How I Use It
I teach keyboarding the "old-school" way by teaching reaches by calling out the letters by row and typing in MS Word. I then assign my students the home row lesson to practice and reinforce the keys. Students then practice at their own pace in the courses tab. We then learn the top row, then practice and repeat with the bottom row. I add the additional Beginner course lessons. When we have about 10 minutes left in the class period, I allow students to play the games. I do not use the typing test on this website. I have used this website at the high school (9-12) level and the intermediate (3-5) levels.
This is a great website to teach and practice keyboarding skills for all grade levels. The website does provide some instruction regarding finger placement and reaches. Teachers can import their students usernames and passwords to allow the teacher to monitor student progress. Teachers can generate user reports to share with other teachers and parents. The students love this site! They can customize their skin (screen display) and they can use the games tab to reinforce their skills. The games can be set to easy, medium and hard, as well as, target certain rows like home row, top row and bottom row. Students can also type all the keys in their games instead of targeting one row. There is a typing test, however, it is ever changing content. Students love the trophy case and get very excited when they earn trophies. There is a certificate that they can print as well. In class, students get to see the class scoreboard and they compete against each other. I love the problem keys section on the website. It diagnoses the typist and gives a prescription of keys to work on to increase their skill.
Overall, the website is an amazing tool to use in the classroom. One drawback is the free version (with ads) can sometimes have ads that are targeting "male gamers" and the ads have woman cartoon figures that are dressed inappropriately. The company is very responsive to emails asking for removal of ads. They state that the ads sometimes slip through even though they do their best to filter. I teach my students how to report the ad or how to refresh their page if they feel uncomfortable.