January 2010

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), Build-a-Sentence, Word Meanings Rude Readers 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).

Season's Greetings, and we wish you all a safe and happy new year. And special thanks to all to have provided us feedback - always helpful!

In this issue -

  1. eLr in 2009
  2. New eLr Materials this Month
  3. Web Updating for eLr-Offline
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2010 Calendar

  1. eLr in 2009

    The end of another year for eLr warrants thoughts about progress and plans for the future. Over the past 12 months, nearly 400 new tasks have been added bringing the total to nearly 10,700. We have focused on the following areas:

    1. "Reading and Spelling": Decoding non words in "Long vowel sounds", and the 300, 400, 500 and 600 "Most frequent words".
    2. "Semantics - Concepts": "Spatial" (front/behind, first/middle/between/last, on/under/beside/next to), "Inclusive/exclusive" (a/both, either/or/both/and, all but one/except), "Quantity" (few/many, most/all/some) and "Colour" (basic/other)
    3. "Using Language": "Similarities and differences"
    4. "Activity Toolbox": WordGame builder - Typing with words and PhonPic Tool - Slide show

    These tasks will have been useful for especially those of you who work with clients who have specific literacy problems (word recognition), language delays affecting concept development, and language impairments (understanding associations, and being able to use specific language to express similarities and differences). The Activity Toolbox additions enable you to produce your own tasks that involve rearranging words in a sentence, or producing activities to encourage vocabulary building or descriptive language. So, overall, a fairly broad range of areas have been covered during 2009.

    eLr tasks are designed for clients who have identified impairments or delays in speech, language or literacy skills. One of the most important characteristics of this resource is that it targets specific areas and offers flexible delivery. As a clinician, teacher or parent, you need to have tasks that develop those areas that have been identified as needing intervention, but also be able to modify tasks to suit the language level, attention span, and interests of the client. As a team, we always welcome feedback and comments on the scope and content of tasks. This helps us in the planning of new sections, and in the revision of existing tasks.

    So!.. That was 2009! We hope that you all have a restful holiday break and all the best for 2010.

  2. New eLr Materials this Month

    This month there are 25 new tasks in "Reading and Spelling - Short vowel sounds - three letter words". These tasks all use the Word sound buttons model. The aim of this model is to teach or reinforce the knowledge of sound letter relationships. The target word appears on the screen with a series of buttons under the word. The client is encouraged to first of all, sound out the word, and then to click each button. By saying the sound as the button is clicked the relationship between the sounds of the word, and the letters that spell the word, is reinforced. For these tasks (in "three letter words"), each sound is represented by one letter. But as the client moves on to other sections (such as "Long vowel sounds", "Diphthong vowel sounds), the sounds in words may be represented by more than one letter (digraphs or trigraphs) such as "ay", "ea", "ph" etc.

  3. Web Updating for eLr-Offline

    eLr-Offline can be installed on your own computer and allows you to use eLr without needing an internet connection. We add new materials each month (as above) to the eLr web site which are immediately accessible to all users. But, although we also create a new edition of eLr-Offline each month, many of our users are not getting this (and subsequent updates) until they receive their updated CD each 6 months.

    It has been possible to manually downloaded and install an eLr-Offline update(s) from our website www.elr.com.au/offline, but to date this process has been a little complicated. However, with the changes to the core program discussed last month, we now have been able to include integrated "web updating" in eLr-Offline. Look in the "Help" menu and click on the item "Check for updates". The program will check (you'll need to be connected to the web) whether a newer edition is available, you'll see a confirmation box, then follow the prompts and the newest edition will be retrieved and installed for you.

    Obviously, since this month's edition (Jan 2010) is the first with "web updating" if you try it this month you'll get a message telling you the you already have the most recent version! And of course, since the older 2009 editions don't have this mechanism, you'll have to wait for an update CD, or use the former manual processes (please contact us for details if you're unsure).

    In any case, all users will have this this new "web updating" by the end of June this year, and we're keen to see as many as possible begin using it so that you can get the fullest value from eLr.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. ELR 2010 Calendar

    ELR Software is now able to offer eLr support and short tutorials over the web. We can provide this sort of support to individuals, or to groups who would like to have an overview of eLr. Please contact us for details.

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, Build-s-Sentence or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2010 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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