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How Gamification Can Support Typing Practice

July 11, 2019

This post is in partnership with Typing.com. All opinions are my own.

Do you use a typing practice program in your school? Typing.com is a popular typing tutor, used by millions of students, educators, and professionals worldwide. If you are looking to revamp your typing practice for students this school year, definitely add this to your list of platforms to review.

Typing.com is free, fun, and effective. It gives all learners in K-12 and beyond an opportunity to learn foundational skills of typing in a gamified environment. This tool takes each student’s most troublesome keys and keeps track of this information. Students are tracked to enable adaptive learning. So individualized lessons created to help learners tackle bad habits before they’re locked into muscle memory.

A new feature empowers teachers to create custom lessons to feature content from any subject areas. This means all elements can enable cross-curricular learning. With limited class time and much to teach, educators can accomplish multiple things at once. So students can improve typing skills while engaging with critical content.

Gamification and Typing Practice

Gamification, or game-based learning, is a key element of the experience with Typing.com. Students (or adults) practice their skills by playing real games. The keyboard functions as the “controller,” making learning a natural part of the game-playing experience. It’s not an artificial, isolated, or forced activity. With games like Keyboard Ninja, Tommy Q: Zombie Defender, and Nitro Type―a high-intensity massively multiplayer drag race with more than 2 million races each day―fun is the focus and the objective, and learning is a beneficial outcome.

There are built-in tools for individual educators and districts too. These features include class management tools and downloadable progress reports. With school- and district-level accounts, educators can view progress and data across classrooms and schools. Dictation and audio features, including a WCAG 2.0 compatible theme, create full accessibility, and empower visually impaired students to master the skill of typing too.

The creators of typing.com believe that teachers are the experts in the classroom. They know students can learn best through play and exploration. Typing.com provides schools with the tools and support, then steps aside and lets students learn, and teachers teach.

Typing Practice and 21st Century Success

Typing.com is built with the understanding that typing is the number one skill for interacting effectively with a computer, making it the most important communication skill of the modern era. To illustrate how essential typing and keyboarding skills are in the 21st century, here are ways typing speed and accuracy support success in school and the workforce.

Prepare for Standardized Tests

In the age of computerized adaptive testing (CAT), online test prep, and every other form of digital assessment, typing skills are often how students communicate what they know. If you’re a regular follower of the blog you know about my passion for formative assessment with tech-friendly strategies (I even wrote a book about it). Although I’m definitely an advocate for making sure students have authentic ways to “show what they know,” I also appreciate that this type of testing is still a reality in most schools.

Learn how gamification can support typing practice in your classroom this school year. Prepare students for everyday success with Typing.com.

When students need to communicate their ideas clearly and do so within a tight time limit, their skill level at the keyboard can become either a facilitator of success or a barrier to demonstrating what they know and understand about a topic.

When using a computer is the only way students can take a given test, making sure they have strong typing skills becomes a key issue. A student may have a firm grasp on the material. But if he or she is unable to complete a response within the time limit, that won’t be clear. Additionally, a response filled with typos may obscure the meaning of an otherwise high-quality explanation.

Prepare for College and Careers

Typing.com recently conducted a survey, “The Time Savings of Fast Typists,” drawing data from nearly 1,000 full-time professionals. It found compelling evidence that typing skills are one of the leading factors in professional success.

Adults in a variety of industries spending more and more of their time at the computer. When discussing college and career readiness, preparing students to navigate digital devices should include a conversation on typing experience and proficiency.

If you’d like to learn more about Typing.com, head over to their website, get started with this free program. You can first create a teacher account and then check out the available lessons, assessments, and games for students!

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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