August 2006

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software produces a range of computer programs designed by speech pathologists for speech, language & literacy intervention. Our programs may be used interactively within therapy sessions, to increase efficiency in service delivery, and to improve access to the Internet for people with special needs. We are also available as consultants to clinicians and research projects in the fields of literacy and accessibility issues associated with the Internet.

The aim of this newsletter is to inform you of developments and changes to our major products eLr (Extra Language Resources), Rude Readers, Word Meanings and EIA (Enhancing Internet Access). We welcome the opportunity for feedback and questions, and will be pleased to consider including reader contributions and announcements.

This Newsletter (and previous editions) as well as a "print-ready" PDF version of the current edition is available online at www.elr.com.au/news. An email version is also sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. New and Changed eLr Materials
  2. Other Independent Developers
  3. Free Downloads
  4. ELR 2006 Calendar

  1. New and Changed eLr Materials

    New tasks

    This month there are 449 new tasks in the "Reading and Spelling" and "Phonology Later Sounds" sections, using a new model called ConnectWords. We have had feedback from some schools indicating that more activities suitable for independent use would be desirable - so... ConnectWords was devised. This game is based on the well known "Connect-Four" game, and it provides a challenging game that will appeal to a large number of clients, which means they will enjoy doing the language related activities. The new tasks contain the same content as the existing SmileyMan tasks, so you can now provide a greater range of practice with the literacy and phonology targets.

    The aim of ConnectWords is to get 4 words in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally), but unlike traditional Connect-Four, our game can continue until all words are used. Each player accrues points as they either get 4 words in a row, or add to their rows of 4 or more words. This means that clients cat get lots of practice reading or saying all of the words in a particular task.

    There are many ways to modify the difficulty of the game (so even I was able to win!). The game can be played between 2 players, or by selecting "1" player, you can play against the computer. When playing against the computer you can select a difficulty level (low, medium or high). High is quite difficult, and if you have clients who beat the computer feel free to let them email us and boast. The size of the game can be modified to suit age or level of client. A twenty word game (5x4) is the easiest, thirty words (6x5) is medium and forty-two words (7x6) is the hardest.

    As with all of the eLr activities, the value of listening to client responses and providing modeling and feedback is a strong design feature. So it is suggested that if the client plays against the computer, an extra requirement might be that they write the words that they have won. This means they will be practising reading, writing and spelling skills.

    Changed Tasks

    In developing this new ConnectWords game we realized that it can be helpful to be able to get lists of words used by the task (without having to actually play the game). So the Help screen has been modified to have a new section in which a plain word list for the current task is displayed. Click on the [?] button at the top-right of an eLr task and look for the tab headed "Task Content". If you wish you can copy this content to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere such as in you records or a report. Other models will also benefit from this mechanism and we'll be extending it over the next few months. So far we've done this for just the related word game models SmileyMan, WordSearch, LookThenCover and MemoryWords.

  2. Other Independent Developers

    As an occasional feature of this Newsletter, we include simple, unpaid announcements of products developed by other small, independent developers, who, like ourselves, are practising clinicians who have put their ideas and experience into resource materials for general distribution. Links and brief information about these sites may be found at www.elr.com.au/links/developers.htm. To date we have listed -

    If you would like your materials listed on this page (at no charge), please contact us.

  3. Free Downloads

    ELR has a number of free or evaluation files available for downloading directly from our website. Please see www.elr.com.au/downloads.htm for specific details. For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see www.elr.com.au/support.htm.

  4. ELR 2006 Calendar

Subscribing/Unsubscribing to this Newsletter

You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Rude Readers, Word Meanings or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2006 ELR Software Pty Ltd

Postal ELR Software Pty Ltd
PO Box 1456
VIC 3875, Australia
(03) 5156 8309
1800 018 309
+61 3 5156 8309
(03) 5156 8609
+61 3 5156 8609