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 33 new tasks in "Phonology - Later Sounds". We are continuing to review Phonology and this month have focused on the /r/ and /th/ sounds. Most of the new tasks use the LadderPics model, which is a game based on "Snakes and Ladders". We have also used SpinPics, MemoryPics and TicTacPics. All of these games provide variety and motivating ways to encourage your client to practice producing words containing particular sounds. Your speech pathologist will have conducted an assessment which will guide choice of target sounds, and also the appropriate response, ie producing the word by itself, in short phrases, sentences, or conversation. These games can be used in a flexible way to suit the needs of your client.
We've also added 2 items to the new "Where is? - locating common target areas" section in "User Guides". This section was launched last month to help users find particular sorts of activities. The first 3 target areas covered were "Blending and segmenting activities", "Basic concept words" and "Similarities and differences". This month we've added "Word finding" and "Categorisation".
Entries for our Apple iPad draw continue to come in. The winner will be drawn and announced at the Speech Pathology Australia 2011 National Conference in Darwin, June 26th-29th 2011. Our entry form (see below) asks that you leave us comments about "What do you like", "What would you like to see changed" and "What would you like to see added" to eLr. We've had some very valuable comments.
To be eligible for the draw, you must have a current eLr subscription on 1st of July 2011. So any new subscribers in 2011 will be automatically eligible, as will current subscribers with an expiry date of July 2011 or later. Current subscribers whose subscriptions expire before June 2011 will also be eligible if they renew at any time before the draw. If you have a multiuser subscription, all those covered by the subscription may individually enter.
Entries are open until June 28th 2011. To enter the draw, you must fill out and submit the electronic form at www.elr.com.au/ipad.htm. Or you can phone us on (03) 5156 8309 to give us your details. Several entrants have also asked for materials which we've covered in the new "Where is?" section (see above), highlighting the need for us to improve ways of finding existing eLr materials! There've also been some great positive comments, such as:
"Convenience, being able to set up a complete program, the ideas you have, regular updates - oh and there must be more!"
"eLr has gone down incredibly well in the secondary schools in which I work. Teenagers do not tend to like traditional SLT but are usually happy to work on the computer. Teachers have reported that students are far more engaged with this programme than with paper based ones. I regularly use the semantics sections (particularly synonyms and homonyms) as I find this one of the best ways to build vocabulary knowledge at this level. Also the phonology and phonological awareness sections."
More next month.
eLr can be accessed directly from the web at www.elr.com.au/elr.htm. On Windows (XP/Vista/Win7) we recommend Microsoft Internet Explorer(MSIE v7+), Safari(v5+), Firefox(3.6+) or Chrome(v5+). On Mac (OS/X 10.4+), Safari(v5+), Firefox(3.6+) or Chrome(v5+) are recommended. On Apple iPad use Safari. Other browsers may work but we may not have tested them.
In recent months there's been a flurry of activity from all the major browser providers. Microsoft has released MSIE v9 (but only for Windows Vista/7), Apple Safari v5, Mozilla Firefox v4, and Google Chrome v10. These new browsers all bring extra browsing speed and security, but more importantly for eLr, they finally bring much tighter compliance with web standards (notably the "html5" standard). There remain a few differences in the way the different browsers handle the "Print" process. We've even found that the same browser may print differently on different brands of printer.
Overall, the eLr "experience" on all these browsers is now essentially the same, and much easier for us to maintain. We would encourage all users to check the version of their usual browser, and to upgrade to a current version if they can. Our page at www.elr.com.au/browser.htm can help you get details if you need. If you do find that some features of eLr are not showing or printing correctly, please let us know.
This month we're pleased to let you know of the Talking Matters Resources developed by the Talking Matters speech pathologists. They are bright and colourful and intended to be used by speech pathologists, teachers, child care workers and parents. Each package includes printable materials, instructions and activity ideas. You can read more at www.talkingmatters.com.au.
Currently available are a range of themed activities including:
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 2011 National Conference:
Sunday 26th - Wednesday 29th
We will have trade stand #43 at this conference. Contact us for further details
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