Thankfully, these days the Internet is available, and since learning typing involves the keyboard, it lends itself well to online tools where you can learn and practice typing. One of the best free tools available for children and adults to learn how to type is the Typing Tutor
offered by the Rapid Typing Zone.
Downloading and using the free Typing Tutor application to practice typing or to learn the skill from scratch is about as easy as it could possibly be.
Select Your Keyboard Type
When you first set up the free Typing Tutor application, you'll have the opportunity to configure the language - there are 20 languages available - and you can also configure your keyboard format type. With the many types of keyboards out there, and the fact that the application actually displays how to place your keys on the keyboard, this feature is important.
The Main Typing Screen
In the main screen, you enter "live" typing mode the moment you start typing the letters that scroll across the screen. The software is intelligent enough to automatically pause the scrolling letters (and the timer) when you stop typing for more than a few seconds. As children practice typing, animated creatures swim past. This particular feature could be good or bad - bad because the animations could prove distracting, but good because it also teaches the child how to focus and avoid such distractions.
Switching to Plain View
However, by clicking on the clear screen format at the upper right part of the main window, you can remove all imagery and animation, and focus entirely on just typing the letters. This is a good idea for when you're teaching beginner typists, because fewer distractions allow them to focus on learning proper finger placement and building up accuracy.
Automatically Highlights Mistakes
The software is very easy and intuitive to use. From the moment you start typing, you know what the screen symbols mean and how the application works. As the words scroll across the screen, if you make a mistake, the letter that you typed wrong gets highlighted in red.
As an excellent resource to teach beginners
how to type from scratch, the animated hands at the bottom will light up the finger that the student should use to type the currently selected letter.
View a Progress Report
Few things are quite as motivating as a progress report, especially if that report shows marked improvement each time you practice typing. The report section of the Typing Tutor shows average speed in characters per minute, accuracy, arrhythmic, and an overall average at the very top - from "beginner" to "perfect." At the bottom you will find a printout of your test and the characters that you typed wrong highlighted in red.
View Accuracy and WPM
For experienced typists, a big part of using this application will be to test WPM (words per minute). Clicking on the "Progress" tab in the results section shows you three performance indicators - WPM, accuracy and the duration of the session. The data is displayed in a spreadsheet at the bottom as well as in graph format.
View Accuracy and WPM
A very interesting feedback tool is the "Characters" tab, where you can see the percentage of errors you made by character. This is also displayed in bar graph format. This particular feature is very useful because it can help you determine if a typing student is having a problem with a specific character. By focusing on helping the child thoroughly learn how to type that character and test over and over - you can effectively fine-tune typing skills.
The Virtual Keyboard as Tutor
The most important part of learning how to type is understanding which finger to use for each letter. Following those rules allows for greater speed and a dramatic increase in words-per-minute. The reason the Typing Tutor is such effective teaching software is because it displays the virtual keyboard and hands at the bottom of the screen, and for each letter, it teaches the student which finger to use.
If a student takes his or her time at the very beginning, they can carefully learn which correct finger to use, and then eventually graduate to taking typing tests where they can practice accuracy and speed using the correct fingers.
Create Free Typing Lessons
While the default progression of lessons is an effective way for any student to learn how to type, or how to type faster, there is also an entire embedded "lesson editor" included with this software that lets you generate your own typing lessons. You can create an entire course of individual lessons. You have the option to choose from a variety of premade lessons, or you can build your course of lessons upon typing sessions that you build yourself from scratch in the "Text" window to the right.
Having the ability to customize lessons for particular students who may have certain strengths or weaknesses is a very powerful tool for any teacher to have at her or his disposal.
Whether you're a teacher, a student or just a typing enthusiast, the Typing Tutor by RapidTyping will dramatically help with the process of learning how to type. Students will enjoy using the software, and they will gain immediate and notable improvement simply from using the software on a regular basis. These days, when there are so few free resources available for teachers, RapidTyping saves the day with a powerful typing application that no typing teacher should be without.
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