This review is abstracted from FamilyPC, September 1996. It was
written by Christine Santo.
Time to Start Typing?
Keyboarding Skills Are a Key to Learning
"...According to educational experts, kids today need to
learn to type well as early as possible for a number of educational reasons -
all of which stem from the fact that good keyboarding skills are critical to
becoming computer literate, and computer literacy helps kids succeed in school
now and in their carers later. Also, reports from the front indicate that while
middle school teachers expect kids to be able to type, elementary school
teachers don't have time to teach typing. That means your kids should be
learning it at home."
""In fact, when typing is integrated into the process
of learning to read and write, it actually helps kids learn to read and write
better and faster.
"'Writing is an important route to reading,' said Jeannine
Herron, Ph.D., director of the Media Learning Center at Dominican College in
San Rafael, California. 'But writing can be hard for kids just starting out.
They have to visualize a sound, manipulate a pencil, draw a letter - it's much
easier to associate a fingerstroke [a typed letter] with a sound.'
"I've seen the results firsthand. My four-year-old
daughter, Samantha, is hooked on Read, Write & Type. The software helps her
see how leters are associated with sounds and how sounds turn into words. (In
fact, if you ask her to spell a simple word, she'll put her hands on the table
and 'type' on an imaginary keyboard as she sounds out each letter.)"
"So what's the best way to teach kids to type? Not the
traditional way of focusing on drill-and-practice sessions (though all the
programs have drill sessions designed to give kids sustained periods of typing
practice). Your grade-schooler would probably howl in pain after 5 minutes of
typing gobbledygook in a virtual classroon setting. Instead, the new typing CDs
engage many of your kids' senses (especially their sense of humor).
"Today's typing programs have lessons and tests, to be
sure, but they're also loaded with games, graphics, animations, music, and
stories that turn typing f-j-f into something of an adventure."
"Many also feature some kind of 'built-in intelligence'
that analyzes progress as you go along and makes suggestions based on your
particular weak spots, strengthes, and goals. You can also customize the
programs to varying degrees, setting almost anything from your speed goal to
how many msitakes a program allows before stopping a lesson. And for practicing
newfound typing skills, many programs also have a built-in word processor as
well as practice material."
||Read, Write &
||9 to adult
||6 to 8
||9 to adult
||This is the best all-around program for older kids and adults
learning to type. The games are fun, the exercises are well designed, and the
interface is intuitive.
||This is the one to get if you have a beginning reader in the
house. It feals like a sereis of games, but it actually teaches kids to read,
write, and, yes, type.
||This program is effective at teaching typing but is overly
complicated, too indirect in terms of navigation, and has a condescending,
For a complete listing of Kids Typing Titles in stock
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