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 -
There are 14 new tasks this month. Ten of the tasks are in a new sub-section in "Semantics-Categories", called "Sorting". The aim of these tasks is to strengthen vocabulary skills, and the ability to understand the concept of categories. The IconPositioner model is used. In this model a scene is displayed on the screen, the client clicks the "Go" button and with each click an icon appears. The client is encouraged to name the icon, name the category, and then drag the icon to an appropriate position on the scene. The tasks this month are in the easiest level, called "Common". At this level, there are two categories per task (eg "animals/flowers", "vehicles/buildings"). In later editions, the tasks will be at a more challenging level with more than two categories per task.
This model allows for a number modifications to suit client needs and skill level. For example, you can:
- * select to work on only one category at a time. This allows you to focus on teaching one category, then the next category, and then do the task with both categories.
- * select "One", "Two", or "Many" icons to appear with each click. This provides variation, and also the ability to reinforce other concepts, such as counting, use of plurals etc.
- * select "Accumulate". This means the icons will remain on the screen until you finish the activity. With "Accumulate" switched off, the icons disappear each time you click the "Go" button.
Depending on the goals for the client, this activity can be modified to work on other related goals. For example, to expand sentences, you can use techniques such as modeling or repetition, eg "I'll put the flower on the bush", or, "I'll put the flower on the bush with the blue flowers".
Four other new tasks appear in "Concepts-Spatial-First/Middle/Between/Last". The IconPositioner model is also used in these activities. It encourages the client to use language to describe concepts. As described above, this model allows you to work on each concept separately, and then to consolidate knowledge by working on all concepts at the same time.
It is now 10 years since we launched eLr and as part of a review of what's needed for its future we've made some small changes to freshen the look of the pages and tasks. There's a new shiny logo, and buttons have a slightly glossy look. In addition to being more consistent with modern web and browser design, we think this look will be more familiar to a generation of children using glowing screens on games, phones and so on.
eLr has a design ethic in which the layout has been minimalist so as not to interfere with the therapy session, and to load quickly over slow internet connections if necessary. These new changes barely add to the page "weight" and so will not materially effect loading times. We welcome any feedback.
We have released a new version of Word Meanings (ver 184.108.40.206) which now works on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. In addition to fixing some Windows 7 issues and a few other minor issues, a new installer program should prevent false positive alerts from some "Antivirus" programs. It may be downloaded from www.elr.com.au/meanings and is also included on the current eLr-Offline distribution CD. In both cases this is the full version of the program, but if you don't have a valid "registration key" it will behave in an "unregistered" mode.
If you, or your clients, have been having problems running Word Meanings on your current computer, you should download and install this new version, or contact us about obtaining a new CD.
The Speech Pathology Conference is now a few weeks away. ELR Software will be at stand #46. We look forward to meeting you. So come and say hello, give us feedback about the resources, and have a look at new material that you may not have seen. The conference will be at the Crown Promenade Conference Centre, and runs from Sunday 16th May to Wednesday 19th May 2010.
Our main resource is "eLr - Extra Language Resources". This is a set of over 10,700 activities designed for use with children and adults who have speech, language, or literacy impairments. It is also being used within regular classrooms to provide a greater range of language and literacy activities. eLr is available by subscription. It is web based, and subscribers receive an eLr-Offline CD which enables them to use the resources without having to connect to the web.
"Build-a-Sentence" was developed by speech pathologists Helen Goltzoff, Virginia Long, and the ELR Software team. It is an interactive program that encourages the development of vocabulary, and expansion of sentences from single words, to two and three part sentences.
"Word Meanings" was developed by speech pathologists Robyn Dower, Jan Mackay and the ELR Software team. It is an interactive language program to build understanding and recall of words by strengthening semantic processing. It is based on cognitive neuropsychological theory, and provides feedback about accuracy, and a record of the client's performance.
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.
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 2010 National Conference:
Sunday 16th - Wednesday 19th
We will have trade stand #46 at this conference. Contact us for further details
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