Many teachers and pupils who use computers a lot can find they wish they could type as fast as they write. Many become very quick two-fingered typists but nonetheless wish they were able to type without having to search for the keys they wish on the keyboard. So if touch-typing is something you’d like to be able to do, or you’re looking for free tools to encourage pupils to learn, then the following resources can help make this fun while learning to touch-type.
Keyboarding Ideas and Resources http://ictprofessionaldevelopment.wikispaces.com/Keyboarding is a wiki which has ideas, tips and resources for teaching keyboarding in the classroom from an early age onwards. There are printable resources as well as links to on-screen tools for teaching touch-typing.
The free online resource at Typing Web http://www.typingweb.com/provides a teaching tool to learn touch typing as well as a recording system to let users see their progress, and an option to produce a certificate to record achievement (if you register – for free).
Keybr.com is a free online keyboarding tutor to help teach touch typing. It shows you on screen the letters you are to type, pauses until you have time to find the key then, if you have not immediately clicked on the appropriate key, it shows the on-screen layout with highlighted key. It records your progress, and you can also import your own texts. It provides the option of keyboard (e.g. various languages as well as option of keyboard layout types). It also has an element of games-based learning in that users can see high scores against other users.
Typing Class from Big Brown Bear is a free online series of lessons and games guiding pupils through learning how to touch-type.
Primary Games include Keyboard and Typing Tutor games – just go to the games arena website and type the word “keyboard” or “typing” into the search box – the games shown are then grouped by age and skill level.
In addition to access to online keyboarding/touch-typing tools online all Falkirk primary schools have the following typing tutor software (free downloads) installed on all PCs:
Kidtype – free from www.kidwaresoftware.com/kidtype.htm On-screen highlighted images of fingers are displayed on screen to show which finger to use to press each key – the program is made up of stage-by-stage lessons as well as timed exercises, any of which you can select, dip into, or work through in sequence.
The Analytical Eye Typing Tutor is a free download from www.aetech.co.uk/ttutor/download.php. This program can be worked through in sequence (and there are many lessons to cover all aspects of touch-typing) and there are many aspects which can be customised by the user, so you could have the screen image shown or hidden depending on the challenge you wish, the backspace delete can be disabled to avoid going back and correcting errors when testing yourself, and there is a scoring facility to show how well you are doing and improvements being made, as well as areas to practise.
Jerry Blumengarten (The Cybraryman) has collated a comprehensive list of links to other typing tutors tools and resources to support teachers in schools which can be found here: http://cybraryman.com/keyboarding.html
Chris Leach has some lines to resources here – these are suitable for nursery pupils and for older pupils: http://chrisleach78.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/teaching-touch-typing/
Technology Tidbits Ten Sites for Keyboarding and Typing is a collection of resources collated and described by David Kapuler.
12 great free keyboarding games to teach kids typing – a post by Med Kharbach on the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning blog with descriptions of a variety of free tools to help teach learners how to be more effective at using a keyboard.
How to teach Keyboarding by Jacqui Murray (Ask a Tech teacher) provides a host of ideas for teaching keyboarding, including suggested sequences of ideas and lessons using specific free resources.