TypingClub is a website with lessons and games that help kids learn to touch-type (typing using all fingers, without looking at the keyboard). Kids progress through 100 different levels of increasing difficulty, from the alphabet through numbers and symbols. Sure, your students may be able to thumb-text on their phones at lightning speed, but how many words per minute are they typing, really? Moreover, how accurate are they? It's a safe bet that the traditional QWERTY keyboard isn't going away anytime soon. TypingClub can help students learn how to keyboard efficiently and accurately.
TypingClub guides students through brief, easily digestible keyboarding lessons with a set of corresponding speed and accuracy assessments for each. Feedback is instant as students play, as well as summarized at the end of each assessment. Younger students will like general feedback in the form of a gold-star rating (on a three-star scale). More advanced users will appreciate Typing Club's specific feedback; statistics include words per minute and accuracy, both by finger and for each key on the keyboard. The student interface is clean and simple; everyone from beginning to advanced keyboarders can use the site to become better at touch-typing.
On the surface, lessons may seem simplistic and rote. However, the game structure, feedback, and rewards make TypingClub more engaging than many similar sites. Similar to the way Angry Birds might entice players to keep going (but without slingshotting animated birds through the air), the gameplay is geared toward learning new skills one at a time and then building on that knowledge. This aspect is what makes games like this so engaging and even addicting. However, kids can skip ahead to other levels, which somewhat diminishes the challenge. It would be nice if players could see a little more data on their performance; for example, a summary page showing the levels passed, words per minute for each, and skills mastered would help learners better monitor their progress.
Quite simply, you can use TypingClub to help students learn to type more quickly and accurately. In turn, this should help kids in a multitude of other academic areas. TypingClub's Teacher Portal allows for well-managed, whole-class typing instruction and practice. Alternately, you may want to assign specific lessons to individual students who need more typing practice.
Students can easily log in and play anywhere they have access, so homework might also be a good option. Most likely, students will find TypingClub to be most engaging when they have the freedom to play, experiment, and let the site do what it does best: meet them at their personal learning level with rich, detailed, ongoing feedback. Ultimately, students' success will depend on their ability to resist any urges to look at the keyboard or type using two fingers. Teachers may want to monitor students as they start, with periodic check-ins.