reliable access. One solution is to buy a big keyboard with extra-large keys, but what if you’re using an on-screen keyboard?

    That’s the problem we set out to solve, and SuperKeys is what we came up with. We decided to cluster the keys together and then zoom in on the cluster when it’s tapped or clicked. The inclusion of an extra-large, context-sensitive predictor makes this a very accessible and efficient way to write.

    Superkeys - predictor

    SuperKeys is a standalone keyboard app for iPad and iPhone, where you can easily configure the colors, the predictor size, and more to suit an individual’s needs. The SuperKeys access method is also included as an option in Clicker Connect, Clicker Docs, and Clicker Communicator, and in Clicker 7, where SuperKeys works with your grids too.


  • ATIA 2016 is taking place from February 3rd – 6th at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, and TCEA is taking place from February 3rd – 5th at the Austin Convention Center in Texas, and we can’t wait to show you Clicker 7, the brand new version of our much-loved software!

    We will also be showcasing WriteOnline and our range of iPad® apps, including the newest addition, our AAC app – Clicker Communicator.

    Clicker Communicator and our assistive keyboard, SuperKeys, were shortlisted for the Bett Awards 2016 in the ICT Special Educational Needs Solutions category. We are excited to announce that SuperKeys won the award last night!

    If you aren’t able to make it this year we’d be happy to send you a copy of our new 2016 catalog, which contains the most up-to-date information on our entire range of products, including pricing for Clicker 7 and WriteOnline. To arrange for a catalog to be sent out to you please call us at 203 221 2607 or email your request to USinfo@cricksoft.com.

  • 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!

  • Accessibility in Clicker Apps


    We want all children to benefit from our apps, including those with motor control difficulties for whom technology is vital for accessing the curriculum.

    SuperKeys is our unique access method for children who find it difficult to accurately target small areas on the screen; for example, keys on a keyboard or cells in a Clicker Grid.  When you turn SuperKeys on in the app’s accessibility settings, keys and cells are grouped into clusters.  Just tap the cluster containing the item you want, then tap the item.

    SuperKeys example

    SuperKeys is proving hugely popular for children with mild to moderate physical challenges – compared to switch access it’s fast, direct, and very easy to learn.  SuperKeys is an option in Clicker ConnectClicker Docs and Clicker Communicator, and for accessing other apps we have a standalone SuperKeys keyboard app.

    Clicker Connect and SuperKeys example

    Children who are unable to use SuperKeys can use switch access.  We’ve optimized the scanning to make it as simple as possible - only the most important items are scanned, and grids are scanned in a logical order.  We’ve also created a new guide to setting up switch access.

    There are other options in all the apps to help users with motor control difficulties. We know that if a user’s finger moves while tapping, the iPad may ignore the tap, treating it as the start of a swipe instead.  To prevent this, turn off Swipe Grids in the app’s Accessibility settings.

    Finally, the Show Touches option highlights each place that you tap.  This is great when you’re demonstrating the app too!

    Thanks  to everyone that’s given us feedback and helped us to make Clicker Apps accessible to all!