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 -
For August, there is one new task and a new section in the eLr Directory. You'll find this solitary addition the most powerful task we've yet done, and most of this Newsletter is directed at explaining its operation. The discussion may also serve as a refresher for use of other eLr tasks. We hope you enjoy this new material. As with all other aspects of eLr, we would love to hear from you. Your comments about ease of use, confusions, or any errors are most appreciated.
The new PhonPic Tool is directed primarily at phonological intervention. It allows the clinician to select a set of single syllable words according to particular phonological patterns. For example, you could select words which have the initial sounds /s, z, sh/, final sounds /t, d, p/, and vowel sounds /ah, ee/, or any other combination that you may need. This task will be useful for phonological process therapy, and as you can select according to vowel sounds, you will also be able to select rhyming words.
Use the first screen of this task to select a set of words, then move to a second screen to see the matching pictures as game of printable "cards". When you load the PhonPic Tool, you will see the following features:
- Sound Selector - panels of buttons displaying phonetic sound symbols
- Click on the phonetic symbols to obtain the set of available words (for which we also have a matching pictograph). You can click any number of symbols in the initial, final and medial positions. You can also make choices according to only one of the positions. For example, you may only want words with a certain vowel, so you would select only that vowel. Or, you may want certain sounds in the final position, or any other combination. To remove a selected sound, click its symbol a second time. And, by letting the cursor dwell on a phonetic symbol, a little help box appears with example words for the sound - in case you're a little rusty on phonetic symbols.
- Available words - a scrollable text box of the available word(s) for a chosen sound(s)
- As you make choices by clicking on the sounds in the Sound Selector, you will see words appearing in the Available words section on the right side of the screen. These are all the words that you can choose from to come up with your final set of words.
- Selected words - a text box showing the current list of selected words
- Click on the Available word(s) you want to appear in your task to add then to the list chosen words appearing in the Selected Words box (the words you have selected also show in bold print in the Available words). If you change your mind, and you want to remove a word from the Selected words, click on the word and it will disappear from the list. You can select up to 12 words per set.
- VCR buttons
- The VCR buttons are located on the top left corner of the screen, as on many of the eLr tasks. In this model they enable you to view your pictures, and play a simple card game.
- Click on the FastForward (double forward arrows) button to see the set of pictures to match your selected words. Click on each picture to "flip" the card.
- Clicking on the Forward and Back buttons allows you to flip all the cards over (or back) at once.
- Click on the FastBack (double back arrows) button and you will be returned to the Sound Selector page
- Radio buttons and check boxes
- These are located along the top of the screen. Many of these selections are available in other eLr Tasks.
- Autosize allows you to choose how big you want the pictures to be, but is dependant on how many pictures are in the set. With 9 or more pictures they will always be the smallest size, so they can fit on a single screen. However, if you have 8 or fewer pictures, Autosize will allow pictures to be maximised to fit the screen. If you always want the same size (say, to print out a set of uniformly sized cards), click Autosize off, so the pictures are always the smallest size.
- Words - by clicking words, only the word for the picture appears
- Images - clicking on images means only the pictures appear
- Both - when this is clicked on, both words and pictures appear
- Help - click off help and the short instruction line will disappear, reducing screen "clutter" and providing a little more screen space
- Colour selector
- This function is on all eLr tasks. By clicking on one of the colours you (or your client) can choose the colour of the background screen. A subsequent use of the VCR FastBack button will also re-set the matching screen colours (as used for the backs of cards for example)
This month we have added a new section to the Directory - the Activities Toolbox. This is an exciting development in eLr, as it will allow clinicians much greater flexibility to cater for individual needs of clients. The features of this section are that:
- It will contain tasks which enable the clinician to customize specific content for individual client. The first model in this collection (the PhonPic Tool) is intended for phonology, but later models will allow selection according to other criteria, eg semantic categories.
- Many of the tasks will be usable on screen as interactive games, such as the PhonPic Tool model which can be used as a simple card game. In future months, we will devise other games, such as "memory" and "slide shows".
- It is also intended that a lot of the material will be useful as printed resources. From the screen, you can print the selection of pictures for use within other table games, or to make up a set of pictures.
- The Activities Toolbox is only available to subscribers, and not through the Guest Access mechanism. These selections are intended for clinicians who wish to build their own sets of activities using eLr materials. Most will need clinical judgement and knowledge to enable appropriate selections.
There have been modifications to the following tasks: 1016-186, 1016-224, 1016-103, 1016-288, 1009-128, 1012-142, 1020-121, 1020-121, 1033-155, 1034-199. Most of these changes have occurred because of minor errors (eg spelling, or words in the wrong position), or because when using a task, a better way to present the task was suggested. This is one of the positive aspects of the web based resource. The changes can be made instantly, and are then available for all users to access.
Unregistered trial version (fully functional, but pages watermarked as "unregistered")
Unregistered trial version (fully functional, but time limited)
Demonstration of Browser, Tutorial and AAP
For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see http://www.elr.com.au/support.htm.
EIA Software Pty Ltd will be participating at both sites with a display of eLr, Touchscreen technology, and the EIA Browser, EIA Tutorial, and the EIA Awareness & Assessment Protocol (AAP).
The Low Incidence Unit of Education Queensland is holding its 2001 Training and Development Seminar for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists at the Riverglenn Conference Centre at Indooroopilly in Brisbane. ELR Software will be attending as part of the Trade Display. We look forward to meeting up with our colleagues in sunny Queensland.
The Australian Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Association Conference 2001 is to be held at the Carlton Crest Hotel in Brisbane. More than 300 delegates from Australia and overseas will be attending the conference. There is usually a mix of clients, assistive technology vendors, and professionals including speech pathologists, occupational therapists, orthotists, physiotherapists, rehabilitation engineers and educators. ELR Software will be presenting a 2.5 hour workshop covering the increasing range of products which have been developed by us over the past 3 years.
The ALIA 2001 Conference will be held in the Melbourne Convention Centre on the corner of Flinders and Spencer streets. ALIA is the professional organisation for the Australian library and information services sector and this conference will feature presentations and discussions of new developments in public libraries. ELR Software has submitted a paper for consideration and hopefully we'll be presenting this paper, as well as having a trade stand there. On our stand we'll have the EIA Browser with new software enhancements, in particular "WordCue", as well as several, different types of touchscreens suitable for use in libraries and other public locations.
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Copyright ©2001 ELR Software Pty Ltd
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