Our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award winner, Typing Pal School is a great program that allows the teachers and students to be united throughout the entire learning process. This program's simple interface and extensive features puts it over the top in the Kids Typing Software for Schools category. Typing Pal School used to be software but is now a web service. They have improved their program with quicker navigation and more interactive games with no hassles of downloading!
- Automatic updates
- Group and individual settings
- 3 work environments appealing to all ages
- Mock student demonstration ability
- Pedagogical Approach documentation
- Accuracy and speed statistics
- Customize lessons
- Practice texts to use for real situations
The Pricing for the online program varies depending on the number of students enrolled at the school, not the number of users.
- 001 – 399 Students: $325/year
- 400 – 699 students: $550/year
- 700 – 999 students: $800/year
- For schools of 1000+ students, subscriptions start at $0.70 per student
There are downloadable versions also available, called Typing Pal Network Junior (that targets elementary school students), which costs from $150 to $375 and Typing Pal Network 5.0 (which is for an older audience of middle & high school students) and costs from $150-$550. You ought to note that the downloadable version is not compatible for Windows 7 or Vista.
The advantage of the online program is that it covers students from grade 4 all the way through high school. Students and teachers can access the online program from anywhere, no installation required. All of De Marque’s efforts to update their typing program have been targeted toward their online version since 2003, so the software products are not near as up-to-date.
The teachers begin by creating groups. The students then join these groups and all the setup options and customizations that the teacher arranges for the group apply to that student. Students may sign up for themselves or the teacher can do it for them. The teacher then has access to change the exercises and practices for the individual students and groups. For example, a WPM goal can be set for the group to keep everyone on the same page.
Students may progress at different rates. The need may arise for you to move students into more advanced groups because they progress at a faster rate. Not a problem. This is made possible and very easy with Typing Pal School. Teachers can also create their own practice texts for the students. The program has just 2 tests, the initial test and the final test, but it is suggested that the students take the final test after each learning step.
During the setup process, or anytime in the program, the teacher chooses a work environment for the group. These environments are specially designed to be appealing to elementary, middle school and high school students. For example, the elementary students have apples for exercise icons, but for the high school students, they are coffee cups.
A teaching tool unique to Typing Pal School gives teachers the ability to login as a student through the Group Settings tab and demonstrate proper typing to struggling students.
Another great teaching tool is being able to have parents login with their kids at home and provide extra practice. The online program is more expensive than the downloadable software, but it is easier to set-up and much more advanced.
Ease of Use
We found Typing Pal School to be very easy to use and navigate. Depending on the speed of your internet, you should have no problems with the screens loading. The typing exercises and games have animations and sounds that are appealing to any age.
This program has great means for solving problems with its online manuals. There are PDF files available for download that you can quickly refer to at your leisure and an email address is provided on the website.
Many documents are included with the online program to assist the instructors in teaching, such as Pedagogical Approach and the Typing Pal Online User Guide. There are multiple worksheets and diagrams that help beginning teachers get a solid foundation on teaching typing skills. These two teaching tools are unique to this product and we feel they are a great asset to any teacher, no matter the experience.
Typing Pal School has a free trial available; however, it is more of a demo tour. It allows you to go through the program and get a good look at it before spending a penny.
Ease of Installation
The great thing about Typing Pal School is that it is all online. Say goodbye to the stresses and headaches of installing it onto every computer. All you need is internet access and a login. To get started, the Administrator will set up the network, which takes just a few minutes, and then the teachers sign up and form groups.
We found that Typing Pal School did a great job at putting the administrators in the driver seat and giving them complete control. With all kinds of customizable options and the user-friendliness, you can’t go wrong with Typing Pal products. In this review we focused on the Networking capabilities in the online program, be sure to look into our review for Typing Pal Junior for more specific details on what the learning program features for the downloadable version.