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 (and previous editions) 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 -
There are 35 new tasks using a whole new range of wonderful images (thanks Anna). These appear in the new subsection called Auditory Discrimination in Phonology (see changes section below) which breaks out into minimal-pair sets which present sounds with "high", "medium" or "low contrast". They have been organised in two ways. Some tasks are orientated to developmental processes (eg fronting, initial consonant deletion), and other tasks are aimed at general auditory discrimination. To date, the tasks focus on minimal pairs involving consonants. We are developing further images to enable minimal pairs which contrast the vowel sounds.
A new memory game task has also been added to the Activity Toolbox Section. It works in a similar way to the other PhonPic Tool in this section. The difference is that once you have selected your vocabulary, you are then able to play a memory game.
The Activity Toolbox was a new section added last month, and is designed to be used by clinicians. It will have an increasing number of tasks which enable you to select either specific vocabulary for a task, or eventually, to be able to print a range of game boards etc.
The EIA browser has now been installed more than 45 libraries within Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. A survey of the outcomes of these installations is about to occur so that further developments can be planned.
The browser was selected because it enables people who are unfamiliar with computers to easily use the Internet. Many people may find control of the mouse difficult, or the usual browsers too confusing. The survey will invite comments about its usefulness from the users point of view, and also its impact on staffing/training issues in the library. The results of the survey will be published in the next couple of months.
Many of the tasks can be used in multiple ways. For example, the first task (below) was designed to be used as a listening task, and the second one was aimed to expand semantic skills. However, they can be also be used to strengthen expressive language skills as follows:
Use Semantics-Spoken word/picture match-Single word. The level of difficulty ranges from the easier Unrelated general setion, and progresses through to the harder Related specific section. Choose tasks which have field of 4, 6, or 8 (depending on the client). To strengthen use of specific vocabulary, the client thinks of one of the items, and provides clues so that the listener can guess the item. This works well in small groups. The person giving the clues must use specific vocabulary in their descriptions, and the listeners make use of inferencing skills to work out the item.
Use Semantics-Categories. When doing the tasks in any of these sections, encourage the client to select the items in the specific category, then to name more items in that same category. When doing the "odd word out" tasks, encourage the client to explain the reason the word doesn't belong in the category. This encourages use of specific vocabulary to explain reasons.
There has been a change to the order and some names in the Directory. Phonology now appears at the top of the Directory (this section was previously called Phonology - Developmental Processes). We changed the name to a simple Phonology because we have expanded this this section with new tasks which are useful for a range of diagnostic categories - developmental phonology, literacy development, and acquired language disorders.
Phonology - Later Sounds is now called Phonology - Sound by Sound. This name more clearly describes the difference between the two phonology sections, ie that one is organised according to each sound, and the other is directed other phonological approaches.
There have also been minor corrections in the following tasks: 1018 171, 1004 134, 1011 168, 1036 163, 1023 249.
As always, please feel free to email us if you come across errors, or tasks which have an "irritation" of some sort! We just need to task number, so that we can locate it and make changes.
TechFest 2001 held in Launceston and Hobart (Tasmainia) was a great success and a tribute to the organisers. We understand that more than 5,000 people attended over the 2 days. Our stand was continually visited by clinicians, teachers and a large number of end users of the materials on display at the event. It's always useful to get direct feedback about our developments, and to put faces to our scattered clients. If this is your first ELR Newsletter, as a result of providing your email address at Techfest, "welcome" and we hope you find our materials interesting.
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.
Rob and Toni will be presenting workshops entitled "Internet Therapy Options for Speech Pathologists" in Sydney and Brisbane. These two hour sessions will focus on the use of eLr and EIA by Speech pathologists. Admission will be free and participants will have an opportunity for special pricing on our products.
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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