Friday, 31 August 2012

A Little Freedom and Responsibility

Our students grade 3-5 have always started the year with 6 weeks of keyboarding for 30 minutes every day in the computer lab. We have used Mavis Beacon which is installed there.

But this year grade 5 students have their own macbooks in the classroom so we have been looking for a keyboarding programme that is online, so that we don't have to load a programme onto 60 macbooks and also so that keyboarding can become part of Home Learning.

I asked the question on twitter as I know there are loads of 1:1 schools out there. They must surely be doing Keyboarding lessons? But all I got were replies of, "Let us know when you find some!"

Then my tech colleague came up with something useful - Tripwire Magazine,  that had 10 online programmes. My first thought was, "Fantastic!" My second was, "When am I going to have time to check each one of these!" I didn't recognise any. And then I thought, well maybe the students can check them out. So I emailed the link and we had a discussion about how we should go about it.

I asked, "How will you know if a programme is right for you?"
After I got a few answers like, "It will have lessons," and "It will teach you," in a variety of different ways I asked what else do we want? I got all kinds of strange answers before someone said, "FUN!"

So then I said, "There are 10 here to choose from. How will you decide which is best?" We talked a bit about that. I introduced the word "criteria." Then realising what the task involved they started to give suggestions like:
It should have lessons suitable for everyone.
There will be different levels.
It should show a keyboard.
It will have games.
It will have easy instructions.
It will be fun.
It will tell me how I'm doing.

Excellent! And so it turned out to be. Giving the freedom to study different programmes and the responsibility of making a choice that would be good for them and their peers was definitely the way to go.

After some time trying different programmes, I asked them to write their thoughts in a blog post. (And added a 2 minute lesson on how to insert a hyperlink.)

And this is where I can see who has really looked for specific features...

Sample comments: 

Good Keyboarding stuff
Today I visited some websites for keyboarding and these were the ones that I thought were good and not so good:

On one of the websites called  you can pick the level ,there is a keyboard and it will tell you what speed your at, But it does not have games. That is why I think This one is good.

Another good website is Sense-Lang It is all free and has great games but the games do not have a keyboard. The Lessons are really good because you can pick you lessons and it has a keyboard. You can also do a test. I think this one is also really good.

Another one I'd like to tell you about is Rapid typing. It also has great games and it also does not have a keyboard and the test does not have a keyboard either. The Lessons you have to download so I don't think this is very good.

Today at school we had to do some keyboarding on our laptops. So I went on SenseLang. On type race you had to race against other people online and you could also play by your self but it wasn't fun. You could also race against your friends!!!!!! So there was a long sentence  and every time you raced there will be a new sentence. You would have to type the word that was highlighted on the sentence. If you get the word correct you would gain speed and if you do a word wrong you would lose speed.

When I was typing today, I found a good site called rapid typing. And it has games, tests and lots of other stuff. I  played the game word mountain and it had lots of levels like easy, hard,etc....
And people that are begginers for typing, and who are experts fro typing can also enjoy it.I think I will recommend this to my cousin when she is older.

I thought these sights were really good for learning to type but at the same time you can have fun with your friends. My favorite site was called Sense-Lang in this site you can play typing racing games and you can play Olympic racing its really fun. At the end of each and every game it tells you how much words per minute you type my high score was 41. I'm glad you found these fun and interesting sites Mrs.Buckley i think when my brother is a bit older i will show him these sites to teach him.

Photos are my own.

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