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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: The Typing Coach

The Typing Coach
I never took typing when I was in school.  I use a computer every day and of course have to type to write this blog.  But I do not type accurately ( I have to use back space a lot!) and I have to look at the keys when I am typing.  I was happy to have an opportunity to review The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach.

The Typing Coach

To complete the Typing Coach Online Typing Course  you need to have internet access, some type of word processing software on your computer (I use a free Open Office program), the PDF printout of the Student Packet and Learning Checks, and a keyboard to type on.  Lessons are given via audio and some videos on the website and you type into your word processor as the instructor is talking. You also will be typing things that are on the printout.  It is suggested that you cover your monitor so you cannot look at the screen while typing.  I just used a piece of paper to do this.

This course has to be completed in order from top to bottom. You start the course by reading through a course introduction and taking a visual tour of the course.  Then you take a Before and After Snapshot that has you type out the Gettysburg Address in 3 minutes.  Next you have series of lessons.  The first lesson is on Good Posture and has a video to watch and audio to listen to.   The next lesson teaches the home row of keys. Lesson 3 teaches the top row and lesson 4 the bottom row.  Lesson 5 teaches the Shift Keys and Lesson 6 is typing practice.  Lesson 7 teaches the number row.  After those lessons there is one with serious practicing, then a final assessment, and a conclusion.  There is an option to follow a slower paced lesson plan for students who made need to work at a slower pace.  It is a self paced course and can vary in the amount of time it takes to master one of the lessons. The lessons are less then 30 minutes and include time for some stretch breaks.  The cost of the course is $17 for a one year subscription.

After the lessons you visit the Practice and Testing Center to take your learning checks or typing test.  Here you type your assignment and will get a report showing your words per minute, number of errors, and the amount of time you were typing.

I started with the course introduction.  I watched the 4 min visual tour of the course and the 30 minutes video that explains the whole process. The 30 minute video gives good information, but  it does not show any close ups of the screen making it hard to see what is being explained. But the course is very easy to follow.  You just start at the top and work your way down.

The typing instruction is given in a clear easy to follow manner.  It is systematic and very straight forward. I like that it is a self paced course and you are able to repeat lessons as often as needed. It is a mastery based course and you are not supposed to try and move on to a new lesson until you completely master the one you are working on.  That can get tedious, but will help in the goal to be able to type more efficiently.

I have seen an improvement in my typing skills since I have started to use the program.  I confess that I do really well when I am practicing in the course keeping my fingers on the correct keys, but when I am typing something else (like this post) I tend to revert back to bad habits.  That is something I will need to keep working on! 

I would like to have my older children take this course before they start to develop bad typing habits.  I think typing is an important skill that everyone can benefit from learning. To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!

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