Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2016

TypingClub

Gamified, data-driven activities help improve keyboarding skills

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Teachers say (9 Reviews)
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3-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Digestible lessons, addictive gameplay, and an intuitive skills progression.

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

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

Quite simply, you can use TypingClub to help students learn to type more quickly and accurately. In turn, this should help students in a multitude of other academic areas. TypingClub's "Teacher Portal" allows for well-managed, whole-class typing instruction and practice. Alternately, you may want to assign specific lessons to individual students who need more typing practice or assign more advanced lessons or tests for students who already have some typing skills. 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. You can also create your own lessons and tests from scratch, or watch instant replays of students lessons. Entire districts can also manage typing classes for students, and there are extensive tutorial Web pages and videos to help you get started.

Students can easily log in and play anywhere they have access, so homework might also be a good option. 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 typing and keyboarding website (and Chrome app) with lessons and incentives that help kids learn to touch-type (typing using all fingers, without looking at the keyboard). Kids progress through 100 levels of increasing difficulty, from the alphabet through numbers and symbols. A guide at the bottom shows students where the keys are, and students get instant feedback while typing. Students can examine their typing data through words per minute, accuracy percentage, and activity over time, and teachers can monitor all students' activity.

TypingClub guides students through brief, easily digestible keyboarding lessons with a set of corresponding speed and accuracy assessments for each. Since there are 100 lessons to get through, difficulty ramps up slowly, making steady progress manageable for most students. Badges can also be earned for reaching certain milestones. The student interface is clean and simple; everyone from beginning to advanced keyboarders can use the site to become better at touch-typing. Advanced students can skip past easier lessons to practice the areas they need to focus on.

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On the surface, lessons may seem simplistic and rote. However, the game structure, feedback, and badge rewards make TypingClub more engaging than many similar sites. Similar to the way Angry Birds might entice players to keep going (but without slingshotting animated birds through the air), play is geared toward learning new skills one at a time and then building on that knowledge. This aspect is what makes games like this so engaging and even addicting. There is also plenty of data for students' performance accessible by 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 more specific feedback; statistics include words per minute and accuracy percentage, and the instant feedback shows exactly where mistakes are made and gives a typing speed for each section of typing. Students can see how they improve over time, which should encourage them to keep going, encouraging mastery of each skill to gain five stars before moving on.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

Interactive lessons and virtual achievements make learning to type fun. The pacing keeps students interested and guessing about the next lesson. Both beginning and advanced learners can improve their skills.

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

Instant feedback guides students as they type their way through logical, well-paced lessons. Small lesson steps and plenty of 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?
3

Students get a lot of statistics about their typing skills after each activity, and teachers have extensive support and help to get started. There's no mention of how to extend learning.


Common Sense Reviewer
Jenny Bristol Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Kacie S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Schalmont Middle School
Schenectady, NY
3
Great Way to Provide Students With Self-Guided Typing Lessons

Overall, if you are looking for a basic program to track student progress through the progression of various typing lessons, this would be a great program.

The extension activities are limited. While teachers can create their own tests and activities, it seems a shame that more of those features are not already built in and ready to go, given the wide variety of typing games available for free online.

I do use the typing club to introduce basic typing skills and keep track of student progress through the lessons, but I will continue to use other typing activities to supplement this program. If you are considering purchasing a license to this program, look at the free programs available first. Another major benefit to consider is that typing club allows the entire school database of students and classes to be integrated through a mass upload of the information, making it easier to set up classes for teachers.

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