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Learning to type

 

Learning to type is an essential skill in this electronic age! Being able to touch type properly, without looking at the keys, has many advantages:

• It saves time, effort and energy
• It encourages good posture
• It prevents neck, back and wrist ache

There are many typing tutors available, doing research for this article has improved my typing skills no end!! I have looked at some of the typing tutors available and tried to highlight the main features of each.

Five Finger TypistWhen practising the exercises, the program can read out the instruction to the student. In the example below, the program will speak 'Keyboard each chain without stopping between letters.' Unfortunately it does not read the actual letters to be typed so the student does need to be able to read the letters 'ti it lt ti' etc on the screen.

 

The program does not include games deliberately - 'games can reinforce poor typing habits because they encourage a "rush rush" attitude' . It does however analyse incorrect keys pressed and provide exercises to practise these areas of difficulty. Users can change skin tone, choose a voice or set a challenge level. It is possible to practice formal typing tests in the typing forum section.

Touch Type 2

This program is very straightforward to use. It is easily adaptable for special needs and has a British voice!! It works on three principles of learning to type:

You should never look at down at your hands when you type. The key to be typed next is highlighted in green. If you press the wrong key it is highlighted in red on the display.
You should use all your fingers as you type. There is a 'show hands' button which indicates the finger you should be using to type the next letter.
Practice the exercises in order. There are15 exercises which you normally practice in order but it is possible to recap exercises where you need to improve. It is also possible to add your own exercises.

Touch TypeThe report button allows you to print out the text you have typed and records statistics such as words per minute, mistyped keys etc.

The program speaks the next letter to be typed and has the option of changing the font, font size and font colour which makes it suitable for visually impaired users. Whichever typing tutor you choose, remember 'practice makes perfect'.

Learning to touch type requires perseverance, but is definitely time well spent!!

 

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