The aim of this newsletter is to inform you of developments and changes to our major products eLr (Extra Language Resources) 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 is available online at http://www.elr.com.au/news and an email version is sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing) .
In this issue -
eLr-Offline is the compiled version of the full eLr Website which will run directly from your computer, without connection to the Internet (as reported in the March Newsletter). It is available to both our subscribers and anyone else who would like a trial examination of the program (non-subscribers will see certain pages watermarked as "Unregistered"). eLr-Offline is re-built on about the 15th of each month and the current version is placed on our Website for FREE DOWNLOAD.
A mini-CD containing eLr-Offline is also automatically included with all subscriptions, along with a valid User ID and PIN for use with the CD and Website. Each 6 months, an updated CD is mailed to each subscriber to replace and upgrade the previous version. For more information, please see http://www.elr.com.au/offline.
A new document (presently only in PDF format), called "Practice Notes" has been placed in the support area on the eLr Website. Many teachers had requested a little guidance in selecting suitable activities for different skill areas since Speech Pathology reports often list general areas that need to be strengthened (eg "oral narrative", "phonological awareness"). Practice Notes is an attempt to briefly describe the nature of common target areas, to give some general guidelines in activities which can be used, and to also highlight how the eLr tasks can be used and modified to suit the overall program for the student.
eLr tasks are designed with specific goals in mind, but many of the tasks can be presented in a modified way to target a range of goals. An example of this may be seen in the section - Semantics-Spoken word/picture match (eg 1036-110). These tasks are designed for auditory comprehension at the single word level - the therapist or aide names a word, and the student points to the matching picture. The tasks can also be used in a modified way to strengthen use of specific vocabulary in students with weakness in oral narrative skills. Have the student look at all of the pictures and provide "clues" for one of the pictures. The listener (therapist) then guesses which picture the student is describing. By selecting sets of pictures from a Related category (eg 1036-133), the task becomes more difficult, as the items are closely related and therefore require use of precise and specific vocabulary.
Practice Notes is a living document, as is the rest of the site. The first release version (1.2) is currently on the web at http://www.elr.com.au/support/elrprac.pdf, and additions and modifications will occur over time. Feel free to email or phone to comment or contribute to this document.
We've had some communications from subscribers about ways they have used eLr in modified forms. Some of them are listed below:
Go to Semantics-Naming-Verbs-Daily living (or Other verbs). While these tasks are designed as "naming" tasks, they can also be used to stimulate production of sentences containing verb structures. There are 3 models - Picture Flyout, Pic Cards, and Slide Show. Each model presents pictures of actions such as hopping, laughing, walking. Other more specific vocabulary includes diving, canoeing, skating etc. All these pages can be printed and used as paper based activities.
Go to Semantics-Complex Instructions. These tasks have been designed to strengthen the ability to follow and give specific instructions. The model is a "Drag'n'Drop". In each task, a central scene or theme is on the screen, with small pictures around the scene, which can be dragged onto the picture.
With imagination, various phonological targets can also be practised using sentences that contain target words. For example, the word "go" can be incorporated into many of the activities ("the big horse goes in the red shed"). The sound "th" can be practised using sentences which contain "think" ("I think the big lion should go in the red truck").
The EIA Browser, operating from a Touchscreen, is now installed in more than 40 libraries in Victoria and South Australia. Most have also included the Web Tutorial module. If you live near one of these libraries, you may be interested to visit and see how this system can make Web access easier for older persons and others with special needs. For more information, please see http://www.elr.com.au/eiad.
An article eLr Web Based Service Delivery for Schools, has been published in the February issue of ACQ (Volume 3, Number 1 2001). This is a publication of Speech Pathology Australia which serves as a professional forum for members of the Association. Issues are published in February, June and October of each year.
The eLr article briefly describes the eLr program and its key features (eg its interactive nature, no use of digitised speech, use of subtle reinforcement, non-computer based scoring). The reasons for each of these features are described.
The "eLr Service Delivery Project" is in progress and its design is described in the article. The eLr team began investigating the potential of web delivery of speech pathology resource materials, (specifically eLr), in November 1999. Following feedback from the first stage of this project, changes and additions were made to the site to enable efficient documentation of therapy program goals. The project continued during 2000, and the progress to August 2000 is described in the article.
We are grateful that you have taken the time to contact us, and would welcome any feedback - including where the errors occur.
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