School Computing


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Typing & Keyboarding SoftwareEdit

Free Software/Sites for KeyboardingEdit

Commercial Software/Sites for keyboardingEdit

When and how do you teach typing or keyboarding?Edit

Excerpts from ISED-L

  • Type to Learn version 4 has had several bugs reported with it on the ISEDL list, September, 2009.
  • We start in kindergarten with a program called Type To Learn, Jr. from Sunburst. This program familiarizes the student to where the keys are and which hand should be used with which key. Depending upon how fast the kids catch on to this program I will then move them into Type To Learn 3. I keep them on this software until 3rd grade when I switch them over to an on-line program at - Da Vinci Academy
  • We begin formal keyboarding classes in the fall of third grade, 3x a week for 20 minute sessions from end of Sept. through Dec. In fourth grade, we do the exact same thing. By mid-fourth three quarters of the students are typing pretty well. We are using Paws in Typing Town published by SRA. - Cathedral School
  • We use Type to Learn from with 3rd grade 1x week, and in 4th & 5th - Norwood School
  • Our typing instruction begins in PreK and continues into K with a program called Kid Keys. During PreK & K our students work in centers and they will work on this program for 30 minutes every 3rd week. 1st graders begin the first 15 minutes of their 1 hour computer class each week with Type to Learn Junior. 2nd-4th graders practice their typing skills with Type to Learn for the first 15 minutes of computer class. 5th-8th graders use a program called The Typing Instructor. Again, we begin the first 15 minutes of computer class practicing typing. Our exit goals are as follows: Students are not formally tested until 3rd grade. 3rd grade - 10 words per minute with 90% accuracy completion of Lesson 10 4th grade - 15 words per minute with 90% accuracy completion of Lesson 15. 5th grade - 20 words per minute with 90% accuracy 6th grade - 25 words per minute with 90% accuracy 7th grade - 35 words per minute with 90% accuracy 8th grade - 45 words per minute with 90% accuracy - Lakeview Academy
  • We use jumpstart keyboarding.... its kid friendly...and there are lots of typing games as well as lessons. The kids like it better than most Mavis Beacon. - SCH Academy
  • We've explored the question as to whether younger children have the fine motor skills to truly master keyboarding. In the end we decided that it is not developmentally appropriate until 5th grade. In 5th grade we use Master Key. - Duke School
  • We use Mavis Beacon with children in grades 1-4. - Staten Island Academy
  • We subscribe to a web based service called Custom Typing. - U of C lab school
  • Teachers at USM use the Herzog method to teach students how to keyboard in second grade using the key sensors. Then, in third grade students utilize an applet called Keywords using Alphasmarts in the classroom. Finally, in fourth grade students use Type to Learn, which offers contemporary graphics with a game-like approach that students really enjoy. The different approaches offer a little variety in a developmentally appropriate way. - University School of Milwaukee
  • One of our first grade teachers hooked up with a researcher in California many years ago who developed the program Read, Write & Type. They determined that 1st grade was a good time to introduce home keys and motor-memory. Our first graders use this program in the last 3 months of first grade on small iBook keyboards for about 30 minutes twice each week. It is reinforced in the fall of 2nd grade on a similar schedule. In third grade our students move to Type to Learn (1st version! )once a week throughout the year and continue with this through 5th grade. Our 5th graders are now averaging 47 words per minute and about 92% accuracy. We track their skills beginning in 3rd grade. - Brookwood
  • We use Type to Learn with our 4th grade students. They attend a keyboarding class once a week for 45 minutes. The keyboard is covered with an opaque "skin" that thay use while developing accuracy. We do introduce the third grade students to some keyboarding in the last trimester of third garde. Developmentally, this seems to work. We have not found any research that shows that keyboarding skills can be improved in any meaningful way until the brain has developed the midline, ususally around the age of 9. By beginning keyboarding in 4th grade, we have 5th grade touch typists typing at an average of 45-50 wpm at 90% accuracy. We are very satisfied with this program. - St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School
  • When parents have asked me what typing program they should use at home I usually recommend NOT getting what we use at school, just for variety. I have always focused on accuracy over speed. When we used Type to Learn (1st edition) I set the accuracy to 97% and speed to 10 wpm. I figure if I work with them on accuracy, the speed will come. We have since used Mavis Beacon which we found to be very unfriendly with our network and unstable as a stand alone. We have recently switched to Typing Master and it has a nice teacher interface. I find that our second grade students are perfectly ready to start typing. They will work hard to use the correct fingering every time they sit down. Our student use computers too much to wait until a later grade - the bad habits will have been set by then. Before second grade I believe they are not developmentally ready, nor are their hands big enough for the correct fingering. Those students do, however, use the computer keyboards. One of the reasons I chose Typing Master is that it also offers the Dvorak keyboard layout for typing. All of you who are using scientific research for how to teach typing - what about the fact that the Dvorak layout is proven to be more efficient? - Quest Academy
  • Our school purchased Typing Pal School, a web-based keyboarding program You can build 'classes' which allows you to differentiate the levels. For example, for each grade I created a 'home row' class, a 'CAPS' class, a completing alphabet class and a 'whole keyboard' class. I can promote students as they master a section of the keyboard. I've found the students to be surprisingly motivated, and even go online to practice at home. Other advantages: As an independent school, it is nice to be able to tell parents that they don't need to buy a keyboarding program for home - their kids can use the same one they use at school. Due to the licensing system, we offered parents and staff the opportunity to sign up - and it didn't cost us anything extra! Teachers (or parents) can sign in via internet and monitor statistics for their students. You can customize the excercises and lessons, and even create your own! The company is based out of Quebec, so their default keyboard was not the same as the US QWERTY, but they quickly made adjustments to our account once I contacted them. - Jewish Primary Day School
  • I would be interested in learning more about the research that determined 1st grade was a good time to begin the process of keyboarding. I have long limited the introduction to keyboarding to 4th grade (using Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor) because I could not find any evidence-based research that could provide a clear direction. My quandary was that research suggested that 15-30 minutes per day was necessary to build muscle memory that would create a good touch typist. Further, most students did not exhibit the self directed learning required to practice and work through typing programs until 5th to 7th grade (depending on the student). So I could not assign the program as homework, and I could not pull 15-30 minutes daily from the schedule without something substantial to back up the need. I encourage parents to work with their students at home on a daily basis using the typing tutor we provide on a voluntary basis. This is after a 13 week introduction to typing in the first trimester of 4th grade. Currently my 4th graders type at 10-20wpm and my 6th graders range from 20-50wpm depending on parental desire to teach typing through the software we provide. This result has anecdotally suggested to me that = frequency and oversight are more important than age of introduction in = terms of speed and accuracy. We have started typing at 4th grade since this is when we tend to see students with graphomotor issues begin to really fall behind their peers and the technology assist is a large part of helping them continue to achieve success in writing. But we find that regardless of touch-typing ability that students who use computers vs handwriting are significantly more prolific and willing to edit, so again I would like to know more about the research since the two do not seem to directly correlate. -Lowell School
  • We begin teaching typing in the 6th grade. In most cases, it is too late, students have already developed their own style that has many bad habits.

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