Child’s Play: How to Encourage Your Kid to Start Touch Typing

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Your Child and Touch Typing

Touch Typing has increased in importance in this digital age. Many colleges and professions require a certain degree of typing expertise to accept young applicants. Because of this, modern parents and educators are motivated to have children start typing as early as kindergarten.

Early typing won’t be too much of a problem for your young children, provided, of course, that they can stay on the keyboard for more than a minute. Pressing on keys over and over might prove to be a bore for these youngsters. The challenge for teachers won’t be their students’ skills, but their attention spans.

Introducing Your Kids to Typing the Fun Way

The first goal in teaching kindergartners how to type is to get them familiar with the keyboard. These kids don’t have full command of their motor skills yet, so it’s best to introduce them to the keys first and ease them into typing. To keep them interested, you can incorporate colorful activities to catch their attention. You can even award outstanding learners with treats to acknowledge their achievements.

Children in the second or third grade should start with more focused and goal-oriented typing instruction. Older children should be informed of the benefits of touch typing as well as opportunities and careers in the field of I.T. The next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates might be learning to type in your home or school right now!

Typing Training Programs and Games

Typing training programs are great places for your child to learn typing. You can access hundreds of similar websites with a simple internet search and most of them are free. Online touch typing softwares like Typesy feature typing exercises that show beginners how to type gradually. You can adjust the settings to better cater to your child’s needs. Typesy and other programs also have a wide array of mini-games and challenges that will engage playful learners. Kids can learn how to type with cartoon friends like PacMan, Flappy Bird, and even Pikachu (hopefully soon).

Setting Expectations

While it is good to dream big for your little typist, you should try to root those goals in reasonable expectations. These are the general typing performance benchmarks that schools have for each grade level:

3rd grade: 85% – 100% accuracy, 15 WPM

4th grade: 90% – 100% accuracy, 20 WPM

5th grade: 90% – 100% accuracy, 25 WPM

6th grade: 90% – 100% accuracy, 30 WPM

These can serve as great guidelines and motivation for your child on their typing journey!

Touch typing doesn’t have to be a boring affair. Your child can have fun and explore the keyboard with these entertaining options. Starting them young will surely mold future typists with enough experience and skill to help create a new generation of digital leaders.

Let your kids enjoy proper touch typing with Typesy Now!

Typesy In-Focus: Tests and Assignments

As an educator, part of the job is time management. You’ll have to maximize the (limited) time you have for introducing all the topics and activities in your lesson plan. There are many possible classroom interruptions, so you’ll find yourself delaying or forgoing tests and assignments numerous times in the school year. This lost time is also a wasted opportunity in expanding the knowledge of your students.

Typesy aids educators in solving this dilemma with its EDU and Homeschool Editions. They are specially made for Touch Typing education outside of the school setting, making lessons more practicable and convenient. You can easily add students to your class and monitor their individual progress with development reports.

Typesy also allows you to create and customize tests and assignments for your class. To access this, simply click on the Admin tab at the center of your home screen. You will be redirected to the EDU or Homeschool edition of your Typesy account. Go to “Classes” and then “Tests and Assignments”, where you can see a green button labeled “Create New.” Choose between the two from the drop-down menu.

You have a lineup of options to pick from to make your work specific. After naming your assignment, you will be first asked to select an exercise, which include typing and keyboard row tests. They are often in the form of excerpts from literary classics. You will be then asked to select an activity from their standard and accuracy building games. You can also schedule the dates when your assignment will be will active and inactive. Additional features include the number of redo’s students are allowed, to force immediate completion, and to set a time limit. Creating a new test comprises of the same features, except that you cannot select an activity and set a time limit.

Tests and assignments don’t have to be difficult for teachers too. With Typesy, both are easy for you and your students. No more need to fuss over dates and dues because with Typesy’s EDU and Homeschool Editions, you’ll always be right on time.

Let your kids enjoy touch typing with Typesy!

Common Core Standards for Keyboarding

Whether you like typing or not, if you’re born in this day and age, computer literacy is kind of, like, a thing. Schools require typing literacy nowadays from children as early as the third grade.

That’s right. Technology has infiltrated our education…and that’s a good thing. Typing teaches children how to be accurate and fast at the same time. It exercises their brain and makes it more open to information absorption and processing.

These educational requirements were added to the Common Core, American national benchmarks for education and ability in numerous subjects. They help educators and parents know what their students should be able to do after a certain number of years in the school system, so everyone is roughly on the same track to graduation and proficiency beyond school.

So, what are these new additions to the Common Core that we should know about?

Starting in third grade, students are required to “use technology to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.” This doesn’t mean they have to be authors, but they do have to be able to type sentences and paragraphs to express themselves.

Fourth graders are expected to type one page in a single sitting. This standard also amps up the accuracy and speed. There is no requirement for the length of each “single sitting,” but schools usually have a time limit. Students are expected to type at a speed of at least 11 WPM.

Fifth graders should be able to type two pages in a single sitting. Their expected speed is 22 WPM. They are to demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills at this point.

Sixth graders take it up to the next level with three pages in one sitting. This would mean they should be typing at approximately 33 WPM. This would put them close to the average typing speed of 38-40 WPM.

Moving on from the basics, seventh graders have to step up to the world of the internet. They are expected to “fluently communicate with others via the internet, especially when instant messaging requires keyboard proficiency.” They understand the importance of instant messaging in getting through with future schoolwork and jobs.

Eighth graders must “gather relevant information….and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.” This is far from just regular typing now. This core standard indicates a step up into the world of research. Their skills on the board are now skills needed for extensive information gathering and presentation, which will serve them well in later education and professionally.

To be college ready, keyboard literacy is amplified to writing over “extended and short time frames.” It’s writing in all forms. It’s peak adulthood.

Once you’ve graduated college, you’ve also graduated the keyboard!

But that’s not the end of it.

You still have…work!

Cue the gasp.

Happy typing!

Touch type your work and increase productivity with Typesy Now!

Typesy Added Feature: Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report

Progress reports are essential to first-time typing trainees. They are able to know at what level their skills start and see them develop as they continue their practice. An example would be regularly monitoring improvement in words-per-minute or accuracy levels. Some also have a fun time checking if they have won badges and special points in games and challenges.

Users of Typesy are able to do all these through the Statistics Tab in the program. The software offers a variety of progress reports. Touch Typing Trainees are able to see reports on their Typing Competency levels, Typing Speed in words-per-minute, Typing Accuracy levels, daily Training Time, and Training Focus.

Typesy has developed a new addition to the Statistics Tab, however, with the Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report. This latest feature shows users their keyboard knowledge, which is similar to the base keyboard coverage calculation in the typing competency metric. Each key will be colored according to the user’s level of knowledge, with red for low knowledge, green for high knowledge, and orange and yellow for average knowledge.

To access the Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report, simply click on the Statistics tab at the center of your home screen. You will automatically see the report or you may opt to switch it by clicking the drop down button.

The Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report is especially nifty for courses on Typesy. The Beginner Course of its Classic Curriculum has the user relearn each row of the keyboard, starting with the home row and ending with the shift keys. More so with the Interactive Curriculum, which has in-depth lessons on specific groups of letter, number, and symbol keys.

Typing trainees and even enthusiasts will come to enjoy the Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report. Aside from its usefulness, it also acts like a visual trophy of their typing achievements. Watch the colors of your keyboard brighten up in every practice session with Typesy’s brand-new Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map Report.

Touch type your work and increase productivity with Typesy Now!

Typing and Common Core – Is It Applicable To Schools Only?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics and English language arts (ELA) were established in 2010 to ensure that students are educated with high-quality academic standards in the high school level. With the CCSS, graduates will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in college, work, and life. However, despite the long-term benefits these standards offer, many parents and educators remain hostile toward the CCSS. They believe that the CCSS’s inflexible approaches constrict their amount of teaching freedom, especially for those in the homeschool sector.

A noted issue for homeschooling parents and children is that the CCSS curriculum is strictly classroom-based. Its detractors attest that since the CCSS was conceptualized to guide students into a “unified national learning path”, it’ll be easier to implement it in traditional school environments for close monitoring. The goal for more restricted testing also makes homeschoolers feel like it will be difficult for them to catch up. As a result, many parents are pressured to extract their children from homeschool education.

This is merely a misconception, however. The CCSS has been known to be striving towards integrating their lessons and units with the latest cutting-edge technology and tools. This includes the many paid and free touch typing programs available online. With numerous colleges and professions acknowledging the importance of expert typing as a skill, the CCSS has successfully partnered with a number of touch typing training programs to effectively hit two birds with one stone. This is especially useful for homeschools, as students will be able to learn the same lessons as their peers in traditional schools at the pace and in the style that they prefer.

A touch typing software that offers a Homeschool Edition is Typesy. All the typing lessons in its program are mandated by the Common Core. Parents and children will find it super convenient that they can receive standard education that both can agree on. Learners acquire keyboard skills while incorporating other subjects as well, as Typesy’s exercise activities often feature literary classics. Thus, assignments, tests, and homeschooling in general are easy and manageable, while also in-tune with the Common Core Standards.

As much as they try to run from it, parents and educators have to be aware that the influence of the CCSS has and will continue to increase in the coming years. Forty-five states have already adopted it and they are essential in taking the SAT/ACT tests, so it’ll be more convenient for them and their children to embrace the Common Core instead. The Common Core State Standards were implemented with the students’ best interest in mind. Hopefully, a computer-based typing education will help critics ease into this concept sooner or later.

Let your kids enjoy learning how to properly touch type with Typesy Now!

Typesy Games: Let’s Have FUN While Learning

Typesy was launched to help people of all comfort levels with typing learn how to use an essential everyday task, and part of our work is making typing fun and accessible so anyone can learn. Read below for descriptions of the games that make our program unique!

Typing Fun

Learning to type means enjoying the experience, in our opinion. These games will help you develop that appreciation.

Clumsy Bird Typing: A small bird is trying to fly through the city. Type words to keep her afloat as she travels to her destination.

Jimbo Jump: Jimbo is stuck on the bottom floor of a haunted building. As you type the words on the screen, Jimbo will jump up, either to avoid the ghosts or to reach the next floor.

Type and Rock: Type words to help crowds of people find a nearby rock concert, but make sure to avoid disturbing any of the people doing homework.

Submarine Dash: Type words to keep a submarine afloat and gather coins, but be careful to avoid the rocky obstacles!

Sea Friends: A group of octopi got separated and need your help to find each other again.

Type Man: This game pairs speed and spatial awareness as you help Type Man navigate around the board without getting munched by ghosts.

Accuracy Building Games

These games reward accuracy, and will help you progress quickly through your touch typing training.

Falling Words: You get five chances to type the words before they hit the bottom of the screen.

Rising Words: Earn success points by eliminating words before they reach the top of the screen. If they hit the top, the game is over.

Focus: Letters will move across the screen, and it’s your job to eliminate them by typing them as they pass under the red X.

Sinking Words: Type the words before they hit the red line at the bottom of the screen or the red line will advance upward!

Speed Boosting Games

These games might be a bit overwhelming when you first start out, but they’ll help you get faster and faster.

Speed Builder: You have a set amount of time to type as many words as possible for a higher score.

Letter Train: Type the words as they move across the screen!

Letter Train II: Like Letter Train, but users type nonsense phrases including punctuation to practice more practical typing skills.

Keyboard Skills

These games combine the accuracy, speed, and fun of the previous games to offer you a holistic approach to touch typing and the development of muscle memory.

Quick Trainer: Type words as you see them and earn points; mess up and lose points!

Key React: Click the letters as they light up to practice your memory of keyboard layout.

Key Memory: Letters flash in a pattern on the screen. It’s your job to remember which letters they were, and to type them in the correct order.

Catch: When the little green balls meet on a square, you have to click the square on your keyboard to “catch” them.

What’s Coming Up

Typesy is always adding new games and ways to learn so typists can practice in ways that suit their learning styles. We hope you enjoy yourself with these games, and that you look forward to the next releases!

Paid vs Free Typing Programs: Which Should You Choose?

Image by Daniel Agrelo from Pixabay

When starting your Touch Typing Training, your first task is finding the right typing program for you. There are tons of options available on the internet, so picking one is only a matter of preference. A major consideration you should make is choosing between paid and free programs. It isn’t just a matter of money; you’ll also want to see if a program’s quality and content is worth your buck.

Having a tough time deciding? Here, we’ll give you a nifty guide on differentiating paid and free typing programs by their characteristics.

1) Course Availability

Paid: To access the courses of paid typing programs, you will have to, of course, pay for them. Prices vary according to your license/subscription and the edition that you have purchased. Your degree of access may also depend on what kind of user you sign up as. For example, Typesy’s EDU edition allows those registered as teachers more admin oversight than their students.

Free: Free programs allow free registration or sign up. There are also programs that do not require an account, such as Typing Club and Dancing Mat.

2) Lessons

Paid: Paid programs have lessons that fit all age groups, where skill assessments designate users to their corresponding levels. Others allow the manual adjustment according to user preference. In most cases, paid software release an assortment of editions that cater to a more inclusive audience.

Free: The lessons in free programs are mostly limited to specific audiences, usually for children. However, there are also others that are especially for adults, like GCFLearnFree. Aside from skill assessments, some free programs also have unique activities. Typing offers one-, three-, and five-minute lessons that fit easily into a busy daily routine.

3) Functions

Paid: Almost all paid programs have software that are compatible with most operating systems, like Typesy’s cloud-based software. Many of these programs offer additional games and challenges, while some don’t. More importantly, they showcase progress reports for Touch Typing trainees. A notable few have distinct features. Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing allows you to sync your own content and absorb important information as you type, while Typing Instructor Platinum has over 50 different music options.

Free: Free online programs are available in multiple languages. They offer engaging visuals and games for children and progress reports for trainees to monitor. Touch Typing Study has a variety of screen layouts for users to choose from.

4) Updates

Paid: One of the freebies of many paid typing programs is that they have yearly updates with your continued subscription.

Free: Free online typing programs are also updated regularly, albeit at a more unpredictable pace.

What are you waiting for? Explore all these free and paid programs and start your typing training today.

The Different Editions of Typesy

Since 2008, Typesy has pursued its mission of helping people learn to touch type. We started out with a team of touch typing experts, modern software, and a commitment to dynamic instruction. From our first software, which focused on individuals learning to type, we have created three editions that support learners in the ways they learn best, rather than assuming that one style of learning will fit everyone.

Typesy for Individuals

This is our first version of Typesy, so it is near and dear to our hearts. We have never believed that all typing instruction must happen at school, and so we created a fun typing program for individuals of all ages. Typesy for Individuals is being used by hundreds of thousands of users of all ages; our Classic curriculum in particular is accessible for older users and can help you improve your typing speed and accuracy in your own home. We got our start in motor learning research, typing expertise, and computer science, and we have brought that knowledge into the course for individuals. Typesy for Individuals has room for five users at a time, so customers can share the wealth with their whole families. If you want to know more about this version of our program, click this link.

Typesy for Schools

Several years after we got our start, we created our Typesy for Schools program, intended to support students as they begin to type. The core of the program remains the same – typing instruction, supported by fun games and experts in the field – but we added scaffolding to create an environment in which teachers and administrators can work together to create the learning experience.

In our School version, students are collected into classrooms, allowing them to make progress on the same goals as their peers under their teacher’s tutelage. Whole classrooms will receive the same curriculum, assignments, and tests to ensure that learning is happening evenly throughout the room. Our recent updates also help teachers make sure that their students are learning at the same pace, so they can offer individualized instruction to those who need it. You can check out those recent updates here.

We have also recently added single sign-on technology to collaborate with Google Classroom, Clever, and Classlink, so checking up on your class or logging in as a user is as easy as possible. Click here to learn more about Typesy for Schools.

Typesy for Homeschool

Of course, not all learning happens alone or in an external school setting; many students around the world are taught at home or in small groups. Typing has been added to the Common Core, nationwide standards for what students should know at the end of every grade level, which means that typing is as much a necessity for homeschooled students as it is for our students in public or private schools. Our Homeschool version combines the individual attention and the customizability of our two other versions to ensure that homeschooled students receive the same high quality of typing education as a student in a larger class. This program is very easy to set up, and it has the same curriculum as all the best schools around the country. For more information about Typesy for Homeschool, click here.

Typing has long been an essential part of modern life, both professional and personal, and learning to do so can seem like a necessary evil. At Typesy, we work hard to make the experience fun and rewarding, and we do our part by making the software accessible to anyone who wants to try it.

10 Things You Need To Do To Break Bad Typing Habits

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

These days, it seems like people know how to type before they know how to string together a sentence. Habits get ingrained quickly, and leave slowly, but that’s no reason you can’t work on them to improve your typing. The list below identifies some common pitfalls and ways to unlearn them.

1. Hunching over your laptop. You know those movies, with the talented hackers curled over their computers, typing a mile a minute to break into a secure location? Well, they would achieve a lot more if they straightened up and practiced some ergonomics. You type faster and waste less time on strain and injury when you type with the proper physical position. Every time you hit the Enter key, think about your posture. If you’re hunching over, straighten up and try again.

2. Staring down at your keyboard.It’s tempting, I understand. You can only be sure you’re typing the right letters if you look directly at them! However, touch typing is supposed to eliminate the need to look down. Challenge yourself by refusing to look at the keyboard until you’ve finished typing a paragraph. You can orient yourself by placing your index fingers on the F and J keys, which have little bumps on them to help you find your place.

3. Only using two fingers to type. The famous “hunt and peck” method, where you stare at your keys and peck at your keyboard like a chicken looking for food. Learning touch typing will help you eliminate this technique, but you can spur it on by forcing your wrists to stay parallel to the table. If they creep higher, force them down again until you are unable to use your preferred method of typing.

4. Assuming that you remember which fingers are responsible for certain keys. So you’ve started learning to touch type, and you looked at a couple of keyboard maps. You probably won’t remember the geography of the map well at first, so you need to make sure to double check – you don’t want to slide back into hunting and pecking just because you couldn’t remember which finger presses the U key.

5. Ignoring your pinky fingers. As you start to branch out from two-finger typing, your hands might ache. Stretching your pinky all the way out to the Enter key is uncomfortable, but neglecting your smaller fingers cuts down on your productivity and speed. Typesy’s Keyboard Knowledge Heat Map will help you notice which fingers you’re having trouble with so you can keep working on them.

6. Stiff hand positioning. If you’re used to two-finger typing, your hands might be a bit stiff (and your wrists as well). Don’t forget to stretch your hands out and pay attention to your wrists so you don’t hurt yourself. If you massage your upper forearm by your elbow with the end of a pencil, you can ease some of the tension in your muscles for better typing.

7. Using too much force on the keys. Not only does this run the risk of damaging your keyboard, it slows you down more than you realize. We aren’t in the golden age of typewriters anymore – you can press gently on the keys, and you’ll move faster (and probably hurt your fingers less). If you notice yourself jamming the keys, lift your hands off the keyboard for a moment and set them down again to reset your intensity.

8. Learn keyboard shortcuts. Nowadays, computers come equipped with all kinds of handy shortcuts to make your life easier. You can CTRL+C to copy text or CTRL+V to paste it. This may not seem like it’s related to typing, but training your brain to understand the pathways on the keyboard will help you develop. Next time you right click, ask yourself if there’s a shortcut.

9. Focusing on speed and ignoring accuracy. One of the most common typing mistakes is thinking that speed is more important than accuracy. Yes, WPM can be used to measure typing skill, but accuracy is a key consideration for any typing job. Don’t forget accuracy as you learn.

10. Expecting too much from yourself as you first start out. When you start touch typing, it can feel like you’ve lost progress. You will probably move slower and make more mistakes as you get used to this new, more memory-based form of typing. If you get frustrated, just remind yourself that you are doing yourself a favor, and that everyone struggles with touch typing at the beginning. Good luck!

Touch type your work and increase productivity with Typesy Now!

Typesy Has A New Curriculum For All Users

The basics of typing may have remained the same over the years, small changes in conventions aside, but the way we teach it and learn it should be dynamic and fun. If it’s up to us at Typesy, long gone are the days when learning to type meant boredom and accidental naps, typing repetitive sentences into the computer until hand placement is burned into your brain. We keep our games lively, current, and ever-changing, so that you love typing as much as we do.

With that in mind, Typesy has introduced a new interactive curriculum, available for all editions of the program. Read more for a brief description of each kind of curriculum.

Original Style: The Classic Curriculum

The classic curriculum is all about the basics. Your learning starts with finger placement and technique, with a focus on unlocking the skill of touch typing. You then move on to accuracy and speed so you can rival even the best professional typists. This 42-hour program is good for professionals looking to improve WPM (Words Per Minute) for work, school, or maybe a blossoming career as a blogger. We recommend this curriculum for people over 15 years of age who want to type quickly – 40-50 words per minute, to be specific.

The New Stuff: Interactive Curriculum

We were already committed to a productive, fun way to learn and improve typing, but this update, available to all versions of Typesy, integrates even more teaching methods and activities into the curriculum. It’s best to learn in a variety of ways, to cement the techniques and theories deep into your mind, even with a primarily physical act like typing. We also accommodate learners who learn best through visual stimuli, auditory engagement, and tactile techniques, among others. This version of Typesy is designed to appeal to and support younger typists, starting around seven years of age, as well as our older students.

We use video teaching, exercises scientifically designed to engage with the necessary learning centers to teach typing, and lots of games and activities. This curriculum won’t be unfamiliar to someone who’s used to our classic teaching style, but it has increased interactivity and engagement to keep you invested in learning. With 1156 lessons of all sorts, typists of all ages can improve their typing speed without excessive repetition of content.

No matter what your typing goals are, Typesy can help you achieve them. To learn more about Typesy, click here.