December 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).

In this issue -

  1. New eLr Activities
  2. Update Your Own Copy of eLr-Offline
  3. Win an Apple iPad
  4. Other Independent Developers
  5. Free Downloads
  6. ELR 2010 Calendar

  1. New eLr Activities

    Thirty-nine new tasks have been added to "Semantics-Picture Associations-Other Associations". These tasks use the PicPairs model, and focus on the ability to detect associations between pictures. The PicPairs model displays pictures on the left and right sides of the screen. The client clicks a picture on the left, and then selects the matching picture on the right. Reinforcement for correct response is provided by red highlighting and the two correct pictures move to the centre of the screen, further reinforcing the association.

    In these tasks the clinician or helper is central to develop a range of language processing skills. For example:

    • At the beginning of the task, encourage the client to name each picture. This strengthens expressive vocabulary and word retrieval.
    • Once the client has chosen the two pictures that match, encourage the client to describe how they go together. This may involve producing a category name (eg "they are both animals"), or it might be how the objects are used (eg "you use a hammer to hit a nail").
    • For extended expressive language practice, encourage the client to provide reasons for the association, or more information.

    Within this section there are varying levels of difficulty. The tasks this month are in the "Field of 3" subsection. This means there are only 3 pairs on the screen. Existing subsections also contain tasks with "Field of 2" or "Field of 4". The tasks are also labelled "lower level" or "higher level". The "lower level" tasks involve associations that are concrete, whereas the "higher level" tasks require more world knowledge and the associations are not as obvious.

  2. Update Your Own Copy of eLr-Offline

    eLr-Offline is a standalone program which lets you use eLr on your own computer (Windows only) without needing any internet connection. This mechanism was introduced in the early days of eLr to support those users who had no or slow internet connections. Internet availability and speed continues to improve, and devices such as the iPad now let you easily run eLr directly from the web, but eLr-Offline remains very popular for installation on laptop computers for use "out of the office".

    We create a new edition of eLr-Offline every month to include all new and changed eLr materials. Each edition is named for the month of preparation eg "Dec 1010" and it remains operational for the subsequent 12 months. So it's important that you always have an edition of eLr-Offline that's less than 12 months old. To date we've provided subscribers with a CD containing the current edition at the time of subscription/re-subscription, and then every 6 months while their subscription remains current. It's also been possible for any subscriber to download and install the current edition directly from our website www.elr.com.au/offline. We described in the July version of ELR-News how to use the "Check for update" option (on the "Help" menu) to simplify this process.

    Any current edition of eLr-Offline can operate in a "Registered" or "Unregistered" mode; the difference is the presence of a "Registration key" - a tiny computer file than informs your copy of eLr-Offline about your subscription status, User ID, PIN etc. Again, this has previously been distributed on and automatically installed from the CD we provide to subscribers. But now you can retrieve your specific key file directly from the eLr website using the new "Get registration key" option also on the "Help" menu. More information about eLr-Offline and these processes is included in our FAQ page at www.elr.com.au/support/elrfaq.htm.

    Together the "Check for update" and "Get registration key" will allow our subscribers to easily obtain a current, fully operational version of eLr-Offline every month if they wish. Our plan is to use the next year to encourage and train subscribers about this process so that we can offer the CD an "optional extra" for those that need it, but keep the subscription rates unchanged for everybody else. All existing subscribers (as at the end of June 2011) will continue to receive the eLr-Offline for free if they wish.

  3. Win a Apple iPad

    Next month we'll have full details for the "Win an iPad" draw we announced in ELR-News last month. This will be drawn at the Speech Pathology Australia 2011 National Conference in Darwin at the end of June 2011. To be eligible you must be a current subscriber at the time of the conference. This date also coincides with the changes to the cost for the eLr-Offline CD referred to above.

  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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