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 -
A new release of the iPad App version of eLr-Offline Beta for "June 2013" is now available. The main change is the fix "icon font bug" mentioned below. We've also moved to a different format for the versioning so that this release is "Version 22.214.171.124 Build 2.7.0". It's always a big help to let us know the particular version if you are reporting a problem. You can now tap the blue "Edition bar" on the home screen to see these details.
If you've currently got the Beta App installed, you can just respond to the TestFlight invitation to update your App, or go to our alternative download mechanism if you've had trouble with TestFlight (contact us for details if necessary). This new version will recognize current Appkeys, but if your Registration expires, contact us for a new Appkey.
Thanks again to our Beta testers for your interest and feedback so far. As we prepare to submit eLr-Offline to the App store, we'd appreciate feedback about its clinical usefulness that we can add to our submission to Apple.
Eighteen new tasks have been added to the "Using Language" - "Wh Questions" section. All tasks use the Sentence Maker model. Over the past few months we've created almost 100 activities in this section which aims to provide material to teach comprehension of "Wh" questions (eg who, what doing, what, where), and to support expressive language focussing on sentence structure.
The Sentence Maker model incorporates the principles of Colourful Semantics (a system of colour coding the key elements in a sentence). A range of modifications allow the user to tailor the task to suit the needs of the client and the therapy goals, eg de-selecting colour coding and/or deciding whether to display the written sentence to match the picture.
This section is arranged so that you can start at a very basic level, ie teaching the vocabulary first using the "one element" section (eg "who" "what doing" "what" "where"). Then you can gradually expand length and complexity of sentences using the "two element" (eg "who-what doing", "three element" (eg "who-what doing-what"), and "four element" sections (eg "who-what doing-what-where"). There are currently 6 "actors" (who), 18 verbs (what doing), 19 objects (what), and 11 places (where).
As with all eLr materials, we welcome feedback about this model and section. This may include ways that you are using the material and suggestions for improvements.
These fonts are used widely in eLr for activities that use simple coloured icons which can be be resized, moved or otherwise changed. When we first made them, 14 years ago, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the only browser that had a mechanism to view such fonts. Since there was also a version of MSIE available on Macs of the time, most people could use them. Then followed a few years when MSIE was no longer available for newer Macs, and eLr "cross-browser" capability was limited. The last couple of years has seen a major standardization of browser function and it's very pleasing that we've now got these fonts workable for all major browsers, including the iPad.
A number of people reported the iPad App "font bug" in which some of these icons left trail of small fragments behind as they were dragged over the screen. This is now fixed! And since the revision took us "back to basics" we further structured them so that a standard TTF font can be installed on any PC or Mac computer to allow you to incorporate them into you own activities if you wish. They are now available for free download - see below.
The fonts behave a little differently from usual ones. All contain a full, standard "arial" character set, with the symbols mapped to just digits "0" to "9". This means that you can construct materials using the characters of the font for your words and the digits for the symbols. You can use several fonts in a single document (there are 19 different fonts altogether) to achieve the mix of symbols you want.
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. This month we're pleased to let you know of resources created by two separate speech pathologists based in Victoria, Australia.
The Online Cued Articulation course is by Helen Botham of Sounds for Literacy. The course is designed to teach Jane Passy's Cued Articulation to Early Years teachers, and teacher assistants, with a view to their use of Cued Articulation as part of their classroom Phonological Awareness program. It also provides strategies to help students with extra needs. You can read more at www.soundsforliteracy.com.au/elearning.html.
During the course, participants learn:
The course, which takes approximately 5 hours to complete, can be completed at the participant's own pace. The 11 modules contain videos, instruction, activities and practice.
The Spelfabet materials are explicit, systematic synthetic phonics resources by Alison Clarke. They aim to strengthen phonemic awareness and spelling pattern knowledge. You can read more at www.spelfabet.com.au/materials.
The materials include:
All materials are available as PDF downloads in either Comic Sans or Victorian Modern Cursive font. PCS symbols are used to illustrate vocabulary in the workbooks, making them suitable for all ages including teenagers and adults with poor decoding.
Links and brief information about other independent developers 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.
- Speech Pathology Australia 2013 National Conference:
Sunday 23rd - Wednesday 26th
We will have trade stand #5 at this conference. Contact us for further details
ELR Software is also able to offer free 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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