CRES students began using EduTyping Jr. Because it’s not software-based (it’s web-based) students can continue their keyboarding practice from home. Teachers can contact the company for a free 90 day trial. They’re very accommodating. The Computer Lab was able to enroll 300+ kids for 6 months for free. The program runs $8.95/student for the first year and then drops to $4.49 the second year (based on an enrollment of 200-499 kids).
During the 2012-2013 school year, CRES had a trial subscription to Keyboardingonline.
The free trial ran for 60 days. Fourth graders used it, as they had used EduTyping Jr. the previous year. KeyboardingOnline allows the teacher to blackout (there is no need to use a keyboarding cover) the portion of the screen, which would normally show the student how accurately he/she is typing. This encourages the student to look up at the screen, where the keys being used are shown. Students who pause for 2 seconds are timed out and must redo the lesson. This prevents them from hunting and pecking. KeyboardingOnline is screen-based: it installs an applet and information is sent back to the servers every 12 seconds or so. Meaning: if the Internet at your site is busy, it won’t affect your kids. The price is also less: 300 kids costs $459/year with a 2 year commitment ($1.53/student).
KeyboardingOnline outlines these important points regarding frequency and reinforcement:
•Frequency is more important than long extended periods
•3-4 x 15-20 minute sessions is far better 1 x 60 min session
•Elementary grades: Practice no more than 20 minutes.
Once the program is demoed to students and the standard set for proper posture and finger placement, kids can then begin practicing from home under parental supervision. Students can be assessed periodically to maintain standards, emphasizing accurate finger placement over WPM. Once kids are off and rolling with their keyboarding program, it allows the computer resource teacher to offer more advanced and engaging technology. And, keep this in mind, it is rare for a single class to visit the computer lab under the supervision of the Computer Resource Teacher more than once a week. Students improve their keyboarding skills when they’re on their keyboarding program at least 3 times a week. It’s easy for someone to breeze by a classroom, see kids practicing their keyboarding skills just once a week and think this is a good use of instruction. The bottom line: if kids aren’t using the program regularly, they aren’t making progress. This is the reason for using online programs. Note: The Technology Graduation Requirement for high school set forth by the EGUSD Board of Education requires the student to demonstrate a basic keyboarding proficiency of 25 WPM, using the home row. This proficiency is assessed with a 3-minute timed test with no more than 3 errors. Basically, an EGUSD student who can type 22 WPM is meeting the graduation requirement. Note: I have had students in 2nd grade meeting this requirement with the use of these programs. You can read more about the Technology Graduation Requirement by clicking the document shown below.
Technology Graduation Requirements