Manor Academy is a secondary special school in Sale for children with moderate learning difficulties and autism. We bought Clicker 7 to use with students who are struggling with their reading and writing. We needed a tool that could help address the variety of issues contributing to these difficulties, including dyspraxia, dyslexia and fine and gross motor problems.
We use Clicker a lot for class topic work. For example, when we are studying a novel, we can use Clicker to develop students’ understanding of the story in so many different ways. We are able to create sentence building sets, key word banks, story recollections, sequencing activities, character explorations…whatever best suits that student’s particular learning objectives and ability level.
Being able to tailor Clicker to support specific educational needs is very important. Students with dyslexia or visual stress find that having different background colours and fonts when they write makes a significant difference. Many students with autism or for whom English isn’t their first language really benefit from the pictorial clues we are able to add in using the CrickPix library. We can easily incorporate our own images for our older students, creating activities that have an age-appropriate look and feel, yet still provide all that extra support they need to succeed.
We use Clicker a lot for class topic work. For example, when we are studying a novel, we can use Clicker to develop students’ understanding of the story in so many different ways.
One of our favourite new tools in Clicker 7 is the Clicker Board planning area. Lots of our staff are using this across the school and in many different subjects. It’s a great way to introduce new topics and vocabulary, and a really useful document for students to refer back to. We have a lot of students that come up with great ideas, but forget them when it comes to writing them down; Clicker Board is a fantastic way to capture these! We’re also keen to start using the Voice Notes tool, which enables students to record their ideas and save them to their documents – we’ve just purchased some microphones so will be experimenting with this feature very soon.
The students are very proud of what they are able to accomplish with Clicker 7. Many actively disliked English before, because of the reading and writing aspect of the lessons and their inevitable struggle with it. However, they are now able to achieve something independently. Every student can now participate, even those with the biggest learning challenges, albeit with a lot of support. Some simply couldn’t share their knowledge and ideas with us before in written form, now they can!
I think what’s really key is that it’s not us recording their thoughts or doing it for them, the students are able to do it themselves, which is a real confidence booster.
The students are very proud of what they are able to accomplish with Clicker 7. Many actively disliked English before, because of the reading and writing aspect of the lessons and their inevitable struggle with it. However, they are now able to achieve something independently.
One particular boy springs to mind – when he joined us in Year 7, he wasn’t even able to use a keyboard. He’s now in Year 9 and has made amazing progress with Clicker; he uses Clicker Board to help with his planning, then inputs his own sentences and puts together pieces of work, all by himself.
Our parents are also very excited about using Clicker with their children; home access for every student is included with the Site License. We already have several children using Clicker at home to explore their interests and hobbies. At the moment one of our students, who is really passionate about military aircraft, is creating a Clicker Book all about his favourite models to share with the rest of the class back at school. It’s a great opportunity for parents to play an active role in their child’s learning.
Put simply, Clicker is an amazing teaching and learning tool that has been a real life saver, for both staff and students!