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Challenge Them to Type Faster Than They Can Write!!

How fast should your students keyboard?  It all depends.

You know that the main advantage keyboarding has over writing is that it can be FASTER (aside from looking nicer, be less fatiguing, easier to edit, and enters content into a digital medium 😉 ) .   Our districts may have identified specific speeds for students of different levels to keyboard, but what does that mean to our students?  Its a great way to assign grades, but it isn’t personal to the students.

IDEA: Have the students copy a paragraph by hand for one minute and then count the number of letters they completed. Divide by 5 and you have the WPM for them. Identify the number of errors.

Next, have them do the same thing with the same paragraph using a keyboard. Compute the WPM. Identify the number of errors.

NOW you have the gauntlet!! Now you have a way to challenge them to increase their keyboarding. They can work to beat their PB (Personal Best). Once they have conquered that, they can work to keyboard at 125% of their handwriting PB.

What do you think? Have you ever done anything like this? Sure, your district has probably identified minimum speeds for your students, but try personally motivating them using this method.

Love to hear your feedback or success stories.



Have You Joined the Typing Club?

Are you looking for a free online typing web Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 9.36.48 AMsite?  How about the Typing Club?

I have shared a number of them on this blog (check the Online Keyboarding category in the right column.) The Typing Club is a  good program for middle school and above.  I say this because there are no animated characters like you would find in some of the other programs I reviewed.

The Typing Club is well designed. It has 100 levels for you to complete. Each level has about 100 keystrokes that you need to complete.  It begins with the regular j & f lesson and ends with < & >  The typing text is interesting. The final completion analysis is thorough. It will inform you of your Speed, Accuracy and Time. It will also tell you about your typing efficiency for each individual keystroke. (BTW I tried just pounding the keyboard to get through the lesson and at the end it told me, in polite terms, that I should redo the lesson.)

There is also a possibility for you to set this up for your whole class as well. I didn’t explore this part but you might want to see how it might help your class.

Both the individual and class flavors of the Typing Club are free but there is a note that says “There will be an optional paid version available on July 15th, 2013.”




Take a Stand for Keyboarding

ImageI just received an email about a keyboarding book stand that you might need in your keyboarding classes. If your school is using keyboarding books, you might find this durable plastic stand a useful device for helping your students hold their books while they keyboard.

This is created by DisplayStands4You http://www.displaystands4you.com


More Online Keyboarding Games

Screen shot 2012-05-31 at 9.32.22 PM

Here’s another cache of keyboarding games. It’s your typical blow things up while you type selection, but I like the Type Type Revolution game.  Take off of Dance Dance Revolution.  You type as letters rise to the top and disco music plays in the background.

Which do you like?


4 Innovative Keyboards


Looking for new ideas for keyboards? Inc.com recently reviewed a keyboard foursome. They range from the Luxeed U7 Dynamic Pixel LED Keyboard which allows you to program a color scheme for each of the keys . . . to . . . the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. One of the keyboards is even dedicated to provide an easier way for you to enter information into your iPhone.

Do you have an interesting keyboard that you use?

Public Radio (WNPR in Conn) Interested in Keyboarding

mcenroeIs keyboarding replacing handwriting instruction in today’s schools?

This is the question that Connecticut NPR’s (WNPR) talk show host, Colin McEnroe posed to author Kitty Burns Florey in a 25-minute interview on 9/3/209. Florey wrote the book Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting. This is a wonderful book that begins by telling the history of handwriting and the tools used to make it possible. Flory then discusses the implications of promoting (and not promoting) handwriting in today’s society.

Providing counterpoint to Mrs. Florey, McEnroe included me (Leigh Zeitz) as the keyboarding advocate.  Actually, Kitty had contacted me while she was writing her book and she had suggested that I should be in the conversation. Thank You, Kitty.

Rounding off the group was Dr. Betty Getty of Portland Community College who developed the revolutionary Italic Handwriting system that can even help doctors improve their handwriting to a point of legibility.

The discussion was an amiable one. It was pretty much agreed that keyboarding and handwriting are both essential skills.  Keyboarding is a lifelong skill that needs to be taught in the 3rd grade to get students “off on the right track.” Handwriting is a skill that every person needs to have to allow them to complete the everyday activities.

I tried to introduce how learning to write in the dynamic world of word processing actually changes how we think when we write. It didn’t make much impact on the discussion. The rest of the folks were discussing how handwriting enabled writers to “get he feel of the words” as they write.

You might enjoy listening to the podcast.  Here’s the link.
(There’s a prolonged ad at the beginning. Our interview begins about 10 minutes into the podcast.)

Podcast: http://tinyurl.com/handwritingmacenroe

20 MORE Free Keyboarding Resources for the Classroom

Where to Find Keyboarding Lesson Plans and Tutorials

Finding online lesson plans and tutorials for keyboarding is a great way for teachers to save time and engage students in the classroom. Here are a few resources that can be used to teach beginner and advanced keyboarders finger placement, speed, and accuracy:

Teachers.net – The Teachers.net site provides 36 keyboarding lesson plans for students of all ages. The lesson plans range from beginner to advanced.

Learn Keyboard Typing – Learn Keyboard Typing offers step-by-step instruction to help students increase keyboarding skills. This four-lesson tutorial provides demos, tips on finger placement, and a practice area.

Keyboarding & Applications – This instructional site from Tayna Skinner’s Business Education Lesson Plans features lesson plans and activities, keyboarding educational links, and typing tutors for students of all ages.

TestMyTyping.com – TestMyTyping.com offers a fun and easy typing tutorial for improving typing speed. The tutorial features 10 lessons which can be used by beginner and advanced typists.

MrKent’s Typing Tutor – MrKent’s Typing Tutor is an interactive tutorial for learning the placement of keys without having to actually look at the keys. The tutorial features 14 learning lessons in all.

Education World – This open source lesson plan site features a Primary Keyboarding Skills section for grades K-2. The lessons in this section introduce younger students to the home row of keys by using phrases that correlate to the letters on the keys.

Utah Education Network – The Utah Education Network offers keyboarding lesson plans designed for grades 6-9. The lesson plans can be used to improve accuracy, speed, and finger placement.

Glencoe’s Online Keyboarding – This online interactive keyboarding tutorial features 16 keyboarding lessons as well as tips for improving finger placement.

Nail It Now – Nail It Now provides a fun, four-lesson tutorial for elementary school children. The objective is for children to learn and understand key positions as well as finger placement.

Typing Games and Lessons – This keyboarding site provides free online tutorials and lessons for improving typing skills and speed.

Typing Tutor – Typing Tutor is a Java typing tutor/game that can be used to practice keyboarding skills.

MoneyInstructor.com – MoneyInstuctor.com provides lessons, typing worksheets, exercises, and finger charts for keyboarding students and teachers.

TeAchnology – This online teaching resource provides several lesson plans designed to improve keyboarding skills. Teachers can also find rubrics and worksheets for beginner to advanced keyboarders.

Lesson Plans – This keyboarding lesson plan from Lesson Plans improves speed and accuracy through group drills. This is a fun way for 5th through 12th graders to improve typing skills.

Computer Training Tutorials – The Computer Training Tutorials site offers an interactive tutorial for beginning keyboarders. This tutorial gives explanations of the keys and provides a practice area to test skills.

Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineCollege.org, an online college resource.

20 FREE Keyboarding Resources for the Classroom

20 Free Keyboarding Resources for the Classroom

The Internet is an excellent place to find fun and cost-effective ways to improve your students’
keyboarding skills. Resources that increase speed and accuracy are available for keyboarders at any level. Here is a list of 20 free lessons, tests, games, and activities to explore today:

Lessons and Tests

Goodtyping – Goodtyping offers a free typing course to correct your finger placement and increase speed. This web-based course provides a total of 27 guided lessons in 18 different layouts.

Typingweb – Typingweb is a good typing resource for students of all ages. The site offers a complete course, typing tutorials, exercises, and tests to improve accuracy and speed.

Sens-lang.org – Sens-lang.org offers lessons, tutors, games, and tests to increase keyboarding skills. The site also provides visual demonstrations, tips, and tricks to improve finger placement.

Alpha Free Typing Tutor – The Alpha Free Typing Tutor provides step-by-step instruction to improve keyboarding ability. The site also hosts lessons, games, and tests that score wpm and accuracy.

BellaOnline – BellaOnline features five free typing tests for speed and accuracy. Two great tests to try include the Pride and Prejudice test and the Hamlet test.

Keybr.com – This free typing tutorial hosts three basic lessons guaranteed to improve keyboarding skills. Keybr.com even lets you import text from a website or blog so that you can customize your learning environment.

Learn 2 Type for Kids – Learn 2 Type provides typing lessons and games that are specifically designed for kids. Teachers can register for a free account to create customized lessons based on age and grade.

This instructional learning site features video instructions, character exercises, and speed typing lessons. Lessons can be customized with news articles or your own text.

ARTypist – ARTypist was created to help students learn, improve, and master keyboarding. This online tutor provides 10 lessons and games.

?The UgLY TypInG PrACtice ProGrAM! – This online keyboarding program specializes in customizable speed drills for numbers, punctuation, and symbols. This site isn’t the most visually pleasing space to behold, but it does provide powerful practice with fully customizable keyboarding improvement options.

Games and Activities

AlphAttack – AlphAttack is a keyboarding game provided by Gamequarium. This game is a great way to build accuracy and learn the placement of letters on the keyboard.

Keyboarding Skills – E-learning for Kids offers this free keyboarding game for 5th-12th graders. The game covers a wide range of keyboarding and navigation skills.

Keyman – The TypingMaster provides many fun and original games for children of all ages. The Keyman game is a special typing version of Pacman which allows you to learn keyboarding skills while avoiding the evil typo ghosts.

Typer Shark – The Typer Shark from Pop Cap is an excellent way to increase typing speed. The game provides several settings from easy (20wpm) to expert (70wpm).  There is also an extreme setting for fast-fingered keyboarders.

Type Type Revolution – Played Online provides 20 different games to increasing your 10-fingered typing skills, including Type Type Revolution. This fun, interactive game can challenge anyone’s keyboarding skills.

TypeMaster – The TypeMaster challenges students to type 10 lines as fast as they can. The game then calculates the student’s time, speed, and wpm.

Speed Typing – Speed Typing improves speed and accuracy through this fun, fast-typing game.  The object is to type 12 words as fast as you can without typos. The words get more difficult as your work toward the 12th row.

Cup Stacking – LearningGamesforKids.com offers three fun typing games for children, including this Cup Stacking game.  Cup Stacking is designed specifically for the elementary learners.

Typo – Typo is an interactive keying game to increase your typing accuracy. The game teaches you to type quickly and reduces points for typos.

Goalie – This game from Customtyping.com works on keyboarding speed by challenging users to type a word next to the on-screen ball.  If you don’t type fast enough, you’re out of the game.

Guest post from Karen
Schweitzer, the About.com Guide to Business School. Karen also writes about colleges online for

Keyboarding from a Distance with Wireless

vidabox_laser_keyboard_lrgKeyboards don’t always have to be connected to your computer. There are a number of keyboards and opportunities that you can use to enter information into your computer, xbox, or ??

Adam Thursby blogs about how he has used the Logitech diNovo Mini, nMediaPC 2.4Ghz Wireless Keyboard with Trackball and Remote Combo, and Vidabox Premium Wireless Keyboard with Laser Trackball options to link to his computer.

Check out Adam’s posting, Remote Keyboarding Your PC.

Research – Improving Computer Keyboarding Skills in Third through Fifth Grade Students

Improving Computer Keyboarding Skills in Third through Fifth Grade Students
J. Troy Robinson
June 1992

A Practicum report submitted to the faculty of the Center for Advancement of Education of Nova University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Educational Specialist.


The lack of computer keyboarding skills in third through fifth grade students was addressed by the implementation of a 12 week instructional program in the computer laboratory classroom of the target elementary school. All students in third, fourth, and fifth grade class, regardless of varying exceptionalities

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