Clicker Docs

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Clicker Docs App Poster Image
Word processor offers extra support for struggling writers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn effective writing practices with Clicker Docs. The features model good writing practices that kids can pick up on and implement even when writing outside the app. They'll hear words read aloud at the end of each sentence and learn how important it is to read over what they've written and revise. They'll also see, thanks to the word bank word suggestions, how changing a word can have a real impact on the tone and quality of their writing. Kids with dyslexia or dysgraphia who may struggle to get their ideas onto paper may be able to write much more fluently using a word processor. Clicker Docs is a good writing tool with handy word banks and other features that can help boost kids' writing skills.

Ease of Play

As with any word processor, there's a learning curve to figuring out all the features. It'll just take a little time to set up the word banks and get familiar with the tool. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Clicker Docs is a word processor that also reads text aloud at each punctuation mark and offers word choices for misspelled words or from word banks that can be loaded into the app. This app is particularly beneficial for kids who struggle with written expression. The app has word prediction and helps kids expand their vocabulary choices. Kids who also have difficulty editing their work can hear their document after they input punctuation. This feature can help kids learn to edit and revise their work independently. Kids can share their documents via email or save them to Dropbox. Kids can type using the iPad touchscreen or an Apple-compatible keyboard. 

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What's it about?

CLICKER DOCS is a fully functional word processor for the iPad. The touchscreen keyboard is simplified for kids with letters, numbers, and punctuation in a simple font. At the end of each sentence, it reads that sentence aloud to kids so they can hear whether something doesn't sound right and revise accordingly. It predicts word choices, too, to help with spelling. Kids also can use preloaded word banks to help them find the best word, or they can create their own word banks. There's quite a bit of customization available: choice of fonts for the document, voices for the read-aloud, or choices to speak each letter, word, or sentence as it's typed. The spelling checker can be turned on or off, as can the word predictor. The database size for word prediction can be set to small (250 words) for young writers, to medium with 2,500 words, or to large (20,000 words) for more advanced writers. Documents can be saved on the device, to Google Drive, or to a connected Dropbox account. They also can be printed from the device, emailed as a Clicker document or text file, pasted into an email, or shared as a PDF or via Google Drive.

Is it any good?

Clicker Docs works nicely as an iPad word processor, especially since it's easy to print and save. It's the extra support for kids that make it really stand out. Hearing their sentences read to them as they type lets kids hear how they sound, giving them a chance to fix mistakes or revise to make them sound as they intended. The word banks are a bit tricky to figure out but are well worth the effort. A few are preloaded on the app (such as 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," and so on) so they won't be included in the word banks unless they're wanted.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about and create word banks of spelling or vocabulary words to encourage kids to use those in their writing.

  • Kids can write their papers using Clicker Docs and then cut and paste them into other programs.

  • For faster typing, use a Bluetooth keyboard.

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