March 2021

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. Automatic Updating of the "Universal eLr Offline Apps"
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2021 Calendar

  1. What's New in eLr

  2. Seventeen new tasks have been added to "Reading and Spelling - early skills" in the some of the "Consonant Sounds" subsections /p, b, t, d, k, g, ch, dge, f, v, s, z/. All news tasks use the WordBreaker model. This model is useful to strengthen word reading and spelling using a word study approach. A word is selected from the available group and its syllables, consonant sounds, vowel sounds, and stress pattern can be displayed. This allows the instructor to teach a range of concepts: breaking words into syllables and sounds, identifying the vowel sound, discovering how stress pattern impacts on the pronunciation of some vowel sounds (eg the schwa vowel), and finally, encouraging automatic recognition of words.

    The WordBreaker model appears in most of the "Reading and Spelling" subsections. It is especially useful when teaching the various spelling patterns of particular vowel sounds. For example, the /er/ sound may be spelled as "er, ear, ir, ur, or". Once these spelling patterns have been mastered, the student may then be encouraged to consolidate letter-sound knowledge by WordBreaker tasks which include all of these spelling patterns. After each word has been examined, the student "sorts" the word to groups, according to the vowel spelling pattern, eg words spelled with "er" (term, her, verb, fern), versus those spelled with "ir" (stir, dirt, skirt, girl).

    As with all eLr materials, the role of the instructor is a central factor to encourage accurate responses from the learner. In the examples above, expanding knowledge of the meanings of words by discussion and using the word in a range of sentences, helps develop connections between the word (orthographic representation), the pronunciation (semantic representation), and the meaning (semantic representation).

    We welcome your feedback about these tasks and any aspect of eLr, as well as your suggestions about additions and modifications to eLr.

  3. Automatic Updating of the "Universal eLr Offline Apps"

  4. Our new eLr-Pro Offline and eLr-Guest Offline "Universal Apps" have now replaced the separate, no longer updated, Windows and iPad versions of eLr-Offline. Although intended primarily for use where internet connection is poor or inconvenient, these new Apps also provide a very child friendly delivery of eLr on modern touchscreen devices such as iPad and Android tablets, and MS Surface and Chromebook notepad type computers.

    In addition to running on all current devices, these Apps also have an automatic, self-updating mechanism. This is triggered each time the App is restarted, for example, on an iPad, after you've swiped away an App's thumbnail, then opened it again; or similarly on computers, after you've closed the App (using the "X" on Windows or the "red button" on Mac), and then later reopened it.

    At each such restart, the App does a quick web check (if possible) for a new or updated version. If one is available, it does a background download of the updated content while continuing to operate using the (now) older content. But the next time you restart the App it will have replaced that older content with the new. We generally add new material around the middle of each month, and small errors tend to be fixed (as for the eLr web site) as they are discovered. It usually doesn't matter if you "miss" some of these changes, but it would be good practice to aim to allow for at least monthly updating. No operator intervention is required, other than to occasionally fully close the App, and open it during times when you have an internet connection.

    If you've not already done so, you can install the "Pro" version from www.elr.com.au/elrpro.htm, or "Guest" version from www.elr.com.au/elrguest.htm. 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. If you're not currently a subscriber, please contact us for a free trial.

  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 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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