Do you know how to type? For the last few weeks, Garrett has been working on his own typing skills, using the program The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach . Using this program, Garrett has begun to learn the skills necessary to become proficient at typing, a skill that will help him throughout his life.
I remember taking typing class in middle school. It was a requirement in 7th grade at that time. Students would file into a large classroom with tables lined up with typewriters and a document stand, the teacher would set a metronome and we would be required to type from the day's document without looking at our fingers on the keys, trying our best to make as few mistakes while achieving acceptable words-per-minute speeds that would get us passing marks for the class. This was before the times where home computers were in every home and word processors were the norm. Instead, you had the annoying click, click, click of the keys as the letter arms struck the paper and you hoped you didn't run out of ink ribbon before you finished. There was no "Backspace" or "Delete" buttons: mistakes meant you either used correctional fluid to fix the error or you yanked the paper out of the machine in frustration and started over. I admit, I hated typing class as did most of my classmates. For us, learning to type was a stressful situation and that added stress resulted in more mistakes and headaches.
Things have changed. Typewriters are more a relic of the past as computers and printers have made themselves a fixture in almost every household. But while the typewriter themselves may have gone out with bell bottom pants and jelly shoes, the actual typing skill is just as important today as it was 28 years ago when I was forced to learn. Those who never learn to actually typing properly on a keyboard find themselves at a disadvantage while they "hunt and peck" for the letters when they are required to type papers in school or at work.
What is The Typing Coach Online Typing Course?
Designed by David Kimball ("The Typing Coach"), this online typing course is designed to walk students easily through the skills needed to typing proficiently. From proper posture, finger placement on the keys and learning each row of letters and how to properly reach those letters without removing their hands from the keyboard, students progress from zero knowledge of the keyboard to proficiency.
The Typing Coach Online Typing consists of three components. The first component is the online lessons, a series of seven audio lessons that teach students typing skills and then walk them through practicing. Lessons break each aspect of typing down to bite sized pieces, starting with the "home row" keys and then progressing to the top row, bottom row, and number row keys. The second component of the program is the 16 page printable Student Packet which consists of typing drills that are used after each lesson to help students get use to typing using the keys they have learned, while also learning to not watch the keyboard but instead look at the document they are typing.
|One of the Typing Drills from the Student Packet|
|One of the Timed Drills to Check for Speed and Accuracy|
The website does an excellent job at explaining how each component of the program works so there is little confusion. One logged in, all lessons are in one easy page, along with the printables necessary for the course, introductory information and tips and resources for teachers using the program.
|Lessons are easily accessible from one central website|
How We Used It:
Garrett is a bit of a difficult learner, as part of his Spectrum diagnosis. It's not that he's slow but more that he is very meticulous when it comes to hands on learning - he has to be precise or he gets frustrated very easily and will give up quickly. The Typing Coach has taken this into consideration, offering the same teaching instruction under a "Slower Paced Lessons" option.
This option has been perfect for Garrett, who gets overwhelmed having too much thrown at him at one time. We have used these lessons almost exclusively, as the pacing has been perfect for Garrett. Mr Kimball's voice instruction on these sets of lessons are slow enough that Garrett can follow along without quickly getting overwhelmed and frustrated when he gets behind. Also, since the lessons are easy to access once he logs in, he is quickly able to select the lesson he's been working on without having to fish through various website pages to resume where he left off.
Because of the way Garrett learns, we have probably gone through this course much slower than others might have done. He tends to repeat lessons several times over the course of two weeks at a time, until he feels comfortable moving on to the next lesson, sometimes longer. Using the Student Packet, we're able to gauge when he's ready to move on to the next lesson, if we should practice the current lesson a bit more, or even if we should repeat the audio lesson again for a better understanding.
We have not yet used the Testing aspect of the course but that's because we are currently using the Slower Learning lessons. Once Garrett completes these series of lessons, we're going to then try him on the regular coursework, which will include the timed testing drills. But for right now, he's getting a great understanding of how to properly place his fingers on the keys and developing the "eye to brain to fingers" memory that is very important in typing.
|Typing from the Student Packet - Without looking at the keys!!!|
The Typing Coach Online Typing Course has been a perfect fit for Garrett and has opened a whole new level of creativity for him. Garrett hates writing and by learning to type, he can more effectively put thought to paper without the frustration and anxiety that he has when forced to pick up a pencil and write. As a homeschool mom with a special needs child, I would highly recommend this program if for nothing else to give them an effective means of communication, whether it be students like my son who just hates to write or even non-verbal students. The lessons are effective and work - I only wish they had THIS method of learning typing when I was in school.
For more information on The Typing Coach and The Typing Coach Online Typing Course, visit their website or on Twitter at:
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