Cherry Newby, former Primary Head Teacher
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What is Clicker?
Clicker is an innovative word processor specifically designed for children, with features that make it accessible for a wide range of abilities and those with barriers to literacy. Clicker provides a complete literacy toolkit across the curriculum – from planning, to writing, to proofing.
In 1993 John Crick harnessed his years of teaching experience to develop a literacy tool to support children with additional needs. Clicker was launched as a response to a gap in the education market that sorely needed filling. Since then, Clicker has gone from strength to strength as we continue to exploit the latest technologies to support all learner to develop the most robust literacy support solution for young learners.
Clicker is designed to grow with children as they move through the curriculum, providing the appropriate level of support as their confidence and literacy skills develop. Children can move from simple sentence building activities that develop fundamental literacy skills to significantly more independent work.
At all stages of their writing journey, children are provided with an extensive range of tools within Clicker, like mind-mapping functionality, the ability to record audio notes so children can rehearse ideas and capture initial thoughts, and speech feedback that reads a sentence aloud when it’s punctuated with a full-stop to encourage children to independently review and correct their work.
Clicker, like all our software, has been built on the principles of Universal Design for Learning to cater for all learners, particularly those who struggle to access the curriculum or to effectively demonstrate their knowledge and ideas within their work. Therefore, it is fundamental to our beliefs that our software is accessible for all. Clicker can be accessed via switches, touch screen, with any eye gaze system, and Crick’s own award-winning SuperKeys – which expands keyboard areas into large clusters for easier navigation.
We also wanted Clicker to work with teachers’ busy schedules. Within Clicker you have access to LearningGrids, a bank of free curriculum resources that is updated on a regular basis and covers a wide variety of topics, saving teachers valuable resource preparation time. These sets are easily customisable, too, so you can tailor them to meet your exact requirements. You can also quickly create entirely new sets with the same intuitive editing and creation tools.
Clicker has been recognised for the impact it has had on children’s learning since its earliest versions and has won 8 Bett Awards since 1995. In 2018 Clicker won in both the Bett Awards’ Special Educational Needs Solutions category and the Education Resource Awards’ Special Education Resource category.
Clicker's efficacy has been studied by two independent research projects undertaken by Angus Council and Wensum Junior School, where Clicker was used with children across the ability spectrum.
Angus Council analysed the effects of Clicker across its 8 schools and found consistent, significant improvements for pupils of differing abilities and levels of experience using the software. Use of Clicker resulted in almost 3 times the number of words being written, with more than twice the number of multi-syllabic words used. Pupils requiring significant or average support took over a third less time to complete their work when using Clicker, and with 4 times less help required from teachers and teaching assistants.
Pupils using Clicker at Wensum Junior School saw the amount of words they could write in one writing session increase by 2.5 times, with almost 3 the number of multi-syllabic words being used. Use of Clicker resulted in a dramatic drop in the grammar and spelling errors in pupils’ work and were significantly more independent. Overall, pupils were able to produce a much higher level of writing, doubling the number of legible sentences in their work when using Clicker.
Further, teachers noted that when children were using Clicker they concentrating on their work for longer periods of time and that the classroom environment was much calmer, commenting that, “The level of independent work in the classroom now is really inspiring.”
Clicker is currently used in thousands of schools across the world. In addition to English, Clicker has also been translated into Italian, Spanish, Polish and Russian. Clicker 7 Arabic is also available and provides a full Arabic translation.