Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2017

Nitro Type

Customizable multiplayer auto races rev up basic typing practice

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3–8
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)
Common Sense Privacy Evaluation

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Use Responsibly

Indicates that the service meets the minimum criteria and more research should be completed prior to use.

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Not Recommended

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Pros: The abilities to upgrade vehicles and play against other users add a fun dimension to typing practice.

Cons: Ads can be intrusive in school settings, and there's not much to do other than practice.

Bottom Line: Nitro Type is pretty darn engaging, but teachers need to prep students' typing skills first.

Teachers probably won't want to use Nitro Type to teach typing, as it contains no lessons. However, once students have mastered the "home row" basics, it could provide incentive for them to continue to practice and build their words-per-minute. Teachers should be careful to monitor students and ensure they're using proper techniques as well as exhibiting good sportsmanship. Within those restraints, kids could have a lot of fun holding a classroom Grand Prix and even tracking winners and increased skills over time.

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Nitro Type is a multiplayer car racing game where typing speed and accuracy are the keys to victory. Players start the game with a basic vehicle matched up with other players on a race track. As the race begins, racers type words they see on the screen to make their cars accelerate. The fastest -- and, more important, the most accurate -- typist wins the race. Accurate typing earns you boosts that allow you to accelerate faster, encouraging an emphasis on proper typing. Players earn nitros and cash for winning races, which they can use to buy new cars. Any user can can create teams; teachers might use this feature to allow students to race against one another and team up in partnerships. Chat functions let users send each other canned responses during races, and users can comment on "News" stories on the site, where posts are monitored to protect privacy. 

Any user can access the site for free, and a premium upgrade to a Gold account costs $9.99. You can use all of the features without the upgrade, but be prepared to navigate dozens of annoying ads in the free version.

Nitro Type will definitely engage kids in typing practice more than the more traditional, single-player typing trainers. Kids will particularly enjoy practicing typing with their friends in the multiplayer mode. It's a great way to brush up on skills and add some flavor to a lesson, but teachers should keep in mind that it doesn't teach typing in any way, nor does it offer suggestions on how to improve. It will definitely motivate kids with existing basic skills, but it won't offer the pacing and instruction beginners may need. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The racing game itself involves simple typing practice, but Nitro Type's customization options will keep kids coming back for more.

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

Nitro Type works best for typing practice only. No lessons are provided, nor are kids reminded about ten-finger typing, but the emphasis on accuracy encourages proper technique.

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

Kids who want to improve their typing skills will find good practice sessions here, but those just learning to type won't find much in the way of instruction or support.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

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