Last year I attended a really useful SENCo CPD event in London, which included a preview of Clicker 7. I’ve used Clicker for a number of years and was really wowed by the new version; it seemed so simple to use and I could really see its potential as a whole-school literacy tool. Historically, I have only used the software to support my cohort of children with special needs, but I’ve really been championing it as a resource for every pupils’ literacy development, particularly our KS1 developing writers.
So, we decided to invest in a Site License, which also enables our pupils to use Clicker on their home computers.
Clicker is used in a variety of ways across the school. It plays a key support role in our literacy and topic lessons, and I use it on a weekly basis with my boosters writing group, which supports children who are falling behind in literacy. A lot of teachers are also using the new Clicker Board tool for whole class planning and mind mapping; all the pupils contribute ideas for a particular topic whilst the teacher collates them on the whiteboard. This can then be made available as a key word bank or printed out as a reference for the children’s topic books.
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.
Our EAL staff view Clicker as an essential day-to-day resource. Being able to record yourself practising vocabulary and listen back to your writing really comes into its own when learning a new language, and having instant access to ready-made matching, labelling, speaking and listening resources etc. is so useful for them.
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. There are two boys in particular who come to mind; since using Clicker they are able to work so much more independently, and their confidence is really growing now that they’re not reliant on having an adult beside them to help. After 20 minutes of writing, they actually have something to show for it, rather than a blank page and the frustration of never quite getting started.
For me, what’s great about Clicker is its flexibility. Some children need specific fonts, colours and settings, others just need access to a key word bank and the predictor. Having just one tool that you can tailor to each learner’s literacy needs makes differentiation so much more straightforward.
I think if I was to sum up the impact Clicker 7 has on learning in our school, I’d say that Clicker makes writing a fun, exciting and accessible experience for everyone, including reluctant and struggling writers.
Ease of use is also key – although I use the free training materials if there’s something very specific I want to create or customise, in general I find Clicker 7 so intuitive that I can work out how to do the majority of things by myself in no time at all. I frequently make my own activities, and the school also makes really good use of Clicker’s add-on resources.
I think if I was to sum up the impact Clicker 7 has on learning in our school, I’d say that Clicker makes writing a fun, exciting and accessible experience for everyone, including reluctant and struggling writers. I would really urge other schools to consider using Clicker as their word processor of choice – it’s designed for children after all! Just having access to the speech feedback, the predictor and some key topic words can make such a huge difference.
Going forward, I see Clicker being an integral part of the school’s literacy support framework – it’s such a powerful, inclusive and intuitive intervention tool.
I really can’t speak highly enough of it!