Review by Jenny Bristol, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2020

Typing.com

Clear typing instruction with detailed statistics, fun encouragement

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • English Language Arts

Skills
  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
K–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (21 Reviews)
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Pros: Students get effective typing instruction with helpful performance data, games and choose-your-own-adventure stories keep it fun, and bonus content rounds out the curriculum.

Cons: There's no way to assign specific or custom lessons to students, and the ads on the free version are distracting.

Bottom Line: One of the better typing curricula out there, Typing.com has clear, extensive instruction, entertaining practice, and plenty of trackable metrics.

In the robust teacher dashboard, teachers can create unlimited classes with unlimited students, teachers, and administrators. They set up their classes either manually or by syncing with Google Classroom, Clever, or ClassLink. Students can also self-join with a custom link made for their class. Students then log in through their own portals and can customize their learning environment.

Typing.com excels in the number of ways that teachers can customize the student experience. From the dashboard, teachers can:

  • monitor real-time and overall student and class progress with fine-grained statistics
  • download progress reports and manage students easily
  • customize lessons, games, and controls that students have access to
  • specify benchmarks for student success, such as a minimum typing speed and accuracy
  • preview the content of each lesson
  • set and regularly change a message that shows up on the student dashboard when students log in, which is helpful for giving assignments or cheering them on
  • limit the IP addresses that can access the curriculum

To add extra cross-curricular benefits, teachers can create custom lessons and typing tests with their own content, perhaps building on a history lesson or providing science content.

The one thing the teacher dashboard is missing is a way to directly assign lessons to students, but beginner typists will need to do all of the lessons. Keep in mind that the site displays ads with free accounts, but paid premium accounts remove those and provide a few additional features, such as unlimited data retention.

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Typing.com provides dozens of free, informative typing lessons from beginner through advanced levels. This curriculum departs from the traditional home row instruction by beginning with the F, J, and space keys, then moving on to U, R, and K, then adding more keys from there. Students test their skills with challenging practice exercises, eventually expanding to words, sentences, and paragraphs. After each completed screen, students can see their word-per-minute (WPM) and accuracy percentages and star ratings. There are also timed tests for one-, three-, and five-minute lengths, after which students can print completion certificates.  There are 10 themes for students to customize their experience and seven customizable games for having extra fun while they practice and hone their skills.

In addition to the regular keyboarding lessons and tests, practice options include specialized content, 10-key, common medical terms, and jokes; adaptive, targeted problem key practice; and adventure stories that students both type and control, making story decisions along the way. There's also important additional content with special lessons on how to use a computer, online safety and behavior, time management, formatting correspondence and reports, and coding essentials, introducing students to HTML and CSS. These extra lessons include a mix of instruction, quizzes, and typing practice.

As students progress, the avatar for their chosen theme levels up, creating a clear visual element to their achievements and progress. There are also badges for typing speed and accuracy, typing test speeds, games played, and more. Kids can see their own stats, helping them track their progress and keep tabs on their problem keys, as well as a class scoreboard to compare progress with other students.

Typing.com's lessons work for students in K-12, providing instruction for beginners through those needing more targeted, challenging practice. The practice section is quite advanced, with frequently used medical terms, special Dvorak practice, and 10-key. Practice lessons also include typing the most-used English words and a personalized practice section based on students' most troublesome letters. Sections include a wrap-up lesson at the end.

Typing.com includes a fair amount of encouragement, which is a nice touch. Section introductions contain positive notes aimed at students. For additional motivation, kids also receive badges for completing lessons, and as they collect XP their chosen avatar grows or develops. Students have access to their own progress data, both for individual lessons and overall. This helps them become more invested in improving their skills. For the sections that include quizzes, students can see the questions and answers afterward, helping them review.

The teacher dashboard has a vast array of customization options, both in terms of looking at student stats and tailoring what students can and can't see/do, as well as creating custom lessons and timed tests. Custom lessons and tests made by teachers can add cross-curricular instruction, and there are features aimed at making this site more accessible: The site is available in English and Spanish, the videos include transcripts, and text-to-speech dictation is available.

Overall Rating

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

Students personalize the dashboard with one of 10 styles, play typing games with themes such as zombies or carnivals, and direct choose-your-own-adventure stories. They earn milestone badges and all progress goes toward leveling up their avatar.

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

Multi-leveled lessons, divided into digestible sections, offer basic typing practice, speed drills, and more. Curriculum also includes digital literacy lessons, coding practice, and special attention to students' problem keys.

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

A site tour orients new users to the interface. Lessons can be in English or Spanish and transcripts are available for videos. Each lesson gives students copious data to track their progress.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 21 reviews) (21 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Dayna L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Salem High School
Canton, United States
Clean, clear typing practice for every level!
I think it is great to have a free typing tool that takes away all the bells and whistles. Many of the typing games that are in full color with sharks or cartoon characters, etc. overstimulate the brain and make the task harder. For some, the characters/game formats are helpful, but this is the old school typing format that quickly gives results and lets kids practice typing without distractions. The only downside is having to create a log-in. I guide students in creating a "dummy" account for school ...
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