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Appy Monday: Clicker Communicator Review

App: Clicker Communicator

What it’s for: Communicator is an AAC app with three built-in levels of vocabulary. It’s a core word language app with lots of available language on vocabulary level 2 or 3. Clicker comes with Acapela voices and the Symbolstix image library. You can also create stand-alone vocabulary sets that could be used to supplement children’s systems. For example, if you were reading about climate change and wanted children to access words not in their systems, you could create a board for that. There’s also dozens of pre-made materials for various songs and activities.

What we love:

Home page of Clicker for Diva. Black background, gray message bar, red delete button, with nine Super Key clusters with different word types. Pronouns and prepositions to the left, verbs in the middle, descriptive words on the right.

Screenshot of Diva’s Clicker screen.

Screenshot of a super key. Gray message bar window, black background. Six keys in different colors with the messages: chat, actions, describe, don't, not, and wait.

Screenshot of a Super Key after it is selected.

Super Keys!!! The Super Key option is hands-down the reason why we switched Diva from Proloquo2Go to Clicker Communicator. Super Keys makes this one of the very best apps out there for children with more significant visual and/or motor challenges, in my opinion. What’s a Super Key? You can see in the images below that the main home screen of Diva’s page has been split into nine clusters of keys. When she hits that cluster, the six icons on that Super Key then enlarge. With Super Keys, Diva now has 45 buttons on a screen. The most she has ever had before was 25, and she really did better with 18 or less. It adds one extra hit, so to speak, but it opens up the whole world as her maximum vocabulary size tripled. And we are fairly confident that we will be able to expand this grid with time and add 3 more rows, one row per Super Key — another one thousand words. That will make her layout competitive with the number of words in LAMP, Proloquo2Go, and other robust language apps. Super Keys also has increased her independence and accuracy more than anything else we have tried — more than keyguards, more than spacing, more than color-coding.

The main edit screen for communicator. The topics (or pages/folders) are listed to the left, with the current page being edited in the middle. Color choices are at the bottom.

The main edit screen for Communicator.

Editing screen of Clicker Communicator, with an animals pop-up. 12 animals are displayed that you can touch to add to the page.

Displaying a pop-up where you can select images for a page.

Editing – Communicator has some of the easiest editing features that I have played with. You can literally type a list of words in, hit enter, and it will send the words to buttons — and add pictures for you. You can also pull-up the pictures from your symbol library and select the ones you want to add. It will be inserted in the order that you click. If you’ve pre-colored buttons, they will keep their color as the words are added. Swapping button position is as easy as drag-and-drop. It’s pretty easy to pull up a button and make changes — will this button speak? Open another topic? Insert words? It didn’t take long to figure out, but there are also some really good support systems in place if you struggle with technology, including a built-in help guide. I’m now so in love with their way of adding words and pictures that I feel frustrated when I open other apps and have to add words button-by-button.

Gray message screen with

Picture supported word prediction keyboard. Alphabetical and QWERTY layouts are available. You can also edit the number of words predicted.

Keyboard – The Communicator keyboard also uses Super Keys if enabled. The extra bonus comes with the picture-supported keyboard. While we rarely use picture supported writing during journals, I love the picture supports for communication. It will assist my daughter to find words independently, while also giving her a way to access UNLIMITED vocabulary.

Alarm – I have to make sure I mention Diva’s favorite feature, which is that you can set a button to sound an alarm, rather than speak text. This is when it became clear to me that Clicker knows its audience and has worked with children with multiple disabilities for a long time. This alarm is essential for her — it gives her a loud and quick way to call for us across the house. She also tends to use it these days to say something like, “I mean it!”:)

What’s okay: The vocabulary templates are pretty solid. They include core, fringe, and keyboard access. There are spaces marked to help you remember to put things in (like “my name is…”). My only complaint is that the layout was not necessarily designed with Super Keys users in mind. This makes some of the positioning a little awkward. There might be 3 different colors of word types on a single Super Key. It’s still usable, but we did end up designing our own vocabulary layout.

Support: The support team for Communicator has been hands-down amazing. We participated in one webinar that was offered to the public, but were then able to set-up a second webinar for ourselves, Diva’s team, and a friend to ask specific questions about Super Keys and scanning. The Faceook group is small but the support staff have been really on top of it. They have answered questions, taken ideas/suggestions, and helped troubleshoot the things that come with any brand new app roll-out. I’m a HUGE fan.

Caveats: We have not yet tried any switch control with Clicker Communicator, since Diva uses direct access. I could see the set-up’s working really well with switch scanning, automatic or two-step, but I can’t speak for it personally.

Price: $150, with in-app purchases of PCS or Widgit symbols for $50 each

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Happy Appy Monday: Moose Math

We bought Moose Math last week to help with preventing some of the infamous “summer slide”. I wasn’t sure how it would go over — if it would be a little young for LM, if he would find it too simple. He is going into 2nd grade, and may be a little older than the intended audience. No need to fear! The bright graphics and fun game play of Duck Duck Moose has lured him in. He chooses Moose Math daily for iPad time.

What You Practice: A variety of early elementary math skills: counting objects, adding objects to find a total, working on word problems, and early algebra (I have 2 and I need 7, how many more do I need?); children with beginning counting to early addition skills could use this app.

Access: There’s a lot of drag & drop in this app, but there is leeway for not placing objects “just right” into their spaces.

Picture featuring an empty blender in the middle, against a blue background. On the left, there is a recipe for "Sweet Cherry" - 6 sugar cubes and 6 cherries. On the right, there is an open refrigerator with sugar cubes and cherries to be added to the shake.

Moose Juice Activity.

What We Love: Duck Duck Moose never fails on putting together high quality graphics with really crisp design. The levels build skills bit-by-bit, so LM has never hit a frustration point where he wanted to quit and not return. I love that their feedback on right/wrong is not shaming. If you put the wrong number of ingredients in the blender, the shake just turns green instead of delightful pink — much like shakes could taste bad in real life with too much lettuce or beets! There’s also multiple mini-games to explore so that fatigue and boredom can take longer to accumulate.

LM Recommends: Moose Juice! He loves to throw fruit all over the screen, testing out different angles and velocities to make it into the blender. After throwing them around a while, he settles in and counts out the ingredients.

Parent report card for "Moose Juice Activity". Each of the levels is marked by a circle, which is colored based on percent mastery. Below are two columns. The first says "mastered skills" and lists "counting by ones up to 1". The second says "skills to improve" and lists "counting by ones up to 7".

Parent center report card for “Moose Juice Activity”. It shows the mastery percent for each level, as well as mastered and emerging skills. DDM’s high-quality design shows through even here.

Parent Corner: This is our first use of a Duck Duck Moose app with a Parent’s Corner “report card”. It lists the activity, which skills are targeted, your child’s current level, and a breakdown of mastery v. emerging skills. It was interesting to see where some of the skill breakdowns were occurring and what he is practicing while he plays.

Recommend: Yes.

** Author is not affiliated with this app and does not receive any compensation from this company.