Clicker Docs app (25.99) for iPad, developed by Crick Software , is a new iOS app that provides differentiated writing support for struggling writers. As one of Crick’s two new apps, Clicker Docs provides text only word banks and word prediction options offering support for primary aged writers in this Docs app. Clicker Sentences app provides a simpler picture based writing environment for emergent writers.
Here are some of main features of Clicker Docs app:
- Talking spell checker
- Dropbox support within the App
- Simple Copy and Paste
- Words from the current Word Bank are now included in predictions
- Hardware keyboard support
- Tool to Create New Word Bank directly from Edit Mode
- Improved pronunciation
- Improved opening of files from email
- Performance improvement when moving between Word Bank tabs
- Swipe Grids option enables swiping between Word Bank Grids
- Show touches option shows a yellow blob each time you touch
To really understand the strength and ease of use of this app seeing (and trialing) is believing:
Word prediction settings provide options of:
- Showing Predictor on/off
- Use Sounds like Prediction on/off
- Predict Next Word on/off
- Data base size from 250-20,000 words
- Number of Predicted Words from 4-8
The setting menu in Clicker Docs also provides these options:
- Appearance allows choice of Font, Font Size, Document Background color and Document Text Color
- Speech provides options of British, Aussie or USA female voices, Speed, Highlight color, Speaking each letter or word or sentence
- Spell Checker on/off
- Accessibility options include Swipe Grids on/off and Show Touches on/off (provides user a small dot of where they last touched for visual feedback). Switch accessibility is not yet available due to the lack of standardization with mobile devices but is a goal in the future of Crick Software.
Word banks provide support for the word prediction data base. They also can be customized according to theme and vocabulary of the user. Word banks can be viewed by themes …
or alphabetically as seen below. Choice of writing supports are displayed by pressing the green keyboard tab above the word bank or keyboard allowing toggling between supports.
Words in the word bank can be heard prior to selection by tapping the blue arrow which allows the word chosen to be spoken aloud. After it is spoken it can be selected for inserting into the document. This took a bit of practice but was easy to use and became more automatic with repetition (kids would get this much faster than I did!).
Writing environments or grid can be custom-made or are available within the app as shared by Crick through the LearningGrids resource. Below is an example of creating a customized grid of the human body allowing addition of unit words (content), choosing word order and color of the grid. The grid shown at the bottom provides a display of how the grid appears.
Crick further supports users with shared grids provided through the LearningGrids menu within the app. Currently there are dozens of shared grids in the LearningGrids resource provided by Crick with a free registration. An option to transfer directly to Dropbox is also provided within the app for ease of workflow when creating and sharing grids between devices or for students (how many times have you had to take an iPad home to create on a students device for the next days use?? Probably too many times!).
Clicker Docs, like Clicker Sentences apps are suited to the unique needs of students with literacy challenges. The provision of word prediction, text to speech, word banks are unique to only a few apps at the present time. Crick further supports therapists and teachers with pre-made grids, guides and the ability to share grids between users. I had the opportunity to be guided through features of Clicker apps by Neil Andrews, from Crick Software, who provided me with great information not only about their apps and Clicker 6 as well as practical application of their use. Ease of use of the apps are at the heart of their app development understanding the daily limitations of time faced by teachers and therapists.
Crick provides some great apps, software and resources for supporting students with the writing process. Their commitment to developing software and mobile device apps provides the special needs community with a variety of choices for inclusion and home use.
Interested in a review of Clicker Sentences? Visit a recent review of the app: http://wp.me/p1w0d0-1t1