2003 Conference Proceedings

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USING CLICKER TO CREATE ACCESSIBLE WRITING, MULTIMEDIA AND COMMUNICATION ACTIVITIES.

Presenter
John Crick
Crick Software Ltd,
50 116th Ave SE, Suite 211
Bellevue, WA 98004

Clicker is an inclusive tool for writing support, multimedia and communication. The software is suitable for users of all abilities and has switch access built in. It has been created by educators for educators. Clicker allows teachers to make a wide variety of learning resources to meet the needs of individual students. It is simple to use and is supported by a range of ready-made materials.

First developed in the UK, Clicker has won multiple awards including five prestigious BETT Awards - the Oscars of the UK educational software industry. It is now available in a fully localized version for the US supported from the Crick Software Incorporated offices in Bellevue, WA. Clicker has already been recognised in the Media & Methods Magazine Awards Portfolio 2002. It is available for both Windows and Macintosh and files are compatible across the platforms.

In addition to allowing teachers to make their own resources, Clicker is supported through "Clicker Grids for Learning". This is a website hundreds of sets of ready-made grids. These are free to download and can be used by anyone who has the Clicker program.

Clicker for Writing Support

Clicker allows students to write using whole words, phrases, pictures and animations. It has its own talking word processor, Clicker Writer. Clicker grids can be created containing text and picture. Students can use a mouse to select words from the grids or scan the grid using one or two switches.

Clicker grids can use pictures to support the student. Over 1000 pictures are provided in the Crick Picture Library but the program can also use photographs, scanned images and symbols such as the Mayer-Johnson PCS library.

The user is able to listen to words and phrases before selecting them. The program includes software speech but recorded sounds can also be incorporated into grids.

Clicker is easy to use and teacher-friendly. Grids can be made quickly allowing students to be supported at an appropriate level. Students can also log on to the program giving them access to personalized resources and wordlists.

Clicker can interface seamlessly with the word prediction program Penfriend. These means that grids can include prediction to support those with literacy difficulties and to speed up the writing process for switch users.

Clicker has Internet features that allow any document to be saved. This allows users of all abilities to create pages that can be incorporated into a school or personal website.

Clicker for Multimedia

Clicker can be used to create on-screen talking books and presentations. Grids can incorporate text, pictures, audio, video and animation to create stimulating and interactive materials for curriculum delivery.

Information can be presented to students through a variety of media and students can be supported through writing grids to record what they have discovered.

Crick Software has developed a growing number of titles in its award winning "Find Out and Write About" series of curriculum resources. These present information through talking books, differentiated to suit a variety of ability levels, and then help the student to write on a subject with support at an appropriate level. As with all Crick Software materials, they are fully switch accessible.

Clicker's multimedia features also make it an ideal tool for developing switch training activities. Resources can be personalized using photographs, sounds, video and animations to stimulate the user. They can range from simple "hit and happen" activities through matching and choosing to more complex curriculum based tasks.

Clicker for Communication

Clicker can incorporate symbols such as the Mayer-Johnson PCS library to create an on-screen aid that allows the user to communicate with pictures, text and sound output.

A ready-made set of communication grids is available in the Clicker resource "QuickFire". This is a family of grids that incorporate the Mayer-Johnson PCS library and use proven communication strategies. QuickFire has been developed by Speech and Language specialists. An extensive selection of vocabulary is available ranging from basic needs to more complex language. All grids within QuickFire can be personalized to meet individual needs.

Information

Crick Software website: http://www.cricksoft.com 

Clicker Grids for Learning: http://www.cricksoft.com/cgfl/ 


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