Common Sense Review
Updated March 2016

Typing.com

Clear typing instruction with detailed statistics and fun encouragement
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • The site starts students off pretty easily, with one key, then two, and then adding in the space bar and moving on from there.
  • When students complete a screen within a lesson, they get a lot of feedback.
  • Some of the screens use vertically falling letters.
  • Students can see their progress for each of the lessons on each of the levels.
  • There are timed typing tests for more advanced typists.
  • After each timed typing test, students get a printable certificate.
  • Students can choose from one of eight skins to personalize their experience.
  • Eight customizable typing games hone kids' skills.
  • Teachers have a full-featured dashboard to monitor student and class progress, run reports, and change settings.
Pros
Students get effective, entertaining typing instruction with helpful performance data.
Cons
There's no way to assign custom lessons to students, and the ads are distracting.
Bottom Line
Typing.com is a great go-to for teachers with clear, extensive instruction and practice and easily trackable metrics -- all available for free on the Web.
Jenny Bristol
Common Sense Reviewer
Homeschooling parent/instructor
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Students can personalize their dashboards with eight skins and play fun, typing-based games with themes such as zombies or carnivals. A Class Scoreboard ranks students, which may also motivate them to finish exercises.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 5

Beginner- to advanced-level lessons, divided into digestible sections, offer speed drills, tips, and practice keying in numbers, punctuation, and other interesting typing challenges. User progress is tracked and displayed.

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

There's plenty of help available on the site, and each student can be set up with one of 26 available keyboard layouts. Each lesson gives students copious data to track their progress.

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

Teachers create one or several class accounts, adding students in each class. Students can then log in through their own portals. Kids can systematically work their way through the typing lessons and practice exercises, or they can do lessons out of order. Teachers can make sure students are staying active by monitoring their real-time and overall progress. A scoreboard can be displayed for students to see each other's progress, or that feature can be turned off.

The site seems to have been designed to encourage individual use; students will need to take some initiative to complete assignments and go back and repeat any they need more help on. And they may have to do it without much direct instruction from their teacher through the site. The one thing the teacher dashboard is missing is a way to directly assign lessons to students. Teachers can review lessons to ensure the content fits into their lesson plans, but there's little customization available. Keep in mind that the site displays ads, which can be turned off for specific students with a paid premium account.

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What's It Like?

Typing.com, previously called TypingWeb, provides 45 free, informative typing lessons, each with many instruction screens. After each completed screen, students can see their word-per-minute (WPM) and accuracy percentages and star ratings. Teachers can easily set up a classroom and create student accounts. Lessons extend from beginner to intermediate, advanced, and specialty levels; users start learning the home and top-row keys and eventually test their skills with more challenging practice exercises, eventually expanding to words, sentences, and paragraphs. There are also timed tests for 1-, 3-, and 5-minute lengths. Students can print completion certificates after the tests.

The system lets teachers easily track student progress. They can run reports based on lesson or test performance or use a real-time monitoring option to see how many lessons kids have completed. Students can also view their stats and get gross and net word-per-minute calculations (based on the overall words they've typed and the amount without errors), identify their problem keys, and see an accuracy score. In addition, there are eight skins for students to customize their experience and eight customizable games for having extra fun while they practice and hone their skills.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The site's lessons reinforce a number of valuable typing skills, including adding punctuation, numbers, and capital letters. The practice section is quite advanced with frequently used medical terms, special Dvorak practice, and interesting facts. Students will also get practice typing the 300 most-used English words, and there are other unexpected practice themes. Typing.com also personalizes each student's experience by creating custom lessons based on the student's most troublesome letters. Sections include a wrap-up lesson at the end, and introductions provide fingering and other tips. 

Typing.com also includes a fair amount of encouragement, which is a nice touch. Section introductions contain positive notes aimed at students. For additional motivation, users also receive badges for completing lessons. There doesn't seem to be a way for teachers to directly send assignments to students through the site, which would be a nice addition. However, even without this, Typing.com provides an ideal way for individual users to get comfortable using a keyboard. 

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