Common Sense Review
Updated July 2013

TapTyping - typing trainer

Nifty way to practice touch-screen typing, plus cool iPad tricks
Common Sense Rating 4
  • Basic practice is very similar to traditional typing programs.
  • Each student gets a user account that tracks lesson progress and speed.
  • Red boxes show errors, green boxes show accurate keystrokes.
  • Cool heat map of where your fingers are hitting shows accuracy.
  • Leaderboard may encourage some kids, discourage others.
Pros
Colorful heat map and other forms of feedback keep interest high.
Cons
Leaderboard with 100+ words-per-minute typers could discourage some kids.
Bottom Line
Helps students transition from pecking on touch screens to typing quickly and accurately.
Dana Villamagna
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Colorful heat maps show a user's incorrect (red) or correct (green) keystrokes, creating an engaging feedback method. Interesting content, like practice on inspirational quotes and the Declaration of Independence, makes typing practice fun.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Progressive learning approach, starting with just simple primary keys and letter combinations. Lessons steadily increase in difficulty and include iPad-based shortcuts that make touch-screen typing more efficient. 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Guidance throughout the lessons, clear visuals for proper keystroke feedback, lots of progress data (words per minute, accuracy, time elapsed, percent of lesson complete), and leaderboards provide ongoing help and encouragement.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Consider reserving five minutes of TapTyping time at the beginning of class every day for a few weeks and chart the increase in the class words-per-minute average over that time. If you can find them, bring in an old manual typewriter and an electric typewriter as well as a laptop, then compare and contrast the experience of typing on them vs. typing on the touch screen. To add some silly fun, have students pair up in teams of twos and have races. Teams can type one of the longer sample documents, switching which partner types at each 30-second mark. See which team can finish first.Typing practice doesn't have to be dull!

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What's It Like?

TapTyping - typing trainer is a touch-screen typing skills app that can help students type faster on devices like the iPad. It also provides some really cool iPad tips and uses key-specific tricks to increase speed. (Did you know that swiping up on the comma key turns it into an apostrophe key?) A heat map indicates red where your finger missed the mark and green where you hit the right key for the lesson. Each student using the app needs a username (no email required), then can play the free speed test or sample. The iPad Crash Course, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Course all require in-app purchases if you have the free version of the app; they are included in the paid version. There are also extra practice documents based on famous works of literature, U.S. history documents, and inspirational quotes.

Lessons start with primary keys (a-z) and common key combinations, then move on to capitalization, punctuation, difficult tapping patterns, and more. Students can view their own progress data (words per minute, accuracy, and elapsed time). They can also measure their top typing speed against the leaderboard. The quick-moving tutorials and finger heat map feedback bring interesting sight and sound elements to learning this basic but important tech skill.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Students will learn by progressing through the lessons using step-by-step skill building and perseverance. TapTyping offers kids quite a bit of feedback and data, such as the heat map that shows kids where their fingers are hitting the keyboard incorrectly. As they identify their typing strengths and weaknesses, kids can focus on the areas that need the most work. As they progress in accuracy and speed, they'll also begin to notice how their newfound skills transfer to other tasks on the iPad. Because many students use touch screens for everything from communicating with friends to writing school papers, TapTyping is an excellent tool to help them learn the tech skill of typing on a touch screen accurately and efficiently.

 

 

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