Comments regarding using Clicker with whiteboards:


"My new Smartboard arrived in January and it is a great accessory for Clicker. I started immediately using it with an Autistic Student who will not respond to a computer and her aid felt the Smartboard may be the key.
She was so right-- it has been amazing. I work with her three days a week and the impact has been tremendous. We started by scanning pics of her family in and I put them in cells. When she clicks on the cell their picture appears in the text. Did the same with letters of her name and had the full name speak her name. Next we moved on to her drawing rainbows with her hand on the board with Clicker Paint - it has been very rewarding seeing the progress. It's opened up a whole new avenue for us!"
Feb. 28, 2008, Sherry Knowles sknowles@kitteryschools.org Technology K-5, Kittery Schools, Maine



Recently, I have been testing Clicker grid sets with the accessibility switch and the whiteboard. The initial results are amazing. You may wonder why I am doing this. If we have a physically disabled child who is integrated in a mainstream class, it would be impossible for the child to interact with the whiteboard, the other students and the teacher effectively because he or she can not come to the board and participate. An accessibility switch can be attached to the computer, which allows accessible software such as Clicker, Clicker Paint, Cloze Pro and virtually all Crick software to scan the grids on the screen enabling children to make their selection by "pushing" the switch. In this way Crick is unique because it is one of the pioneers of universal design and creators of truly inclusive resources.

I tested some Clicker educational, game-based activities that I have made with my class. The children really loved using the switch with the whiteboard. I had one student using the switch and another using the Active Pen, simulating a scenario where an able-bodied and a physically disabled student would have to cooperate at the whiteboard. The Active Pen and the switch can be used simultaneously, but the pen input is like the mouse; it's independent of scanning. The scanning features in Clicker like highlighting and enlarging the cells were really helpful.

I need to clarify that Clicker is NOT an exclusively special ed. software. It's all about access, inclusiveness, and differentiated learning/instruction. Most of us agree that an accessible building is better for everyone (e.g., mother pushing a stroller on a ramp, etc.). This is also true with Clicker5. I have heard the argument that assistive technology makes our children lazy and delay development of reading and writing skills. In my opinion, this can not be farther from the truth. To use the ramp analogy again, we only use the ramp when it makes our job easier and safer. Using the ramp is not the sign of laziness and it won't have a disabling effect on us!

Take care,

Ray Mirshahi
Primary Chairperson, ICT and Math Lead Teacher
Timberbank Clicker Center Coordinator
Timberbank Jr. P. S., Ontario
ray.mirshahi@tel.tdsb.on.ca