Kids take to technology like ducks to water, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty for them to learn. Technological literacy and skills are more important than ever. To give you children the head start they need, it's important they learn how to type quickly and accurately. The faster and more accurately your kids can type, the better they can communicate. Because of this, typing skills give your children the advantage in school and sets them on the right path in today's competitive job market.
Keyboarding classes are offered to students entering high school, but why wait? Public and homeschool children need correct and consistent instruction to learn proper typing techniques. Letting your child loose on a keyboard can encourage improper posture and poor typing habits that may be tough to break later in their life. Typing software specifically for kids establishes structured and engaging typing lessons to motivate your child to learn. Typing software like Typing Instructor for Kids, UltraKey and Mickey’s Typing Adventure work well for children as young as six years old. To learn more about how these applications can help your children or students, read our articles about kids typing software.
The best typing software teaches children correct finger-to-key movement across the entire keyboard and includes a variety of material to keep them motivated while they learn. To help you find the right typing software for your youngsters, here is what you should look for in keyboarding software for kids:
Lessons & Drills
No matter the target age, typing software for kids should start with the basics of proper finger placement and movement. The best software begins with lessons focusing on individual fingers and each hand. After your children learn proper finger placement, the remaining lessons will boost their accuracy and speed. Keyboarding drills, timed typing tests and engaging, multi-level typing games all reinforce the skills taught in each lesson.
The best lessons move gradually by focusing on a few keys at a time and build to letter chains, words and sentences. Beginning to learn keyboarding can be a slow process. So it's important for software to have fun games to keep kids typing and practicing their new skills. The best software teaches children about good posture and proper hand and wrist positions while typing. This can help avoid future problems with carpal tunnel syndrome and various neck and back ailments.
As a parent, you know your children better than any software, which is why the best programs allow you to customize lessons. Because each child learns differently, it's important to find typing software that gives you the reigns as a teacher. You can customize features like challenge levels, words-per-minute (WPM) goals, timed lessons, typing tests and more. This way, you can adjust what your child focuses on and how fast he or she progresses through the program. Some kids keyboarding programs let you create custom practice material that allows children to write their own stories or practice with text from their favorite books. Features like this make learning easier and encourage your child to interact with the software. Other engaging features include audio dictation, keystroke sounds and virtual guide hands over the keyboard.
Beyond interactive features, the best software rewards your child for hard work with pop-up encouragement and printable certificates of achievement. These can help kids stay motivated and give them a sense of progress while learning how to type.
Real progress will be obvious when you watch your kids show off their new skills. But progress-reporting features are essential in order to gauge how your children are progressing in their technique. Tracking for WPM and accuracy are common metrics on progress reports, but some reports break these down further and produce reports for each finger, hand and key. These especially help you know which lessons your child should focus on most.
Help & Support
At minimum, typing software will include a user guide or manual explaining how to use the software. Many keyboarding programs target home and school use, so you can find information online via FAQs and technical support. Email and telephone support are best for further questions. Only a few keyboarding programs have in-app support containing indexes, definitions and guides to using the software.
As your children learn to type quickly and accurately, they also learn to communicate more effectively. Engaging games and rewards help kids of any age learn how to type properly without making it seem like drudgery. Typing software not only gives them a chance to learn typing techniques, but also proper posture, language skills and the joy that comes with independent learning.