If you’re a parent (or grandparent) you may remember taking keyboarding or typing classes in high school. 30 years ago typing didn’t seem like a skill that would be needed in everyday life but it has quickly become a skill that most people need.
Now you have kids of your own and they probably use a computer for a large percentage of their education. This means they need to learn how to type (even more than we needed to learn how to type) in order to get the most out of their education. Add to that the confusion of using a touch screen and it can make learning to type very difficult.
That’s where Keyboard Classroom comes in, designed for kids age 7-14, it can help your kids learn to type proficiently and in very little time. Keyboard Classroom uses 5 different methods to teach your kids to type:
1. Finger Trainer teaches the home keys
2. Typing Words teaches the home keys with words
3. Home Stretch teach 3-letter combination with each finger
4. Typing Sentences combines all the skills above when typing sentences
5. Capital Stretch teaches students to use the correct shift key when capitalizing words
Learning is done in one minute increments and when the student successfully completes a task, points are awarded. The points can be redeemed to play games. There is a set of criteria built into the program that must be met in order to proceed to the next difficulty level for that task. That means you don’t have to stand over their shoulder and make sure they’re actually learning something. Many typing programs allow a student to progress even if a certain skill hasn’t been mastered.
My 10-year old daughter has been using Keyboard Classroom to improve her typing skills and here’s what she had to say:
So this is a really fun thing to do and learn about. I really like to type stuff, and Dad was all ”you’re not doing it right!” Okay, so what are you gonna do? Then, after he and my mom went to a homeschooling conference, he said he met a woman that did a typing lesson. I was like, ”that’s great, Dad!” because I really wanted to learn how to type better.
He showed me the Keyboard Classroom that has different types of stuff, like captalization and not looking at the keyboard for letters, so you can memorize where different keys are. There’s a practice stage, where you click “Practice” and you can do as much practicing as you want. Then, when you’re ready, you can click “Time Me!” and it will ring this bell and you’re off, trying to make the correct keystrokes, under 5 errors and as quickly as you can! When you’re done, or out of time, it will ring the bell again and another page will show up showing you your records. If you do everything right and as fast as they tell you, you get a token. When you do each stage 5 times correctly you get promoted to a different rank. There are 10 different ranks.
You start out with 3 types of learning games. When you reach Private you earn another learning game. There are 5 learning games for the whole program.
The whole Keyboard Classroom is a great learning device for about 8 and up. The main attraction of this program is to help you stay focused on the computer screen in front of you, not looking at the keys. When you reach the highest level, General, you know everything about typing!
At first, my daughter was a little confused when she started using the software. There’s no silly characters that pop up and tell you what to do. The software required a little direction on my part at first but she soon got the hang of it. Now that she’s been using for a while she can dive right in to the next exercise and start earning some points to play games and increase her rank.
With the product you get a set of finger guides designed to keep hands from wandering around the keyboard. The guides attache to your keyboard with Velcro. We were unable to use those guides because there’s no place to attach them to our keyboard.
What’s nice about Keyboard Classroom is that it works for children with learning disabilities too:
It works for all children, even those having trouble in school, or students with special education needs or learning disabilities like those with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Asperger Syndrome. –Keyboard Classroom website
I think you’ll find that Keyboard Classroom is the best typing software trainer out there. We’ve tried a few others and I’m impressed by the approach of the training and the progress of my daughter.
Keyboard Classroom is $39.95 for a single user license. Keyboard Classroom works on the following platforms; Windows 7, Vista, XP, and 2000. It is NOT Macintosh compatible but can be used when running Parallels ver 4.0 or higher. Keyboard Classroom requires Adobe Flash player. A continuous internet connection is not required (but a connection is required to play games and access online help from the KC website).
Discounts are available if you purchase multiple licenses. It’s highly recommended that you purchase a license for each child if they will be learning simultaneously because the software customizes itself to the student.
If you use the discount code “typing” you can get an additional 10% off the price of the software.