Monday, April 15, 2013

Typing Practice Activities

Increasing the typing skills of our students is something that we all see a need for.  Quite frankly, I have heard many of use (myself included) verbalize that we wish our own typing skills were stronger.  With the Smarter Balanced Assessments on the horizon the need for our students to improve quickly just becomes more pressing.  While we have some fantastic programs at various grade levels of the schools that will help with the instructional piece of typing, a recent post from another blog I read got me to exploring some of the Google Apps and Extensions that might support typing practice that would be fun for students at different levels in the district.  Here is what I found:

Apps for  Google Chrome:

Typing Game  - This App for Google Chrome is a very simple aliens style game that provides basic practice of typing skills.  This game got fairly good reviews and seemed to be simple enough to figure out.  I got the sense that some of the sounds might become annoying over time, but certainly something that would appeal to elementary and middle school students.  

Typing Test  - Another App for Google Chrome that support taking an online speed test.  Gives you a WPM shore and keeps track of speed and accuracy.  This test also analyzes the types of errors that you make.
Reviews are pretty good for this app as a resource for beginning typists and those who want a sense of how well they type.

Typing Club - This interesting app for Google Chrome is a series of lessons that become progressively more difficult as you go.  It teaches touch-typing and includes a school portal for free.  Experienced typists review this app quite well and it has some fantastic features such as they ability to save you exercises so you can improve lesson by lesson.

Extension For Google Chrome:

Typing Speed Monitor - This is an extension so it works in the backgroud of Chrome and records how fast you type while you are actiely typing.  It wills top recording and not take into account any breaks that you take that are longer than 5 seconds.  So this extension is unique as you can use it while doing the day-to-day work that you need to get done.  It will show you a visualization keyboard of the statistics to indicate what keys you most often use, and how fast you have typed those keys. It supports QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak layouts.


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