January 2020

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702
Web: https://www.elr.com.au
Email: news@elr.com.au
Follow: @ELRsoftware

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 and Word Meanings. 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 Upgrade - Responsive Task Layout
  2. Reflections on the Progress of eLr
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2020 Calendar

  1. eLr Update - Responsive Task Layout

  2. This month we've implemented a major upgrade to the eLr display "internals". Briefly, this means the tasks will fit, look and respond better on any device you are using. They'll automatically resize up to make better use of the large, modern computer screens and the iPad-Pro, and resize down for the smaller tablet and phone screens. These changes apply whether you are accessing eLr directly from the internet with a web browser, or an "Offline" App on Windows or iPad/iPhone.

    It could be argued such capability should always have been the case, and we aplogise for the delay. eLr was designed 20 years ago for an underlying web browser and device technology which has subsequently undergone a huge increase in capability and standardization. For example,in the year 2000 when we launched eLr, computers commonly had 800x600 resolution screens (having moved up from 640x480 in the late 1990s, and the first iPad was still a decade way. Now 1920x1080 is a common standard, and most people use touchscreen tablets and phones for internet access. It has not been a trivial task to coerce the more than 14,000 eLr tasks into a new, responsive layout, while at the same time maintaining the underlying design features.

    We hope you'll enjoy this "new look" and bear with us as we continue to fine tune the changes, and extend the principle to more of the eLr layout over the coming months. If you have comments or come across errors, we'd appreciate hearing from you with the particular task details (eg screenshot), and the platform you're using.

  3. Reflections on the Progress of eLr

  4. This year we can reflect not only on 2019, but on the 20th birthday for eLr. I have just re-read our first newsletter, published in March 2001, articulating our original vision which was to "allow a Speech Pathologist to utilise the advantages of the Internet to provide an efficient, stimulating service. Such a resource would allow clinicians to provide the same materials in the clinic, school or home, without the need for photocopying". Since that time, our small team has continued to develop and expand on our original concept to keep pace with the rapid changes in technological development.

    eLr is a subscription-based resource which began as a website launched in February 2000. At that time, computer technology was rarely used within therapy sessions, but our initial trials of use of computer-based resources within therapy sessions revealed advantages such as, increased client engagement, lack of "paper-shuffle", and the ability to move efficiently from one goal to the next. Since that time, eLr has kept pace with technological changes. Firstly, in response to the early problems of accessing the Internet (eg in the late 1990s and early 2000s most schools and clinicians were not using Internet), we developed an "Offline" version of eLr which could be installed onto laptops. And following the release of iPads and Apps, the eLr subscription was expanded to include free access to an eLr iPad App.

    In addition to the technological developments, eLr has grown, firstly in its size (from 1,800 to 14,345 activities), and also in its breadth. The first sections included Phonology (articulation), Semantics (vocabulary knowledge, concepts, following directions), and Reading and Spelling. Over time we have added Using Language (picture sequencing, narratives, similarities and differences, problem solving and inferencing, and "wh" questions) and Sentence Processing (pronouns, verbs, simple and complex sentences). In addition to these "ready to go" activities, there is a section called Activity Toolbox which provides clinicians with a range of tools enabling the design of activities which match the specific needs of individual clients. For example, if a client has a complex phonological disorder, the clinician is able to select target words or pictures matching the client's pattern of sound use (ie their phonological processing disorder).

    Since the early versions of eLr, a few core principles have been maintained. These include:

    Over these past 20 years, our small ELR Software team has enjoyed the feedback and suggestions we have received from subscribing clients. We hope eLr continues to provide a flexible resource for your clinics and schools, and we wish you the very best for 2020.

  5. Other Independent Developers

  6. 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.

  7. Free Downloads

  8. 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.

  9. ELR 2020 Calendar

  10. ELR Software offers free eLr 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. We are also offering free Coviu sessions to allow clinicians to get a feel for teletherapy, and in particular the advantages of using eLr for Coviu. 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, Build-a-Sentence or Word Meanings. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2019 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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