Crick Software Dedicated to Improving Education for All Students
By John M. Williams
Crick’s products provide students with the tools they need to succeed.
Worldwide there are probably tens of thousands of companies dedicated to developing educational products that benefit students. There are also companies that go beyond developing a single product that can’t be used by the majority of students and instead develops products for universal usage. Crick Software is one of these companies.
Knowing the power of the written word, for 23 years, Crick Software, under the able and visionary leadership of John and Ann Crick, has developed award-winning reading and writing software for learners of all ages and abilities. From planning to writing, from proofing to performing, Crick’s products provide students with the tools they need to succeed. Teachers and parents give high praise to the company’s products.
One of Crick’s products, Clicker 7, is a talking word processor created to help elementary students of all abilities develop literary skills. Among the program’s tools are:
Clicker Board - a child-friendly mind mapping space;
Children's voices - realistic speech feedback with friendly, age appropriate voices;
Voice Notes - students can record audio notes in preparation for writing;
Dyslexia font - Clicker includes a font designed specifically for children with dyslexia;
Accessibility - eye gaze and SuperKeys; and
Home access - the Clicker 7 Unlimited OneSchoolTM License includes home access for students and teachers in the school.
“My teenage daughter uses both the Eye Gaze and SuperKeys functions, and she loves the thrill of accomplishment when she does,” said Carol Katz, Cleveland. Her daughter has limited use of her hands.
A second program is Clicker Sentences for Chromebook. It enables users to create sentence building activities on any topic, tailored specifically to support each student’s individual needs. Each sentence grid contains all the words required to build a sentence. Students click each word to create the sentence in their document, then select the arrow key to move on to the next sentence in the set, quickly building a significant piece of writing. Additional support features include speech feedback, picture support, and model sentences.
Hugely successful on the iPad, this app is a brand new release for the Chromebook. Featuring direct access to Google Drive, and the ability to operate without an internet connection, this app had been requested on this platform by Crick’s customers.
“Crick has its ear to the ground when developing products that vastly improve the literary skills of its users,” says Maureen O’Sullivan, Special Education Teacher, Chicago, IL.
Jim Wayward’s 12-year-old son uses Clicker 7 in school. Wayward says, “Chuck has become a better student since he started using Crick’s software. Chuck’s verbal and writing skills have vastly improved.” Chuck has a learning disability; he learns from hearing. Therefore, Clicker 7 with its speech feedback abilities, is a natural tool for him.
Crick believes that every child should be educated and have access to technology they need to succeed. With this principle solidly planted in mind, their products contain accessibility features for students with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and low vision.
It is no accident that Crick is an innovative, educational leader. In 1993, John Crick harnessed his years of teaching experience with the emerging personal computing technology to develop the literacy support tool, Clicker. Since then, versions of Clicker are used in thousands of schools around the world, and the program has been translated into 10 languages.
“We use our profits to develop new products that exploit the latest technologies to benefit all learners,” says John Crick.
Crick believes in hiring people with educational backgrounds. Many of Crick’s staff are qualified and experienced teachers, including the majority of the firm’s content developers, education sales consultants, and trainers. This diversity of talent allows Crick to develop products with universal design in mind. Universal Design is fundamental to everything the company produces.
“As we develop our software, we think carefully about learners of all abilities, and we strongly believe in the principles of personalized learning,” says Crick.
Crick Software maintains strong personal relationships with teachers and educators at a variety of levels, and John Crick says their products adhere to the latest educational thinking and government guidelines. The company’s LearningGrids team, led by Ann Crick, creates free online resources to help teachers use Crick’s software across all curriculum areas.
The company has won numerous education awards over the years, including 12 Bett Awards, known as the 'Oscars' of the UK educational software industry, the English Speaking Union President’s Award, and a Millennium Product Award.
For more information contact Deborah Yergeau, Operations Manager Crick Software, Inc.,191 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06880. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her phone number is 203-221-2697.
John M. Williams can be reached at email@example.com. He coined the term assistive technology.