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Clicker 8 for Windows/Mac is the latest incarnation of the highly popular literacy support tool, created by multi-award-winning Crick Software.
For iPad and Chromebook users, Crick has also launched the Clicker Writer app.
For those who are not familiar with Clicker, it is essentially a word processor designed to make reading and writing more appealing to pupils.
It is especially good for building confidence and promoting engagement with those with special needs or who simply find literacy harder than others.
Among its many strengths is the way it can incorporate visuals, predict words and read back what you have written. It also allows teachers to create word banks and other devices to provide scaffolded support to those who find writing more of a struggle.
Existing fans will be pleased, but probably not surprised, to find that Clicker 8 adds to Clicker’s already impressive array of ready-made resources, covering pretty much every corner of the curriculum.
As you might expect, it also comes with an interesting range of new bells and whistles. One that caught my eye is the Cloze resource generator.
On the face of it, it’s a fairly simple idea: just enter the text and it will help you to pull out whatever words you want for the children to add in to demonstrate their understanding.
Of course, we can all do this ourselves on any other word processor, but doesn’t it always take you that little longer than you thought? Not with Clicker 8.
I also liked the voice recording function. This enables the user to rehearse each sentence and store it as a little speech bubble beside their composition. They can then keep listening to it to check it until they have transcribed it accurately.
For those who really like to drill down into their data, Clicker 8 comes with a new analytics function.
This allows you to see how much of any given task the pupils have generated themselves and how much came from the various support resources provided by the package.
While not only aimed at struggling writers, you can really see how Clicker 8 can provide valuable support to pupils who fall into this category, as well as those with accessibility issues or for whom English is not their first language.
Overall, it is well worth investigating to see how it could meet the needs of your pupils.
You want a more supportive, engaging and convenient writing support tool.
A 1+1 licence is priced at £350 for a three-year subscription; 40% upgrade discount for Clicker 7 customers in 2020. Find out more at cricksoft.com.
Reviewed by Mike Davies
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