Product Review: Cloze Pro Version 2

By Muncie Kardos

By Muncie Kardos

I have yet to see someone watch a demonstration of Cloze Pro for the first time who doesn’t say the same thing, “WOW!”

And so it began….My review of original Cloze Pro published in May 2006; Cloze Pro Version 2 has arrived, new and improved, but all I can say is that it’s still got the “wow” factor.

For those of you who may be new to Cloze Pro let me offer a review. Cloze Pro is a software program that enables the user to create a Cloze activity in a matter of seconds. Enter the text by typing, or cutting and pasting into the program, select the text that you wish to remove, click an icon and PRESTO, you have a Cloze activity. It’s that easy, it’s that fast…the words that have been removed now appear as a word bank at the bottom of the screen (or on the side if you so choose), and you have an electronic fill-in-the-blank activity ready and waiting (example 1). Yes, I know I am repeating myself a bit from my last review, but the ease of use fortunately has not changed, and the features that made it seem like nothing short of a magic trick still remain.

What has changed though, and certainly for the better, are the voices. The text-to-speech engine has been upgraded to Acapela male and female voices, replacing the Tin-Lizzie of the original version. Other changes have been the expansion of the graphics library. You now have access to the Crick Picture Library 2 that is also found in Clicker 5; this is an expansive library with over 1800 pictures. In addition, you can quickly import your own pictures into activities that you are making, enabling personalization that is so often motivating to kids.  Other “glitches” have also been fixed surrounding compatibility issues with updated operating systems in both Windows and Mac, as well as issues associated with Internet Explorer.

The end result is a fabulous tool for differentiating instruction across the curriculum. For students who struggle with reading decoding, the text-to-speech feature removes the barrier posed by those still learning to read, enabling them to read to learn. For students who need multiple choice for individual questions, the “blanks” can be supported with a pop-up menu, allowing them to focus on the immediate text (example 2). For students who need a more generic style word bank, the choices can appear at the bottom or side of the screen, and settings can be adjusted to have the words removed as they are used, or to be reordered as the student progresses through the text, distracter words can also be added very easily if desired. And if that wasn’t enough, a block of text can be broken down into individual sentences that appear on the screen one at a time, for the “less is more” learner.

Cloze Pro Version 2 works with both Windows and Mac and is compatible with the continuum of operating systems found on both platforms. It continues to stand strong as a solid performer in the family of software programs offered by Crick. Kudos to Crick Software for keeping the “wow factor” and not fixin’ what ain’t broke with their new version of Cloze Pro! Well done.