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 -
Our competition to win an iPad ends this month - there are just a few days left to enter! A draw will be held from amongst the entries submitted by midnight November 30th 2012, and the winner will be announced the next day.
To enter the draw you may either join the eLr-Offline iPad App Beta testers, or follow the steps below to enter our "Mouth Sounds Challenge"
Thank you for the many entries so far, and for all your comments and suggestions. In addition to your comments about the model we are keen to discover words that the model can't depict, and are awarding extra entries in the draw for each new word people can find. Here are some of the recently suggested words - these people will receive extra chances of winning the draw.
Words like "gauge" and "washed". We have modified the model to include the "au" spelling of the /ay/ sound as in "gauge" and added "ed" as a spelling choice for the /t/ sound as in washed.
Words such as "mane, sane" were already possible. For example, to spell the word "mane": select the "m" as in "man", the "a_e" as in "safe" for the /ay/ sound, and the "n" for the final /n/ sound. This illustrates how the model copes with the vowels using the "silent e" rule.
Other words suggested this month such as "trimmed" have highlighted a broader issue that we will be addressing in the coming weeks. This involves the spelling of the simple past tense where in some words, the consonant is doubled (eg trim-trimmed).
This competition is to get user feedback about the new model MouthSounds Wordbuilder which uses new graphic representations of all the sounds of English. It has been recently incorporated into the Activity Toolbox-Game Generator where it is permanently available to Registered eLr users as a tool to illustrate the sequence of sounds in single syllable words or nonwords.
There is a link (see below) to versions of this model depicting adult and child faces on the "Mouth Sound Challenge" page to allow you to freely explore these materials.To enter the draw:
Please contact us directly if you want more information about the any of this.
We have developed an iPad App version of eLr-Offline and have had a great response to our request for Beta testers. Thanks very much for your interest and feedback so far. We can still add a few more people, but numbers will be limited. A new release for "December 2012" (build 1.06) is now available which fixes spacing/layout issues in a number of the tasks.
All the content of this App is fully functional and matches that on the website and in the standard Windows version of eLr-Offline. As you would expect, once installed it doesn't need an internet connection to operate and provides immediate access to the now more than 11,600 eLr tasks.
If you are a current eLr subscriber and would like to participate in this free process, please email us from your iPad to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll reply with an invitation to join the group of Beta testers and instructions about how to install the App.
We've been using a service called "Testflight" to signup testers and deliver the App to their iPad. It's worked without issue for most people, but for a few there have been complications and even failure in the installation process. Please contact us if you've had difficulties which have prevented you getting eLr-Offline Beta successfully onto your iPad. We'll also have an alternative mechanism this month which although a bit less sophisticated, is perhaps more reliable.
In addition, all subscribers who participate in this process and provide us with some feedback, will automatically be entered (or re-entered) in our draw to win an iPad (see item above).
Twenty-eight new tasks have been added, and four existing tasks have been revised in "Reading and Spelling-Verb tense endings-Regular". This is part of a review of this section. All tasks use the WordChanger model and appear in "Simple Past - adding 'ed'", in the following subsections:
Within each section the tasks are organised to provide practice with the two forms of the past tense with a singular subject (eg "The child was playing" "The child played") and a plural subject (eg "The children were playing" "The children played"). This clearly demonstrates the specific part of the verb phrase that is modified when the tense changes.
With the advent of touchscreen access to eLr, a number of people have commented that the "forward/back" arrow buttons used in many eLr tasks are a little difficult to precisely touch. We've now made these buttons controllable with a touch gesture to match the existing keyboards shortcuts available in Windows and Mac browsers, and in eLr-Offline on Windows.
These touch gestures will work when using eLr either from the website (as with the Safari browser on an iPad) or when using the new eLr-Offline Beta App on an iPad. The swipe can be anywhere on the screen and should be at least a quarter of the screen width. We've made it this long to try to avoid accidental "knuckle drags" triggering the action.
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.
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.
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.
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