Over the years I have looked at a number of keyboarding, or typing programs. Some free, some paid, all have their place. I thought I’d work you through some of the options for who want to learn keyboarding, or have a student in need of these skills.
Why Do I Care
You might be wondering why do I have this focus on keyboarding? Why is it important that my son have excellent keyboarding skills?
Did you know that I mark papers? I KNOW .. funny eh? I mark biology and physics papers for a high school. This very odd thing was learned! I like papers that are typed out. Typed papers mean I don’t have to fight with handwriting wondering if the penmanship is sloppy or if a word is spelled incorrectly. It is quicker to read even writing and spacing. It’s no small wonder to me that colleges and universities like their essays and papers typed out!
The elementary students of today will be tomorrow’s highschool and higher education students. They will:
- Write reports.
- Argue papers, topics, put together presentations
- Comment on discussion boards and blogs.
- Journal in blogs and online tools like Penzu.
- Research online (type addresses into a search bar).
- Take digital notes (using Evernote, OneNote and similar).
- Collaborate on Google Apps like docs, sheets, presentations.
- Take online quizzes.
- Use online tools for core classes (Wordle, Animoto, Story Creators).
- And more
Having good keyboarding skills will make their jobs of learning easier.
Before we get too far in, let me talk about some of the products that I have actually used with my son.
Keyboarding Reviews I have Done
We did UltraKey Online. He pretty much liked this course, but found he didn’t really retain much of it when he was finished.
Then came working through The Typing Coach. This overall wasn’t a good fit for us long term.
This past year my son studiously engaged himself with Typing Instructor Platinum. He really liked this program and found it also taught him to do the numbers, not just the letters. It covered everything on the keyboard.
Learn Keyboarding – free options
The benefits of free of course is that it is free. Doesn’t cost you a dime beyond your internet fee. Free programs can be really well done, or they can lacking in detail, practice time, tests or more. Try them out, they are free, you will learn something and perhaps you can use one to build upon another. Others it just requires using the full program and adding in drill time.
- Typing Club – K-12th and beyond, used by teachers and classes
- Dance Mat Typing – four levels, 12 lessons, tests
- Turtle Diary – different levels, 9-25 lessons per level
- Free Typing Game – Typing Games, 30 Lessons and Tests
- Typing Club – well over 650 lessons
- Money Instructor has some basic lessons.
- Keybr is a rather neat site. Once you have learned where the letters are on your keyboard, practice your touching typing with a responsive algorithm.
- Sense-Lang has 16 lessons.
- LearnTyping has a whole program.
- How-to-type looks like a fairly good free program.
- Peter’s Typing Lessons has 31 lessons along with practice and exercises.
- Speed typing online helps you increase your typing speed as a beginner.
- Ratatype is a typing tutor.
- GCF Global helps you learn to touch type.
- Touch Typing Study has 15 lessons and a couple of tests.
Learn Keyboarding – paid options
I have gone to thrift stores seeing keyboarding books there, the old flip style that I grew up with.
Paid programs tend to be more complete than free, but not always. Try before you buy so you can get a good feel for the program if you can.
- You can try Typing Agent for free, and go to a paid subscription.
- QwertyTown does the same thing. Try free, then go paid.
- TypingPal is a paid subscription.
- Typing Quest. Try free, then paid.
- Once you have the basics, NitroType will help you increase your speed.
- Use your typing skills to fight a battle in Epistory-Typing Chronicles.
I found some options for you on amazon. Note affiliate link.