December 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 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) 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).

In this issue -

  1. What's New in eLr
  2. Lr Offline App - Replacement Available!
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2020/2021 Calendar

  1. What's New in eLr

  2. Forty four new tasks have been added to the "Systematic synthetic phonics" (SSP) section within "Reading & Spelling - Early Skills". These new tasks correct an oversight in our earlier development of some of the sub-sections to now include the model ConnectWords - a Connect 4 type game which encourages automatic recognition of words.

    There are two main skills required for skilled reading: being able to accurately read words and having the oral language skills to comprehend the meaning of what has been read. SSP targets the first skill: accurate word reading. In this approach students are taught letter-sound (grapheme-phoneme) knowledge, and how to use that knowledge to sound out and blend sounds to accurately read words.

    The SSP tasks in eLr are organised in groups consistent with Jolly Phonics (an SSP approach). Each of the groups is divided into two subsections. One subsection provides a range of tasks to introduce each grapheme (letter/s), and the second subsection targets all grapheme-phoneme relationships within that level. A range of models (activities) are now avaialble in all subsections. The WordSound Buttons and WordSearch models encourage the student to sound out and blend the sounds to read each word; LookThenCover and SmileyMan support the student's ability to recall spelling patterns; and MemoryWords and ConnectWords provide a fun way to consolidate automatic recognition of previously decoded words (sight words). A further model, WordBreaker, is used for those tasks that target multi-syllabic words. It allows the learner to select a word, attempt to decode, and then examine the word according to how many syllables, how many sounds, and the spelling pattern for the vowel sounds.

    As with all eLr materials, the role of the instructor is a central factor to encourage students to accurately decode, expand vocabulary knowledge, and increase automaticity of word and text reading. For a more detailed discussion about Systematic Synthetic Phonics and how this approach fits within eLr, please see the Nov 2019 edition of ELR-News.

  3. eLr Offline App - Replacement Available!

  4. This edition of ELR-News marks both a return after several months to creation of new eLr content, and the replacement of the existing iPad and Windows eLr-Offline Apps with our new "universal" version which contains new features such as the "MyStack" and "Paste-box" loaders, and, as of this month, new content as outlined above. The existing Windows and iPad eLr-Offline Apps which we've provided for the last 20 and 6 years respectively will no longer be updated and both will be discontinued completely over the next few months.

    The new "eLr-Pro Offline" and "eLr-Guest Offline" will work on all modern computers and tablets. The content on all platforms is absolutely identical, and is integrated and updated with the rest of the eLr website. The "Pro" version is free for registered subscribers and enables selection and delivery of all eLr activities in familiar ways. The "Guest" version is also free and is for clients of registered users who have been provided a specific set of activities for home or school practice.

    We encourage you to install the "Pro" version from www.elr.com.au/elrpro.htm, or "Guest" version from www.elr.com.au/elrguest.htm. They've been developed and tested on Windows (Chrome and MS Edge), MacOS (Chrome), iPad (Safari), and Android tablet and Chromebook (both Chrome) devices. Please be aware - this installation process uses recent browser technologies and is probably unfamiliar to most people - it is all done from within your browser in a process that can generally be described as "Saving to your homescreen". The steps vary slightly according to the device/browser you are using. The "Install" button in each App offers guidance, and we are very happy to be contacted for advice. Once you have an App installed, you'll need to "register" if for ongoing use with the same "Appkeys" we've previously supplied for the iPad eLr-Offline App. If you're not currently a subscriber, please contact us for a free trial.

    You'll probably also find that the web sites indicated above don't load quite as fast as standard eLr web pages. For each App your browser first assembles the entire set of eLr activities, then presents the package for installation. The total size of each App (under 50 MB) is similar to our previous Windows and iPad Apps, and for comparison, each entire App, containing almost 15,000 activities, is equivalent to approximately 20-25 modern digital photos, so the initial installation does take a few moments. Once installed your App will automatically update whenever we change or update the content.

    If you need assistance to transition to the new Apps, please contact us for more specific details or Zoom support. Any other feedback about these Apps will also be much appreciated.

  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 2020/2021 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

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