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Last year my son used a typing program, he worked with it on the desktop we have upstairs and overall it went well, but he still struggled with his keyboarding skills. When the option came to try out Ultrakey, by Bytes of Learning, my son was rather excited! “MOM! Will it help me type better?” I said “we can always try it out and see lad.” I invite you to come with me and see how the UltraKey Online Family Subscription can be as successful for your students.
I’m trying to think where to start, I honestly haven’t needed to use this program at all. I got my lad set up and have talked with him as he problem solves or tries to figure out how quickly he should do lessons and practices, but overall my lad has taken ownership of Ultrakey. They set it up so each user can arrange the program the way they like it. You can change the background, voice, speed, accuracy and so forth. My lad didn’t care what the voice sounded like, but perferred the building as a background.
How we used it:
I initially walked my son through the set up, helping him see how the program worked, setting up his preferences and just letting him run with it. The interface is easy to use. You will find this screen on every page, helping you quickly move from one section to another.
The skill check is separate from the lessons, allowing one to redo a lesson, or redo a skill check without having to do both if you don’t wish to. The typing forum allows you to take practice tests that are timed as well as more official tests. My son hasn’t quite reached the skill level needed to do these yet. He’s been repeating the skill checks until he feels confident in moving forward.
The lessons are in an easy to read font as well have having a voice over. The keyboard clearly shows where each letter is during the lessons.
Occasionally I would ask my son to show me how he was doing, we’d get screens like the one below. you could check to see what you missed, and then the program would tell you if you had improved or not.
I can’t say my lad is delighted at how slowly he is going through the course…but I’ve told him if he wants to improve he needs to spend longer than 10 minutes per day practicing, that I used to take typing classes for a whole hour! Oh my.. he was so startled when I told him that. He’s happy practicing for 10-20 minutes max per day and progressing slower. 🙂 I am seeing improvement now that he is not racing through the course. He’s taking his time practicing and learning where the keys are. I know in time he will be a proficient typist.
What we liked:
The lessons are straight-forward, and they give you lots of time to practice over and over again. Along with games to help you practice the skills you are learning. The skill tests have options so you can change what you are practicing or can pick the one that you are most interested in. They have tests you can take when you are ready to do so. You aren’t forced to do anything in a particular order. It has everything in it that my son wants to help him to improve his keyboarding skills. Their media-rich instruction make this an enjoyable program to use.
My son’s thoughts:
"Yay! I just beat mom's score. Look mom! I'm faster and better than you!" "I like that I can practice as much as I want to!" "I can do the skill checks over and over again".
Things that came up.
1. The spacebar randomly stopped working during a skill test. This is where I discovered how wonderful their customer service was. I mentioned it to them and they immediately connected with me. Putting me in on a conference call so we could work through what the problem was. GREAT Customer Service. We figured out it was just a random glitch and it hasn’t happened again.
2. Skill test: They used capital letters leaving my son feeling flummoxed. How does one type a capital letter properly? “Mom, they didn’t teach me how to do that yet!” It was a great time for me to teach him how to do that. 🙂 It’s just something to be aware of. It was just a step missed.
3. Games and The Test Forum are not done according to the progress of the student. This means if they play games or do the formal tests they will run into letters they haven’t been taught yet (if they haven’t finished the program).
Bytes of Learning has done a wonderful job of putting UltraKey together. They have worked hard to make their success-based learning program as accessible as possible. The finer details of their efforts is what sets it apart. Their excellent customer service is just icing on the cake. The fact that It focuses on teaching typing skills and isn’t child focused appeals to him.
UltraKey Online Family Subscription Bytes of Learning Pricing: Depends on package Click Here. Typing, Keyboarding, online learning, success-based learning, media-rich instruction
Visit the other members of the crew who reviewed Bytes of Learning by CLICKING HERE.
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