Learning to keyboard is an essential skill, but it’s challenging to engage and maintain student interest in typing practice. Some schools purchase software to teach keyboarding skills, but there are many free options available. With a browser and an Internet connection, you can access an extensive variety of drills, games, and typing tests. You can hook your students into practicing by choosing a balance of fun practice drills and personal achievement challenges.
The Internet offers a broad assortment of keyboarding apps. Before starting to browse, you may want to determine what you are looking for:
- Do your primary students need to learn where the letters are on the keyboard?
- Do your junior students need to learn hand and finger placement and gain basic typing skills?
- Do your middle school or senior students need to increase keyboarding accuracy and speed?
There is an app for all of these needs! Here is a review of some of them.
Type Scout offers a limited number of free typing drills and games to guests. To access more resources register your school for a free three month trial. Create classes and then set up individual students with unique passwords that are generated automatically and can be printed. After the trial period a paid subscription is required.
- In Scout Mode, choose from 5 ability levels with a series of timed exercises starting with individual letters on the base row and only one hand and proceeding to multiple rows and words.
- In the Picture & Keyboard Game, find letters on a keyboard that is colored to show finger placement.
- Proceed to the Text Writing Game which requires students to type letters and words.
- Have fun with the games Typetris, a speed typing challenge and Memorix, a memory game using a sequence of letters from the keyboard.
Some typing apps are aimed at the broad spectrum of typing learners, not just a school environment. Typing Lessons encourage students to advance their skills by completing exercises, tracking their progress, and working to improve their accuracy and speed.
- Computer generated typing lessons are created by an algorithm that tracks the user’s skills and statistics to automatically match their needs
- Visual keyboard gives hints about letter location if it is not typed in time
- Use profile includes top speed, average speed, time, and a progress chart
The Typing Club is free and students do not need to set up an account nor login to complete the lessons. However, if teachers would like to track progress a free School Portal allows teachers to set up classes, track class or student progress, and customize lessons. Additional features are available with a paid subscription. The typing drills are best suited for older children.
- Select from 100 lessons organized by Alphabet, Numbers, and Symbols.
- Pick an introductory, review, or practice lesson.
- Improve speed by selecting a Word Per Minute (WPM) goal.
- Lessons display speed (WPM) and accuracy statistics.
There are so many fun typing games. To prevent boredom, after your students complete typing drill and practice activities have them play one of these games.