I’m a School Services Officer at Magill School and we use Clicker to support individuals or groups of students with literacy challenges and other learning needs. I’m the school’s “support” for Clicker as I’ve been using it for more than 10 years! I’ve had great success using the software to support students over the years, and I’d like to share a few recent examples of how I’ve been using Clicker to make a difference to children’s learning at Magill Primary School.
I’ve been using Clicker to support the literacy journey of a non-verbal student in Year 5 (age 10), James*, to assist in accessing the curriculum. He has Clicker on his computer which he controls through Clicker’s touchscreen compatibility. By using the software, he accesses similar learning as his peers, but in a way that is best suited to his learning needs.
'Clicker enabled James to participate in a project that closely matched the learning intention of his peers - whereas, without Clicker, he would have struggled to access this writing task at all.'
For example, the class worked on a zoo project for the entire term that included writing an information report. James selected three animals for his report - a lion, a giraffe, and a penguin. Clicker’s writing support was an invaluable tool throughout the project. I created word banks to scaffold James’ writing that included key words for appearance, habitat diet, verbs and interesting facts etc. As James had to choose the correct words for the right animal, it worked as a comprehension task, too. Using Clicker’s speech feedback, we would right-click so that James could hear each word and then make his choice.
The results were amazing! James successfully wrote an information report including accurate facts about his three animals. He was very proud of his work! It’s safe to say that Clicker enabled James to participate in a project that closely matched the learning intention of his peers - whereas, without Clicker, he would have struggled to access this writing task at all.
My second example emphasises how Clicker can be used to improve the writing progress of a group of learners. A Year 5 teacher recognised that some students were struggling with writing and that their progress would accelerate if they were using Clicker. The tools I taught them to use included: Clicker’s speech feedback, spell check options, predictor, voice notes and accessing word banks. My aim was to build their writing confidence and help them increase the volume and accuracy of their writing.
Their word banks had various headings such as ‘pointers’, ‘intensifiers’ and ‘qualifiers’, just to name a few, which were readily available to the students as they wrote. Using Clicker meant their work was always read back to them, which assisted them to continually check their writing. Clicker enabled these students to produce writing that’s a threefold improvement on what they would have achieved with pen and paper.
Finally, I’d like to share the success of a Year 1 student, Molly*, who had a negative relationship with writing, and how Clicker drastically improved her outlook and pride in her written work.
'Clicker has transformed the writing experience and outcomes for these students – it’s brilliant and I love using it!'
Molly was brought to my attention by her teacher who knew that Clicker was a must-try to see if it would improve her engagement and attitude to writing. I decided to make some writing word banks for her with some sentence openers, adjective and verb suggestions etc, and I included all her spelling words too, to help her with this element of her literacy. She proudly opened her Chromebook and began constructing a sentence using the word banks I had produced. Instantly with minimal scaffolding, Molly wrote a sentence for her spelling word ‘jet’. The sentence was, ‘I flew in an aeroplane jet.’ It was great to see that she was successfully using her word banks!
When I next checked in on Molly’s progress, we ended up writing some sentences together. I had the opportunity to observe the process of her using Clicker – and how much her attitude to writing had changed! She began her sentence with, ‘The boy’. I asked her if she could add a bit more about the boy, and her response was, ‘You mean an adjective?’… I was totally blown away! Using the word banks she wrote, ‘The fast and clever boy played in the beach.’
As soon as she added the full stop, Clicker’s speech feedback read her sentence aloud and she identified, with some scaffolding, that ‘in’ should be ‘at’!
It was incredible to see how Molly’s negative relationship with writing had changed, and how she was now happily writing and editing her sentences independently with Clicker. I was so proud of her that I ran outside, while she was watching, and yelled on the oval, ‘Molly is an amazing writer!’
There’s no doubt that Clicker has transformed the writing experience and outcomes for these students – it’s brilliant and I love using it!
*Names changed for privacy