Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2018

TypingClub

Gamified, data-driven activities help master keyboarding skills

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
  • Character & SEL
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (10 Reviews)

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1 video | 11 images

Pros: A huge number of digestible lessons, addictive gameplay, an intuitive skills progression, and an attractive interface.

Cons: Without supervision, kids could easily cheat on basic lessons by using two fingers or by looking at the keyboard.

Bottom Line: This highly effective tool helps students of all skill levels improve their typing ability through guided lessons and engaging assessments.

Quite simply, you can use TypingClub to help students learn to type more quickly and accurately. TypingClub's teacher dashboard allows for well-managed, whole-class typing instruction and practice. There, you can add and delete classes and students, assign lessons, print login cards, design your own lesson plans, run reports, and study in-depth student data. There are also a few foreign language lesson plans and the ability to translate the interface into another language. A number of accessibility options are included, such as a multilevel lesson voice-over and different font sizes (including an extra-large font and a high-contrast theme), as well as keyboard sound options, choice of screen reader, and one-handed typing lessons. 

You can begin by creating classes and assigning lesson plans for each class. Alternatively, you can give placement tests to students and assign specific lessons accordingly. You can customize lessons to disable the backspace key, disable the guiding-hand images at the bottom of the screen, disable instant feedback, or edit the requirements for mastering a level, among many other options. Entire districts can also manage typing classes for students, and there are extensive tutorial webpages and videos to help you get started. Typing Jungle also has a detailed handbook for reference.

Students can easily log in and play anywhere they have internet access, so typing practice can be assigned as homework. Most likely, students will find TypingClub to be most engaging when they have the freedom to play, experiment, and let the site do what it does best: meet them at their personal learning level with rich, detailed, ongoing feedback. Ultimately, students' success will depend on their ability to resist any urges to look at the keyboard or type using two fingers. Teachers may want to monitor students as they start, with periodic check-ins. Or they can allow for practice at home with testing done in class.

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TypingClub is a masterfully designed typing and keyboarding website (and Chrome and mobile app) with lessons and incentives that help kids learn to touch-type (typing using all fingers, without looking at the keyboard). It guides students through brief, easily digestible keyboarding lessons with a set of corresponding speed and accuracy assessments for each. Lessons range from the home row to lengthy, topical paragraphs. In between these lessons are fun videos that focus on skills (and the letters themselves, for younger students), finger gym exercises, and review. A guide at the bottom shows students where the keys are, and students get instant feedback while typing. Badges can also be earned for reaching certain milestones. Advanced students can skip past easier lessons to practice the areas they need to focus on. Students can examine their typing data through words per minute (WPM), accuracy percentage, and activity over time, and teachers can monitor all students' activity.

Because of TypingClub's expansive lesson offerings, students from pre-K all the way up through high school can use it. The youngest kids can begin with Jungle Junior, whose 200+ cute and playful lessons introduce letters on the keyboard in alphabetical order, mirroring how they learn the alphabet in other subjects, and then work slowly up to typing sentences. Older kids can jump right into Typing Jungle, with almost 700 lessons presenting the keyboard in a more traditional manner, beginning with the home row, through a traditional curriculum, and then through lessons that help students increase their speed and stamina. Common letter patterns, tricky words, and interesting content are included. Both Jungle Junior and Typing Jungle include plenty of finger gym exercises to warm up typing muscles. In addition, several Animated Story Lesson Plans are available; these allow students to animate a story and cause it to unfold as they type. The original 100-lesson TypingClub lesson plan is also still available, along with several others.

TypingClub's game structure, feedback, stories, and badge rewards make it more engaging than similar sites, and it provides enough lessons that teachers can pick and choose what to assign. The lessons are geared toward learning new skills one at a time and then combining that knowledge and building on it to create mastery. Students will constantly be working toward badges, five-star scores, and higher game scores. These aspects are what make sites like this so addicting.

There's also plenty of data about students' performance accessible to both teachers and students. Younger students will like the general feedback in the form of a gold-star rating (on a five-star scale). More advanced students will appreciate TypingClub's specific feedback. They can see speed and accuracy, strong and problem keys, practice time, instant feedback while they type, and instant replays of their typing lessons. This kind of ownership can really empower older students who are beginning to take a more active role in their education.

TypingClub could benefit from targeted lessons for elementary and secondary students, however. Jungle Junior lessons are great for the youngest students, but then they jump right into the full Typing Jungle curriculum without a transition.

 

Overall Rating

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

Interactive lessons, games, animations, and virtual achievements make learning to type fun. The pacing keeps students interested and guessing about the next lesson. 

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

Instant feedback guides students as they type their way through logical, well-paced lessons; custom lessons are also possible. Small lesson steps and varied practice promote mastery, and plenty of data allows progress monitoring.

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

Students get feedback as they type and are given statistics about their speed, accuracy, and more after each activity. Teachers have extensive tutorials to help them get started and plenty of online help as they keep going.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 10 reviews) (10 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Arnilynne T. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
White Memorial Adventist School
Los Angeles, United States
Helpful & fun!
As a teaching tool, TypingClub is a great venue for practicing and mastering keyboard skills. I love that each lesson is embedded into the challenges so students can progress as quickly or slowly as they feel comfortable with and I don't have to repeat lessons over and over for each one. The language and quality of the mini-lessons are kid friendly and digestible--YAY! I look forward to continuing the TypingClub challenges with my students next year.
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