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Monday, January 24, 2011

Teaching Kids to Type-Reviews

So I had some time to look through and have Joshua try out the resources posted by Book Chook on  Teaching Kids to Type.

Her first recommendation was Tux Typing  which features Tux, the Linux penguin. It's available as a free download for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. There are two games, Fish Cascade and Comet Zap and each comes graded from easy to hard. Games start with alphabet identification or finding the keys on your keyboard, and move on to practice fluency and accuracy. I did not try this link out personally because my computer said the security software was not ...well...secure...you will have to check that one out for yourself if you are interested, if you do try it, please do let me know what you thought.

Her second recomendation was Type for Gold which is a game you don't need to download but you can play online. It is a racing game, like track n field racing. There are a number of runners on the starting line and there is a bulletin board above them, when the race starts, the bulletin board will reveal a word, the player has to type the word that is in the bulletin board and it makes thier player run faster. After each word is typed(whether correct or incorrect) the word changes. The faster you type, the closer you get to the finish line, the slower you type, the slower you get to the finish line.

There are different levels and the higher the level the larger the words are.  I would recommend this site for older kids or even adults who perhaps are a little more seasoned in typing and just want to enhance thier speed and accuracy. My reasons behind this are that the game moves really fast, even when I myself typed the words at my usual pace, on the easiest level, I lost more often than won. If the child is constantly losing, that makes the game not fun, or motivational. So I dont give this website a GOLD metal recomendation, but I would give it a bronze for someone who wanted to enhance and practice their skills.

Her third recomendation was Dance Mat Typing which is an offering from the BBC Online. It is very well organized, it starts with an explanation and teaches correct finger placement. Then it moves on slowly, emphasizing lots of drills and repetition to drive the key locations and movements into their memory. I do give this site a GOLD metal. It was very much a great teaching resource. It shows the kids where to put thier fingers and gives them a screen that shows where the letters are so they are not always lifting thier fingers to find the letters. It has a number of levels too, which I didnt try all of them, but level one was very helpful. There are a number of fun characters and interesting and unique features to help make it exciting. My 5 yr old really enjoyed it and seemed to really understand the concept. I think if we do a little each day he will have it down in no time. Best of all this is a FREE resource! Free is always a good thing :)

So there are my teaching Kids to type reviews, try them out for yourself and let me know what you think :)

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