Seven Keyboarding Tools You Can Share

Get your hands on with these seven keyboarding tutorials, even as you catch up on the research for two-finger, thumb, and two-handed touch typing.

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Students Stuck At Home? Push Keyboarding

Keyboarding is a life long skill. It has evolved from a transcription typing skill to generative typing. Transcription typing involves typing hand-written content. Generative typing involves composing original thought at the keyboard (Cooper, 1983).

Student writing develops faster through generative typing. It facilitates the review and revision learning process. Efficient keyboarding skills allow students to emphasize concept development instead of key location.

Source: Zeitz, L. (2008). A New Look @ Research-Based Keyboarding Instruction. Chicago, Illinois: Sunburst.

Is teaching keyboarding necessary? My own children thumbed their way through many an essay or poem.

On Twitter a few days ago, I read a teenager’s poem where he describes the joy of writing on a small screen.

Of course, he’s not handwriting on a small screen using Google Handwriting Input app.

Using the built-in keyboard to his iPhone, he’s two-thumb typing. Let’s hope he doesn’t get smartphone thumb, a painful inflammation of the thumb tendons.

Type Faster on Your Mobile Phone

Have you tried one of the various keyoard apps that make typing on a small screen easier?

To type faster on a small screen, consider these tips:

    • Use emojis

    • Enable always-on number row

    • Turn on text correction and next word prediction

    • Empower contact name expansion

Find more tips available for Android and/or iOS.

Of all the typing tutors reviewed, only Z-Type offers a browser and smartphone friendly app (more on that below).

For now, let’s take a look at some full-sized keyboarding tutors.

#1 - Z Type

My favorite typing tutor, Z-Type turns you into a starfighter pilot. You zap letters and words as they fall towards you (compare to the author’s XType 2012). It reminds me of my old Apple //e typing game.

If this is too tame for you, older learners may appreciate the Typing Game of the Dead. This is in Adobe Flash and has you slay the zombie horde one-at-a-time with a quick-typed word. The use of weapons, while not approved for school, is tame compared to Fortnite, and other FPS games.

Z-Type is available via Google Play store and iOS App store, making it ideal for thumb-typing practice.

Relying on Adobe Flash, this site has become a bit dated. This keyboarder’s dream offers lessons as well as a plethora of games. One of my favorites includes Meteor Game. You will stumble on that past level sixteen of the keyboarding lessons.

This browser-based solution offers “a free touch typing courseware.” Get started via their website. Sporting a clean keyboard look and the use of lorem ipsum text, you will soon find yourself “turning off” your reading for comprehension, letting your eyes and hands take over as they type information on the screen. All the best typing tutors will move you into the zone at the higher levels.

Peter’s Online Typing Course is just that, a rich assortment of lessons. It has several distinct web pages displayed in a table of contents. Each leads you to a lesson that you read and then practice on.

Here you'll find an expanded set of free online typing lessons and typing exercises for beginning typists, and frustrated hunt-and-peckers who want to move from four-finger typing to full-blown touch typing.

This site offers four levels to play. Each level is divided into three stages. The end of each level allows you to test your typing speed. It appears intended for a younger audience.

Doorway Text Type is a touch typing tutor (TTT),” says their website. It “takes learners from the home keys to mastery of the whole keyboard and typing sentences.” It is accessible to visual impaired learners. You can get a CD for offline access. A rich variety of age-appropriate typing games for children.