App review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2014
Clicker Docs
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Clicker Docs

Pricey, but serves a clear purpose for iPad word processing

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Grades
3–8
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Creativity
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Pros: Nifty word banks offer suggestions to improve writing.

Cons: Prohibitive price and limited formats for saving.

Bottom Line: With advance thought and prep, teachers will find many uses for Clicker Docs.

Clicker Docs is expensive. If teachers can't buy it for every iPad, they might consider having it on one class device and using it to run their one-on-one writing conferences with students. For students with writing or cognitive difficulties, or ones with issues sequencing information, they could enter their writing into the Clicker Docs word processor and hear their sentences read aloud. They could also benefit from the word suggestions. Going through this writing and self-reflection process with a peer, teacher, or specialist, could be another way to understand how a student thinks.

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Clicker Docs is a word processor for the iPad. Students can use a kid-friendly touch screen keyboard or connect with an external Bluebooth keyboard to use the app. Work can be saved within the app or to Dropbox, emailed as a text or Clicker Docs file, or sent in the text of an email. Clicker Docs can also be printed from within the app. You'll find more than just an iPad word processor, though. Useful word banks suggest words to kids as they write, even predicting words based on phonetics and similar spellings, or suggesting words from word banks that have been pre-loaded, downloaded for free from the developer's website, or customized by students or teachers. To create word banks, teachers can cut and paste text to easily create banks or enter a list of words.

Clicker Docs works nicely as an iPad word processor, especially since it's easy to print from. Saving is simple too, though there are limited formats. It's the extra support for kids that make this app really stand out, though. Students can hear their sentences read aloud as they type, which gives them a chance to fix their mistakes or make revisions on the spot. The word banks are a bit tricky to figure out but are well worth the effort. A few are preloaded on the app (like "alternatives to said"), but it's easy to cut and paste text into the word bank creator to quickly add word lists for any subject or topic. There's an option to exclude the more common 100 words (so, and, the, or, etc.) from the word banks. Students with dysgraphia or dyslexia or who have IEP modifications for using a keyboard will find Clicker Docs especially helpful.

Overall Rating

Engagement

Clicker Docs is designed to be more functional than fun, but kids will be engaged by hearing their work come to life as it's read aloud.

Pedagogy

Kids can use it as a word processor with spell check, or they can rely more on the word banks to help formulate ideas. The word banks act like a built-in thesaurus, adding depth to kids' writing.

Support

Download free extension word banks (like seasonal words, helpful writing word banks, and unit study words) with a Learning Grids account (set up in app or on the developer's website).


Common Sense reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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