Keyboard skills(4 Posts)
Has anyone come across any good games that help children (around age 8) to learn/practise typing while having fun? Thank you for any suggestions.
BBC Dance Mat is quite good.
There is also great touch typing programme called Mavis Beacon. Have seen others suggested on another thread here but can't remember the names of them. Might be worth looking back at previous threads?
Typing Tournament is good - it goes through levels logically and has a knights/castles theme. It's available on CD-ROM, but can also be purchased electronically.
There was a thread some months ago with a lot of ideas, and BBC Dance Mat is fun and a fine way to start children off.
As a TA I taught touch typing in primary schools, but I mostly made my own resources.
This is one I have used myself, to see what it was like; it is not entertaining like Dance Mat, but is a much more professional tool. It keeps progress statistics, and offers more advice on technique. (I have been a professional typist all my life, so can give you advice on 'technique' if you want it.) It is free, but you need to sign up, with email address if I remember correctly:
This was a review of some alternative programs:
This is quite a good one that was available in a school I worked in, and there are art and other packages by the same company, but I think they all have to be paid for:
So I would suggest, start with Dance Mat, then try 'typingweb' if you want to make more serious progress.
I have found some information I sent someone else a year or so ago; I'll try and copy it as it might be useful:
Try to use an 'office' computer, with a 'proper' keyboard. A laptop will make touch typing much more difficult, as the keys do not have the proper 'feel', nor the natural 'slope' of a separate keyboard. Also the touch-pad means the letters are a bit further away, which means further to reach for a child. So, if possible use an 'ordinary' computer, rather than a laptop for learning to touch type.
Learn the 'home keys' first, keeping the index fingers on F and J, which should have a raised 'pip' that you can feel, so if fingers get 'lost' try to 'feel' your way back (without looking) via F and J.
Left hand home keys: A S D F G
Right hand home keys: H J K L ; '
Try to keep the fingers over the Home Keys all the time, except when a finger is moving up, down, or across to reach a letter.
Keep a slow but even speed, and it can help to 'say' each letter, either in your head, or out loud if no one objects! Keeping a chart of the key layout nearby is better than having to look down at the keys.
When first learning the letters T Y U B and N, which are 'further away' then you can look, and practise the feel of reaching for the more distant letters. Gradually try to do it without looking.
It does not matter how slowly you go at first, but try and let your fingers 'learn' where letters are. If you work through the first words in a lesson 'in order', your fingers soon get used to the 'pattern' of words. Early ones include things like:
SAD DAD HAD A SALAD etc.
Take your time, don't be tempted to rush or cheat. It isn't easy, I admit, but it is worth persevering.
I hope this makes sense, and if you have specific questions let me know and I'll try to help.
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