I'm so pleased to see a discussion on keyboarding revived.

First let me briefly answer the question.  We use Type to Learn with grades
3 -4 and up.  The networkability was one of the reasons for adopting it.
It's great to be able to differentiate instruction (and also customize some
of the features).  I'm getting ready to order Type to Learn Junior (10 pack
only)  for we do have a handful of skills for which Type to Learn is not
appropriate for.  (i.e. reading level,  attention span, special needs).   I
would definitely recommend turning off "dictation station"  for all students
grades 3-4.  It did more harm than good.   I've had difficulty finding
appropriate resources for one handed typist (who would have thought, but its
come up several times already in the past few months).
(Ultra Key was a close contender in my decision)

I steared away from Mavis Beacon.  Cortez Peters is a top notch method of
keyboarding instruction for older students (high school and adults).  I've
been trained by Cortez himself and he boast methods that can bring students
to perfect copy at speeds between 100 and 200 words per minute- but there is
a time investment and committment to his method required.  There is another
great piece of software that is sold with Southwestern textbooks called
Keyboarding Pro (good for high school and college)

The best investment you can make are keyguides ($10 each for lifetime
warranty)... NOT the type that cover the keys,  the type that hide the whole
hand.    Also,  save old keyboards for students who don't have computers at
home to practice with. I made the offer expecting 1 or 2 takers,  I've send
home over 20 this year with special instructions and worksheets that

Beware of games and gimmicks that do not follow the sequence of letters
introduced in your lessons.  I made that error last year and it did more
harm than good, because students tried to beat the games when they had not
learned the letters and reverted back to peeking!  I now save the games
until after the letters have been all introduced.

Okay... enough for now,  but I think this is an excellent discussion topic,
so I've set up a structure for those who could benefit by sharing more about
this topic.  (even those of your teachers that are NOT on this listserve and
are now trying to teach keyboarding without any training in how to teach

As a 25 year veteran keyboarding teacher,  I probably have strong opinions
about this, but I certainly don't have all the answers.  Until recently my
experience had been with high school students.  I'm having so much fun
learning new strategies to teach our 3rd and 4th graders to keyboard. I got
some good tips at Dynamic Landscape last year and ran a pilot with 20 fourth
graders for 3 weeks to help prepare me to do a school wide implementation
of  teching keyboarding to students in grades 3 and 4 this year.   It's
taking a lot of my time this year, but I'm learning a lot of good stuff and
documenting it for teachers at those grade levels in my building. . My goal
is to model for those classroom teachers how to teach keyboarding.  I'd like
to point out one one of the biggest misconception I run across.... "why are
you spending so much time on this,  doesn't our school have software that
will do that".  Software DOES not a solution make!  It is part of a
solution.  When used effectively it can be a great asset.  So this
discussion is 'good"  but its only part of the discussion.  In order for all
you wonderful people who have brought the discussion to the table to be able
to bring in some of your staff who have "elected"  OR  been 'assigned"  to
meet this requirement in your school without having to have them joing
SCHOOL-IT,  I've created a place for us to continue the discussion (and
bring others to it) at

I've started a few pages as containers
Keyboarding Software </Keyboarding+software>
Keyboarding Sites for Students </studentsites>
Keyboarding Sites for Teachers (Resources) </teachers>
Keyboarding for Students with Special Needs </SpecialNeeds>
Strategies that work! </Strategies>

There is a place for us to collaborate on documents/pages or add more. We
can also elect to start some discussions.    Let's learn from each other.  I
know I could have used some help on more than one occasion in finding
solutions for students with little or no motor skills in ONE hand due to
accident or disability.  This has come up 2 x already in one year.
I am also creating a teachers guide to Type to Learn that will follow the
first 14 lessons from what I learned worked or didn't work.  (i.e. when to
use keyguide covers, when NOT to?  what features of type to learn to "leave
on"  or "turn off" in the customize options section for grade 4 students.
ETC  ETC  ETC.  I'll try to post some of my work there during the next few
Hope you will too!

Lucie deLaBruere

On 10/17/06, Jeffrey jarrad <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Keyboarding:
> We use UltraKey 4 at Montpelier Elementary at grades 4 and 5, with
> additional word processing-based drills, and in grades 6+ at the
> Middle School. It works well, does what it's supposed to do, has
> great reports. It's advertised as no-frills without "distracting
> games", but I'd rather there were a few games and diversions. From
> what I see of "games" they all reinforce the skills. Different
> generation, these young' uns. It has had a few network bumps but in
> general has worked pretty well. They are pushing ver 5 with their own
> server app but we finally figured out it wasn't a real upgrade, so
> ver 4 (on OSX network) has been fine. If I had to buy a new program
> now, I'd look for one that was 1) network savvy, 2) did I say network
> savvy? 3)well-thought out in terms of key progression, quick tests,
> reinforcement, and 4) a bit more fun.
> Jeffrey Jarrad
> Union Elementary
> Montpelier, VT 05602
> 802-225-8265
> [log in to unmask]
> >
> >