John Galloway looks at the free, ready-to-use website materials from Crick Software
Clicker, the best-known software from the Crick stable, is now in its fifth incarnation and undoubtedly, just like all of its predecessors, it will be a prize winner. It's the combination of simplicity and sophistication that marks out this resource, a characteristic of everything the company produces. John and Ann Crick, the husband and wife team behind the company, both have teaching backgrounds, as do several members of their staff, and it shows - not only in what they produce but in the supporting materials they produce to help busy teachers get on with their jobs. All four of their major products - Clicker, Wordbar, ClozePro and Jigworks - have ready-to-use materials freely available on the Learning Grids website, often for the same subjects, so that more than one program can be used to support the same learning objective in different ways in class.
"The purpose for Learning Grids is twofold. One is to enable teachers to share what they've developed and used in their classrooms. They retain copyright and their name is published on the site. The other reason is to give teachers who are using our software a starting point so they can easily find materials to support the teaching and learning in their classrooms," says John.
Once you've gone through the free registration process, there are more than 400 resources available in 19 different categories on the site, including adult learners, theatre studies and themes such as Bonfire Night or the Olympics.
While all the national curriculum subjects are covered, the materials are categorised more broadly as this software is internationally renowned, with Clicker being translated into four other languages so far. This ethos of supporting teachers in sharing resources will soon extend to let individuals, schools and LEAs have their own areas on the site for doing just that with locally created content.
These initiatives help to ensure Crick software continues to meet the demands of the classroom.
* Crick Software Stand IT30 www.cricksoft.comuk www.learninggrids.comuk