Touch typing is one of the most important skills that a student can learn, and the earlier they learn it, the better. Surprisingly though, touch typing isn't being taught as often in schools anymore. Here are 5 online typing tutors for the classroom that every teacher should try.
TypingWeb is one of the most well known free typing tutors on the web. In addition to this, the site also offers a school portal for teachers to use the site as a classroom aid for teaching proper touch typing techniques. The site itself is always free, though the free option comes with ads enabled. There are affordable options to remove those ads, for schools and classrooms that cannot have ads displayed. The site allows teachers to create accounts for each student, and a localized classroom environment that only students in the classroom can access. Teachers can monitor the progress of any student in real time, even watching them as they type from the free Teacher Portal.
One of the best things that this site offers is its alignment with the standardized Common Core curriculum, which has become the norm in most of the 50 states. Students can play interactive games and earn trophies for their digital trophy case, as well as compete against their classmates on an interactive classroom scoreboard.
Ratatype is one of many typing tutor programs that are hosted fully online. Users are greeted by a typing superhero who winks at you as you click “Take a Typing Test”. This site offers an enormous variety of typing exercises and lessons for students of all skill and experience levels. This site also provides a social network of sorts, designed for people to vent about their failures, boast about their successes, and just in general, support each other. Studies have shown that typing students are 32% less effective when learning on their own. Humans are by nature social creatures and this translates into the way we learn. The site allows users to chat with one another, and share successes to their Facebook walls.
3. Typing Agent
This is one of the highest ranked programs designed specifically for use in the classroom, and for good reason. It offers one of the best platforms for teachers who wish to instruct their students in proper touch typing techniques. Typing Agent is based around a fully customizable typing curriculum. Teachers can pick and choose what lessons will be learned at what time, or even pull text from whatever book or story the class is currently reading. The program also has an integrated social network, where students can chat about their accomplishments, post achievements, and compete against one another. The program is also fully supported by the iOS operating system, which makes it ideal for schools that provide their students with iPads rather than textbooks.
EduTyping is another infinitely customizable typing tutor program designed for teaching in a classroom. It helps students learn basic typing skills, along with other more advanced skills such as punctuation, and the 10 key number pads. Teachers that use this program can create custom lesson plans, and to set individualized words per minute and accuracy goals for each student. Teachers and instructors are able to import texts from other locations as well, which makes it easier to create a lesson that applies directly to whatever is being taught in the classroom.
5. Typing Ace
Typing Ace is one of the few programs on this list that offers cross platform support for its downloadable program. The tutor works on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and offers full support for Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers. While the program does offer built-in lessons, like many of the other offerings on this list, it also provides teachers with the tools to create fully customized lessons. This program offers a full course from beginner to expert, and can be used for students as young as kindergarten. The program also offers a host of typing games, which can be disabled at will by the program administrator if the need arises. This is also one of the few truly international programs, as it offers an enormous variety of keyboards to choose from, and the program’s creators are always happy to add new ones if the one you are looking for isn’t available.
No matter what program teacher will choose, learning to touch type can be the single most important thing the student do in entire school career. It will serve for students all through school, through college, and well beyond into the working world.