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What Keyboarding Software Can Do For Your Students

It’s well established by now that keyboarding is a skill that’s essential in today’s technology-driven society.  Without touch typing skills you cannot effectively work, communicate, connect, or collaborate. It’s not that you’re incapable of doing all of these activities without a keyboard, but you’ll end up falling far behind your online competition in the workplace. However, with efficient touch typing skills, all these daily activities are a breeze.

Integrating touch typing practice in your classroom with the help of typing tutor software means you have a ready-made curriculum, designed just for you. All you need to do is set up your students’ account, give them a little e-tour of the software, and the rest is practice, practice, practice.

Choosing the right keyboarding program for your classroom can be tricky and time-consuming, though. There are a lot of promising product options out there, but how do you know which one to pick?

One easy way to sort through products that will help you make a decision quickly is to steer away from any typing software that’s stuck in the 1990s. You know which ones I’m referring to. They have a Windows 95 kind of feel to them, they look old-fashioned, and they’re not user-friendly at all.

User-friendliness Equals Effective Learning

One of the most important criteria for a software’s effectiveness is its user-friendliness. If a program has a counter-intuitive interface, and its appearance looks poorly structured, then the user will immediately be put off. They’ll be less interested in using the software.

What you want is something modern and up to date – think of next-generation typing tutors like Ultimate Typing™ EDU. These offer a sleek, user-friendly interface that’s inviting and friendly, something that attracts users of all ages. A practice session will be more effective if the user finds the program appealing, and they’ll be more likely to keep coming back for more practice sessions.

Effective Learning Requires Flexibility

A poor typing program will generally use late 80s technologies and implement only one or two learning strategies. On the other hand, a cutting-edge typing tutor in 2015 will be capable of integrating the latest, most effective learning strategies and methodologies, and will offer these through interesting exercises, games, and activities.

The gamification of learning and education at large has truly advanced in the last few years. Learning shouldn’t feel like learning at all, the theory goes, it should feel more like play. The process of studying shouldn’t be difficult; it should be a pleasant pastime that leads to greater knowledge and skill development. Games are especially important for children and teens, because it removes any sense that they’re working hard. Even adults like to have fun while they learn.

In addition, a typing tutor needs to be intuitive. It should adapt to every learner’s needs and mastery goals, and offer pertinent activities. Make sure the typing software you choose doesn’t rely on the “one size fits all” philosophy.

Opt for typing software that offers a library of ebooks for independent practice, to provide your students with the widest range of options. To minimize expenses related to setup and hardware, also make sure that it uses wi-fi connectivity and allows more than one user to create practice sessions.

Companies who create good typing software that’s been proven to be effective will offer a money-back guarantee or some other reassurance of quality to the buyer. The software will let the user track their progress and goals to keep them on track. Most importantly, good typing software teaches the whole spectrum that is keyboarding: not just typing accuracy but also ergonomics, typing techniques, and speed.

Social, Personal, and Cloud-based Connections

Older typing tutors relied on cumbersome files you had to download on your computer. Next-generation typing software is cloud-based, linked to social networking, and fully customizable. Students learn more quickly if the program is tailored to their learning needs, style, and goals. Even better, when they can share those goals and their successes with other on social media, students will challenge each other as well as themselves, and the whole group will advance more quickly.

These 21st-century features aren’t found in older typing software, but they are supported in advanced software like Ultimate Typing™ EDU, a cloud based typing program that’s been exclusively designed for the classroom. This typing software caters to all the requirements of a classroom context, from easy set-up and administration to a user-friendly interface. and practice material that’s relevant, fun, and results-driven.

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Schools Should Implement Keyboarding Classes Early On

By the time a student is in 2nd or 3rd grade, they’re generally already a digital native. They’ve done their fair share of typing, even if they have never been formally taught how to properly use a keyboard. Several schools across the US and other western countries offer applied technology classes in middle school. However, this seems to be a little too late to truly help students develop good typing skills.

By the time they start using computers and keyboards in class, students have already learned how to touch type, in a manner of speaking. However, this self-taught skill is more often than not counterproductive, harmful for their wrists and fingers, and ineffective in the long run.

Educators teaching keyboarding to 7th and 8th grade students warn that at this point, students have already established a series of bad typing habits. They primarily use their index fingers to type, or worse, use one hand only. Some students have slightly more advanced typing methods in place, but most revolve around a “hunt and peck” method which not only wastes time but also draws the typist’s attention away from what they’re trying to say, and towards simply locating where the “W” or “V” key is on the keyboard.

Early exposure calls for early action

Today, we are witnessing unprecedented engagement with technology. Children at the tender age of three and four are already tapping away on tablets or learning their first words with the help of an app.

While touch typing was previously considered as a skill students could be expected to learn in high school, this is not longer the case. Because students are exposed to technology so early, a touch typing intervention is needed much sooner. Even middle school doesn’t seem early enough. Once an eighth-grader learns to formally touch type in middle school they’ve been probably touch typing using their self-invented method for at least four years. That’s a lot of touch typing done the wrong way – and that is a losing strategy which should be replaced with more advanced and time-efficient methods.

Students in middle school are now introduced to photo editing programs, coding, and gaming principles and design. By that time, they need to have a rigorous touch typing technique established, one that allows them to touch type quickly and accurately.

Teaching touch typing to students in 5th and 6th grade seems ideal to many educators and scientists. Technology is omnipresent and students need to be confident they possess the right tools to make the most of their technology at school and beyond.

On the other hand, introducing keyboarding classes earlier gives students the chance to equip themselves with an essential tech skill they will benefit from in those later grades, and even throughout their life.

Basic touch typing principles can be taught as early as the 2nd and 3rd grade. Once students learn the basics of how to optimize their touch typing then they can develop their keyboarding skills with more practice in the following years.

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Study English and Learn How To Type Fast At The Same Time

How would you feel if you found out there’s a way to improve your typing skills at the same time you’re practicing your English? Sounds pretty great, right?

School assignments and hefty schedules, extracurricular activities, and even your social responsibilities can overwhelm you.  That’s why it’s important to come up with effective and time-efficient study methods, like improving two skills in a single practice, or leveraging existing knowledge when you learn a new skill.

For instance, if you want to learn Italian, your proficiency and knowledge of Spanish will give you a head start.Since both languages belong to the same language family of Indo-European languages, there are many similarities in vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, and grammar, such as their use of the gerund.

With the thought of multitasking in mind, why not use a computer during your your next English practice session? If you’re working on new vocabulary, find a vocabulary game you can play online. If you’re working on your spelling, there are several spelling activities you can use to practice for free and at the same time hone your typing speed and accuracy.

The best thing about this plan is that you don’t really need to worry about typing correctly or quickly when you practice your English skills. All you need to do is focus on the activity at hand and the aspects of the English language you’re concentrating on, and at the sametime – without any extra effort – your typing skills will improve, too!

Next time you need to work on your mastery of English as a whole why not do one of the following?

1) Publish a blog post using some of the new words you’ve learned recently.

2) Write a short essay or a few paragraphs about something you care about or are interested in.

3) Be active on several social media platforms on topics you want to share your opinion on.

4) Help others by providing answers to their questions. You can do this on Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, and even Twitter.

In fact, Twitter will help you hone your vocabulary quickly, since you will be expected to form your remarks in 140 characters or less – and that will help you practice finding exactly the right words!

* Find online photos you like and share them with your friends. Even better, upload some of your own photos and share with those instead. The catch is to create attention-grabbing and funny captions, another great way to use your newly-expanded vocabulary.

These are just a few of the activities you can use to improve your English skills and improve your typing performance at the same time, without feeling like you’ve put too much of an effort into it.

What’s your favorite study hack that lets you study English while simultaneously benefiting in other ways?

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Study English and Learn How To Type Fast At The Same Time

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eReflect And Home Educators Resource Directory Agree: Ultimate Typing Is Like Having A Personal Tutor

eReflect asserts, and Home Educators Resource Directory confirms, that Ultimate Typing™ offers a personalized learning experience for learners, similar to having a personal typing tutor.

Home Educators Resource Directory has released a statement saying that practicing keyboarding skills with Ultimate Typing™ is as efficient as practicing with a personal tutor. eReflect, designer of cloud-based keyboarding tool Ultimate Typing™, agrees with the editors at and highlights the fact that the number one goal of Ultimate Typing™ is to offer learners a truly personalized learning experience.

Ultimate Typing™ is the learn to type software by eReflect that helps users improve their typing technique and speed so that they can increase their productivity. According to the typing software review by Home Educators Resource Directory, Ultimate Typing™:

“[I]s a very thorough program that combines exercises and videos. They spent over 6 years doing research to make this scientifically designed program fun and easy. All it takes is 7 minutes per day!  It automatically monitors your progress and adapts to your needs.”

Homeschooling mother and software reviewer Jen Pontoriero emphasizes the fact that eReflect offers a matchless money-back guarantee, stating that this is proof of the program’s effectiveness and legitimacy:

“[Y]ou can’t beat their guarantee!  Not only is it a 100% money back guarantee, they will even give you $50 back if you are not satisfied!  I can’t imagine anyone would not be satisfied with this program!!”

The program’s personalization level make it stand out from its competitors, says Pontoriero. “It’s like having your own personal tutor,” she explains enthusiastically in her review. The Ultimate Typing™ program suggests whether or not a user should repeat a practice or exercise, and lets users set their own words-per-minute goals. The system then supports users as they work towards achieving those goals using the program’s built-in exercises and games.

The program even allows users to import their own texts to practice typing with to make their learning experience more relevant and interesting.

Ultimate Typing™, as many other typing software reviews also highlight, offers progress monitoring so the learner can track their typing efficiency progress and be encouraged to improve upon it even more.

As Pontoriero notes in her detailed review, Ultimate Typing™ allows up to five family members to have an account and practice their typing skills. It is suitable for typists of all levels and ages as it offers a complete list of typing lessons, activities, and games.

Posture and Ergonomics Improvement Tips for a Better Typing Performance

Did you know you can dramatically improve your keyboarding output if you only slightly improve your office ergonomics and posture?

Posture can affect how quickly and even how accurately you touch type, and using the principles of ergonomics to give your posture a few tweaks can enable you to touch type in a way that increases your productivity while decreasing risk to your health.

Be Aware of Bad Posture

People with office-bound jobs need to be aware of back pain and any other physical pain caused in their hands, their feet, and in their neck and back. A poorly-designed office chair, a too-short desk, or a badly lit screen that forces you to hunch over your desk are all possible causes of body pain.

Being aware of your posture when working, walking, and standing will ensure you always sit upright and avoid posture that affects your health and compromises your touch typing efficiency.

Get to Know Your Ergonomics

Whether sitting in a chair at the office or standing waiting for your coffee at the counter, your body has to be aligned. Take a moment to visualize yourself sitting at your office chair. Starting at your head and going to the bottom of your spine, you should see a straight vertical line.

If you’re hunching your shoulders or leaning to one side, then your posture is disturbed, which will increase the chances of triggering back, wrist, and shoulder pain.

To improve posture, consider adopting these health-promoting, ergonomic habits:

– Don’t sit for prolonged periods of time. Move around at regular intervals.

– Avoid sitting with your legs crossed.

– Don’t lean to one side or lean on your arm when sitting.

– Remove direct light that is causing glare on your computer screen.

– Ensure your monitor is at eye level. Use books or other props to put the screen higher, or a pillow to make yourself taller.

– Sit in ergonomically-designed office chairs and use props that support good posture and take the pressure off of your spine and back.

– Try sitting on a balance ball; it’s another way to ensure better posture.

– Give footrests a try as well – they can take some of the strain off of your back when sitting for long periods of time. They’re also helpful if your feet don’t reach the floor.

– Keep your arms open at a 90 degrees angle, and make sure your feet are in that position also. Extending your arms in front of you, or crossing your feet underneath you, disrupts the alignment of your spine.

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise keeps your body strong and your muscles fit. This can alleviate back pain, and any other pain caused due to prolonged sitting, or sitting in the wrong position.

Restorative exercise can also help you improve your posture. Physical activities that boost your core strength and balance include yoga and pilates.

Overall, choose an active lifestyle to ensure your body and muscles are healthy and strong, and that you minimize the health hazards associated with sitting. This not only will ensure you’re healthy, but will also help you make the most of your typing efficiency.

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Posture and Ergonomics Improvement Tips for a Better Typing Performance

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