If you’re looking at actually knowing whether or not your students are making progress with their typing skills, Typingclub.com is one of the best sites that I have used. Simply put this program records literally all the information you could possibly think of. By having such a vast amount of data collected you are able to easily see your students actual progress At the same time, you can use this data to determine if students are “cheating”; such as not using the home row keys properly, or are just peck and typing. What really makes this program fantastic is sign up is free. There are additional bonus features that you can pay for such as typing tests, and actually being able to view your students typing on your monitor in real time. The great part is that if you choose not to pay for the membership this does not detract from student experience, or the teachers ultimate goal of having the students learn to type. As a result whether you signup or not really comes down to how you feel about needing or wanting those additional features. My suggestion is to simply give it an initial try sing up for free and then from there decide if you want to invest in the paid membership option.
Before I start with why this is an excellent tool and program for teachers, what I think is always one of the most important aspect about any program is are the students motivated and excited to be using it in the first place? There are many excellent programs out there, however, I have never had a student complain about using the program and often times when it is computer time even they want to know if they are typing today. Also teaching at the elementary level in particular, students are certainly reward motivated. This program delivers exceptionally with this, by giving students meaningful rewards and progress reports which actually encourages the students to continue to try and improve their results. They receive awards based on how well they are typing. After each lesson they get a progress report out of 5 stars. On the left side it shows how they performed and on the right side it shows what was expected of them from that particular lesson. When a student rushes or doesn’t try their best they will get less stars and they will know exactly what areas they need to focus on to improve in. Overall it holds the students accountable towards their own typing skills and at improving their abilities. I usually give students little tips and advice while they are typing. However the most important one I think I can provide them with is, going slow and being accurate while typing correctly will make you a better type in the long run. Many students see quick and instant success with peck and typing and fingers off the “home row” however, I remind them that will only last for so long and eventually those who learn to type correctly will get the lasting and long term results.
As an educator, why is this program worthwhile trying out? There a main reasons that make Typing Club stand out for me, aside from student engagement as mentioned above, the comprehensive data collection is the main draw for me. I’ll talk about a few key areas of data collection that are important to me but there is much more as you will discover. First I particularly like how it tracks each individual letter on the keyboard. It shows for each letter, the students accuracy, speed. Also for each finger it does the same. This piece of information helps you to understand where a student his having difficulty and needs to really work on. As a result, you do not have to sit beside the student identify their strengths and weaknesses, this is all tracked within their student profile. Next it logs when the students are on the program and it even logs their “active time”. This means just because your students are signed it doesn’t mean they are always working. Having this kind of information is extremely important to me, especially when it comes to sharing data and results with parents, admin or other teachers. If a student is logged but only did 3 minutes of typing in a 40 minute block that active time is recorded. I think this is very valuable information especially if the student is struggling with typing it can be used to show why and perhaps it could also be used to make direct correlations with their difficulty in other classes. Even though you signed your students up for this program you as an educator are unable in anyway to edit the students tracked information. As a result, with all the information gathered it is very concrete and objective. As teachers I’m sure at one time or another parents question how marks are acquired for their child or question our judgement this kind of data tracking therefore takes those questions out of the equation. In fact the program also adds up the total active time and tracks the days the students were on. Personally I find this all valuable as this goes above and beyond as what we could possibly track as educators and in the end it becomes good pieces of evidence that are useful if needed. There is a lot of other data you can look at that as mentioned earlier Typing Club really does go above and beyond to collect information that helps to track student development as well as showing strengths and weaknesses.
A few final points about Typing Club. First, it is very easy to set up a class and enroll your students with a username and password. Secondly, when you sign yourself up to create your own classes you actually able to create a class website name your students will go to when they login in. It would look like this for example, “mystudentstypingclub.com. At first I wasn’t sure what the point of this was but overall I have enjoyed having a personalized address that you can user year after year. Lastly, which I can’t stress enough is the data collection this site does is phenomenal. Aside from the students having a lot of fun, they work they are doing on here is valuable and meaningful and you will be able to use the data collected to help your students become excellent typers, something which is demanded in our 21st Century World.
Site Break Down:
- free membership/paid membership option
- tracking of student data/statistics
- excellent program for typing and student engagment
- technology required to use
- paid/free membership good
Easy to Navigate: 4/5
- overall excellent, but does require a bit of clicking around to figure out where everything is
Site usefulness: 5/5
- activities for almost all ages
Prep needed for Materials: 4/5
- just need technology
Active Web page: 4/5
- appears to be active however, from my experience not much needs to be added in regards to content
- site does appear to be adding new activities
Overall: 4.6/ 5