Which is the best touch typing software?
What is safe and secure software?
KAZ Type, BBC Schools Dance Mat Typing and others
(4 minute read) Choosing the correct touch typing software for students can pose a real headache for schools and teachers, simply because there are so many to choose from. At the end of the day, they should all do the same thing, teach students to touch type. So, where do you start and what should you look for? A good typing software should be inclusive, safe and secure, record progress and have an effective and proven teaching method that builds muscle memory, producing results. BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing is a free resource and uses a similar method of teaching as several other typing software. Their teaching method includes videos, colour coded keys, games, badges, loud audio and bright moving visuals, etc. Image – BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing Does this method really work? Is there any science or research behind it to say it does? Does in build muscle memory and automaticity and most importantly, is it truly inclusive and suitable for the whole class? Some mainstream typing software claim to be SEN enabled but when you try them out, it is not always the case. Children get diagnosed with differences such as dyslexia at different stages of their school life. Until they are, they struggle to learn due to various challenges such as visual disturbances. If you think about it, how can a child learn to read, spell, write or type when the letters in front of them are blurred, jumping around or moving off the page altogether, accompanied with loud audio and continual onscreen distractions? As mentioned above, if you want to be assured of choosing the right typing software, choose one that is safe and secure for online learning, easy to use, developed through research, tried, tested, proven to work, industry recognised and one that is truly inclusive and caters for the whole class. KAZ is an inclusive touch typing software suitable for both mainstream and special needs students Scientifically developed through research by a team of experts responsible for producing 55 RSA/NVQ courses Trialled and tested by 18,000 students per year, over 3 years, in 300 private training centres across the UK Uses a proven Accelerated Learning teaching method, incorporating both brain balance and muscle memory Includes a special module for developing automaticity All SEN aspects were developed with advice and guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust Includes a unique ©preference screen, minimising visual disturbances before students start learning Simple in presentation, easy to use and delivered in a light hearted-manner Safe and secure - KAZ are members of ICO.org and ensure your student data is protected Teacher’s admin panel allows easy upload of student lists and monitoring of student progress in real-time Affordable - prices to suit all school budgets Available: Download for Mac/PC, SCORM & Online, the new mode of learning, for practice beyond the classroom The KAZ course has proven so effective that it was shortlisted as a finalist for several academic awards: Bett Awards in 2006 and 2019, Teach Primary 2019/20 and Teach Secondary 2019/20. There are not many typing tutors which have been tried, tested, proven and used by the Open University KAZ Type Vs Bitesize Dance Mat Typing A Comparison Why teach children how to touch type? Children are like sponges, they absorb information without even realising it and it has been proven that the earlier they begin learning, the easier it is for them to master a skill. As for neurodivergent students, touch typing offers a new medium for learning and communicating, building confidence and self-esteem. In some cases, it can be life-changing! Helpful tips Once you’ve mastered the skill, touch typing is the fastest way to write. It just takes a little dedication and practice but the most important things to remember are: Don’t rush – work at your own pace Follow the instructions Always start with your fingers on the ‘home row’ and use the correct fingers Take a break when you’re tired of concentrating or when your eyes, hands and fingers are tired Safety at the computer Take care of yourself and prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Sit with correct posture and follow the guidance below. Adult & Junior KAZ Bird – Posture Image ©kaz-type.com https://kaz-type.com
Inclusive software - Why it can make teaching so much easier
Why it can make teaching so much easier When talking about professions, teaching would be classed as one of the more noble choices. It is often thought of as more of a vocation or calling. This is probably because teachers are responsible for not only educating pupils but for also guiding, nurturing, moulding, influencing and safe guarding them. When asked the question, ‘Why did you become a teacher?’ Many reply, ‘Because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of my students’. Today’s classroom includes both mainstream pupils, as well as those with special educational needs. Teachers are expected to cater for all abilities and although they have been trained for this, sometimes it can prove difficult. Introducing inclusive software where possible can make teaching a lot easier, according to Simon Luxford-Moore, eLearning Coordinator at ESMS (Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools) in Edinburgh. “We had been using the same touch typing training program for years but it’s always been one of my mantras that there is always something better out there and our responsibility is to find what works for our learners. Our old program was very games based, noisy, lively and with a strong element of competition. While it was great fun, I felt that it was not meeting the needs of our children with dyslexia and ASD, as there were just too many things happening on-screen which could be quite distracting. I was drawn to KAZ touch typing software because they include a neurodiverse version within their school licence. I tend to work on the basis that if I can cater for that child with dyslexia or ASD, everybody will benefit. KAZ agreed that we could trial the software, so we started with just one girl in Primary 5. She had wonderful creative ideas but because of her dyslexia she wrote very little and her handwriting was so poor that it was a real barrier to composition. She was delighted to be chosen to trial KAZ. As the program has both visual and audio input and builds up muscle memory, it covers all the bases. The publicity claims that you’ll notice a difference after just 15 minutes. They are right. After just a few minutes she looked up at me with a big smile on her face. She learned to touch type very quickly, so we started using it more extensively. We wondered if KAZ might be a product that worked better for girls and boys in our Upper Primary years, so we extended the trial, including a senior boy with dyslexia. They all really liked it and made good progress. 'The pressure was off,' said one child and another commented, 'I like the fact that I can make a mistake without it being highlighted or having to restart a level.’” KAZ was rolled out to children in Primary 4 to 7 (Years 5-8) in August, which equates to over 700 children. “I always think of the writing process as being like your very first driving lesson. There is so much to remember and think about that new drivers find it hard to do everything at once. Our pupils, especially those with neurodiverse conditions, feel overloaded and under a lot of pressure until they develop a level of automaticity. Thanks to KAZ, we can relieve some of the stress so children can focus on other aspects of the writing process. Touch typing lets children put down information in a digital form accurately and efficiently. Every child benefits and that is what the teachers and the parents want to see, as it is in the best interest of our children.” Inclusive software caters for all pupils, allowing the whole class to work and learn together and helps make teaching just that little bit easier https://kaz-type.com/products/educational-edition/primary-secondary
How do I know if I need to learn to type?
(4 minute read) How do I know if I need to learn to type? With so many of us now working from home, there is a constant need and expectation to work harder, faster and smarter, coupled with the anxiety to justify our productivity. Had you ever looked around the office, watched your colleagues and thought that you really needed to type faster, or at least type as fast as some of your peers? Surprisingly, in these days of IT, computer and office-based working, 70% of office workers still do not type efficiently.* So what’s the simplest and easiest way to work faster? Well, if you spend a lot of time at the computer, you need to work out approximately how many hours a day you spend there and aim to reduce that time, with the proviso you get the same amount of work done. An easy and free way to check your typing proficiency is to follow the flowchart above. Take a free typing test on our site. Check your typing wpm score and find out if you are typing efficiently. What do we mean by efficiently? We mean quick, accurate typing, using all fingers and thumbs, whilst looking ahead at the screen and not constantly glancing down at the keyboard… back up to the screen… back down to the keyboard etc. Why is this so important? Because when you touch type properly, the skill is automatised, enabling you to multi-task and think as you type. Productivity goes through the roof because there is little or no time spent searching for keys or correcting errors. Emphasis and focus are on creating and writing content quickly and efficiently. Think of it as learning to drive a car. At first, we all need instruction, followed by practice, then finally, a test. Driving is a skill which is learned. Similarly, with typing, how are we expected to type efficiently, if we are not taught? One main reason is that we are generally too busy and have little time to set aside to learn this skill. Alternatively, it could be due to a mental block from poor typing courses taken in our past, filled with painful thoughts of boredom, repeatedly typing the same phrases and exercises over and over again. Or it could simply be that we never realised just how much time learning to type could save us throughout our daily and working lives. Free up to 30% of your day! Did you know that by learning to type you could free up to 30% of your day? If you don’t believe this statement, use our free ROI calculator and find out just how much time you could save annually. Additionally, if you enter your hourly rate, you’ll find out how much money you could save your employer by learning to type efficiently. If you’re self-employed, that’s either wasted time or more billing time - you decide! This is possibly a wake-up call and will help you understand why many employers and recruitment agencies now insist on candidates sitting a typing testbefore being considered or recommended for a position. The crazy thing is, typing as a skill is so easy to learn if taught correctly. Set aside just 90 minutes to learn to type using KAZ’s © ‘Accelerated Learning’ teaching method and then practice on emails, essays etc. It is essential to maintain discipline and if you do, within a few hours you’ll be typing at least as fast as you were with 2 fingers but with the added benefit of knowing you will get much, much faster and also feel more relaxed whilst working at your computer. Sitting correctly and typing using good typing technique, rather than continually searching or thumping keys will also minimise the risk of you developing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). There is a reason why our course is used by both the UK and US governments, the MOD, the NHS, the police, businesses and schools worldwide. We are still the only typing course available on the UK’s Learndirect and the US’s OpenSesame learning portals. We don’t want to train you if you’re not going to benefit from our course. Why? We have a reputation to protect. Millions of people around the world have used, benefitted from and recommend KAZ. Our ethos is clear and our testimonials and partners are proof of our method working. Yes, we charge for our course but this is for a reason. Our research has proven that pop-ups, advertising, gaming, videos and extensive modules all simply delay or extend the learning process. These are just methods used to monetise training or to harvest data. We don’t do that. We are governed by ico.org.uk rules and fiercely protect our client’s data. Our course and trademarked teaching method were designed to teach you to type quickly and with minimal fuss. Few of us have the time to waste trailing alternatives and wasting precious time. Our course costs just £/$24.99 - that’s all. No recurring fees, just a fair price for a ‘skill for life’. How much time will you save by learning to type? The average person will save $/£3000 per annum X 30 years = $/£90,000 or more importantly, 300 hours per annum = 340 days over 30 years, which is almost one year of your life! Tried, tested and proven! No games or videos but a method that works and promises to get you going in just 90 minutes** No hard-sell tactics, just a proven method that was tried, tested and proven by the Open University, who were so impressed, that they wrote a white paper on its effectiveness and deployed the course to all their 90,000+ students for over 14 years.*** Recommended Which? Magazine Feb 2020 ‘To get the maximum benefits from a keyboard, you need to be able to touch - type. Learning how to do this is made easier by programs such as KAZ (Keyboard A–Z), which claims to deliver benefits in just 90 minutes. KAZ has Corporate, Adult, Junior and Dyslexia editions...Touch-typing really does save you time… and you are never too old to learn.’ (Which? Magazine - February 2020) * KAZ’s free typing test - from over 3000 tests taken, 70% show an average score of just 17.2wpm. ** Our tests and surveys have shown that the majority of users complete the a-z keys in just 90 minutes. However, this is not guaranteed and some individuals may take longer. KAZ is structured so that the individuals can work at their own pace. Allow an average of 4 hours plus practice time to complete the entire course covering the rest of the keyboard. *** Open University - white paper available on our website.
How to use KAZ’s touch typing software effectively in your training
(4 minute read) How to use KAZ’s touch typing software effectively in your training Test - Train - Certify Zenon Texeira - director at Opus books commented, “I was shocked when I used your ROI calculator. We spend thousands on staff training. The cost savings gained for just one member of staff will pay for other training!” <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZhvM7Eh0Y3w?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> J* is one of several Vice Presidents of a major worldwide corporation. She wanted to remain anonymous but commented, “We have overlooked this in our training. We have over 1000 office based staff just here in …. and as I walked around our offices looking, I was shocked. I can type and just assumed all our staff could type too!” Both Zenon and J* are leaders in their respective fields. They are responsible for the day to day running of their organisations, which have returned huge growth during the past few years. Along with marketing strategies for continued growth, they are also responsible for improving efficiency and implementing assurance controls. KAZ software is designed to ensure ‘your’ staff are trained to type quickly and correctly and if they can already type, to correct bad habits, which tend to ‘develop’ over time. KAZ has serviced the sector for over 20 years and maintained focus to develop new products based on their science and research for teaching typing skills. Their Accelerated Learning teaching method, based on brain balance, teaches both hands to work symmetrically and simultaneously and is trademarked in both the US and UK. The course was tried and tested by over 16,000 students annually for 3 years, in more than 300 training centres across the UK, prior to launch. “The phrase, ‘test, rinse, repeat’ must have been used quite often”, remarks Keene Braganza, MD of KAZ Type. It was only when exceptional results were recorded, (93% of students learning to type the a-z keys in just 90 minutes), was KAZ launched to market. The ultimate accolade followed when the Open University produced a white paper on its effectiveness and then provided the course to all their 90,000+ students for over 14 years. The necessity of accurate and quick typing skills is not just about efficiency and productivity but also about health and well-being whilst at the computer. The KAZ course includes a specific module on correct posture and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). The faster documents are written, data input and emails replied, the greater efficiency is built into an organisation, resulting in a far more productive workforce and an improved client/business relationship. Working Case Study - P* - director of an innovative tech company, with its HQ in the UK, learned to type with KAZ in year 6 at school. The skill has helped him throughout his education and in his remarkable career. After recently coming across KAZ again, he took a free typing test and tried the ROI calculator on the KAZ website. He immediately saw the benefits learning this skill would bring to his company and importantly for staff welfare. He purchased a large quantity of KAZ’s ‘non-expiring’ typing tests and his HR director asked all 1400+ employees to log on and take a test! Take up was excellent as it was integrated into several training days. This allowed them to assess who needed to be put on the typing course! The results were quite astonishing, as demonstrated by the ROI calculator. He started with a 500 user licence but in spite of the initial optimism and the undoubted benefits to staff, take up was low. After discussing his initial disappointment with the KAZ team, the team came up with a novel idea to encourage and promote take up. The completion of the 6th ‘Assessment’ module, which issues a CPD standards approved certificate, was essential. KAZ offered ‘P’ a £250 Amazon gift voucher** for the employee with the highest score at the end of the licence period but with the caveat that everyone enrolled had to pass the assessment and actively try to use their skill, on a daily basis. This would guarantee that all staff who completed the learning would be typing at 35wpm+ and with practice, could increase their typing speeds to 50wpm+. (Prior to KAZ, typing speeds in the organisation varied from between 7 and 100+wpm). “The benefits to our clients and the goodwill this creates makes the cost of the voucher, negligible. The difference efficiency can make to productivity, per employee is huge and that doesn’t even take into account the annual cost savings! It just makes sense to help our clients deploy KAZ as much as we can. Even with just a 10% take up, as shown on our ROI calculator, the difference is huge. Ultimately, ‘Your success is Our success’”, says Keene Braganza. KAZ is used by business and educational establishments worldwide. Current clients include the MOD, the UK Government, US government entities, Legal and Corporate business, Schools and individuals worldwide. Recommended in Which? Magazine Feb 2020 ‘To get the maximum benefits from a keyboard, you need to be able to touch - type. Learning how to do this is made easier by programs such as KAZ (Keyboard A–Z), which claims to deliver benefits in just 90 minutes. KAZ has Corporate, Adult, Junior and Dyslexia editions...Touch-typing really does save you time… and you are never too old to learn.’ (Which? Magazine - February 2020) * Identity protected. We will only publish names and case studies with full approval. ** KAZ will refund the cost of the voucher for all businesses 500 employees or more. ‘Your Success is Our Success’ https://kaz-type.com/products/business-edition
Touch Typing - How can it benefit your employees?
(3 minute read) How touch typing can benefit your employees Almost every employer, given the choice, would prefer to hire an employee that can type quickly and accurately. Touch typing (a technique where an individual types with all their fingers and thumbs, without looking at the keyboard), is considered to be an essential skill for workers in many professions, from telemarketing to design. We are now expected to be our own secretaries and maintain our own admin. Typing at speed, at an above-average word per minute will save countless hours of timeat the keyboard, improve efficiency and allow you to multi-task. Additionally, the reduction in work pressure allows for an increased competitive edge amongst colleagues. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/syF5R_7NlEc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe> In this modern digital age, typing slowly and/or with just two fingers is unacceptable. With computers now allowed in exams (subject to access arrangements), it is only a matter of time before all learning, university and professional, are computer-based. Many recruitment agencies now insist on a typing test prior to interview, as corporations realise the benefits of their employees being work-ready and understand how this fundamental but key skill promotes efficiency and productivity. Devoting just a few hours a day to learn the skill of touch typing can reap huge rewards. Just like learning to drive, where we take lessons and then a proficiency test, we should apply the same principles when learning to type. With KAZ, it takes just 90 minutes to learn the a-z keys, plus practice time. You can practice on exercises within the course, as well as on emails, essays and work presentations. Benefits of touch typing for employees Time management Organisations look for employees that are motivated and able to make effective use of their time during working hours. As a touch typist, productivity is naturally increased and so assignments are delivered in a shorter timeframe. This in itself can remove the intense pressure of ‘extra work’ and by saving working hours, your firm can stay ahead of the competition, irrespective of profession, as ultimately productivity matters. This basic yet crucial tech skill is probably more valuable in terms of return on investment than any other course you are likely to take. Whilst we can all ‘type’, only 30% of the workforce can type effectively, using all fingers and at a speed greater than the average of between 18-35wpm. Concentration power Keyboarding also improves concentration levels on all computer-based tasks. When touch typing, skills are learned, cognitive mental development is enhanced and you develop the ability to ‘think type’. Simply put, what you think, ‘appears’ on the screen in front of you. Subconscious touch typing does not extract mental energy, it leaves the mind free to process other thoughts and ideas. Professional status Typing ‘efficiently’ significantly enhances your professional image. When you touch type at high speed and with accuracy, you naturally appear more confident and more in control. Remember, a professional image is crucial for your career prospects and excellent typing abilities will stand you apart from your colleagues. Mental health & well-being An additional benefit of learning to touch type correctly is the knowledge gained (sitting with good posture and the correct positioning of hands, wrists and fingers at the keyboard). If you suffer from stiffness of the shoulders, neck, hand or wrists, or suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) or RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), touch typing will help reduce or eliminate these symptoms and conditions. Observing these simple ergonomics will protect you from these and other complications - an invaluable benefit from learning touch typing Touch typing - an essential element for the development of other skills Touch typing is a skill that is widely recognised in the marketplace (business, education and lifestyle sectors). It helps when learning other computer/keyboard-based skills, such as coding and importantly, contributes to your own personal development (CPD/CE). With practice, speed and accuracy develop, allowing you to outperform in all aspects of computer use and communication. To sum up… Touch typing improves your academic performance and widens the scope for future opportunities in the professional sector. As an employee, you can improve efficiency, productivity, the ability to multi-task and time management, whilst protecting your mental health and well-being. Image © kaz-type.com Ready, steady, type… If this article was helpful, please share it. ... and also recommended by Which? magazine. ‘To get the maximum benefits from a keyboard, you need to be able to touch - type. Learning how to do this is made easier by programs such as KAZ (Keyboard A–Z), which claims to deliver benefits in just 90 minutes. KAZ has Corporate, Adult, Junior and Dyslexia editions...Touch-typing really does save you time… and you are never too old to learn.’ (Which? Magazine - February 2020)
What will university life look like in September?
From fees to online classes to social lives, the university experience is likely to be very different for this year's batch of students. (The Telegraph) Freshers' events will be virtual 'Bubbles' of students will live and study with people on their course to reduce the spread of Coronavirus Many universities are expected to hold lectures online for the 2020-21 academic year Most universities still expect students to be resident and said they may expect them to attend smaller classes Some courses will have more virtual content than others (Sally Peck – Family, Education and Carers Editor – 17/06/2020 Online teaching, learning and using a computer have suddenly become crucial elements for both delivering lectures and submitting assignments. The computer has taken centre stage and it is for this reason that quick and efficient touch typing skills are now more essential than ever for students. The two-finger or ‘hunt and pec’ method will not suffice. Although a fundamental skill, touch typing offers many benefits to both mainstream and neurodiverse students: Increases focus on content The important aspect of touch typing is not what the fingers are doing but what is happening in the brain. When students learn how to touch type, the skill is automatised and transferred to their sub-conscious, leaving their conscious minds free to concentrate on more important tasks, such as planning, composing, processing, proofing reading and editing. It improves the quality, quantity and their overall performance in assignments and exams. Increases productivity Once the skill is mastered, quick and efficient touch typing reduces the amount of time spent on a piece of work, automatically increasing productivity Improves accuracy Alongside speed, accuracy is also greatly increased. Touch typing trains the fingers to press the correct keys automatically. Students develop a sense of what feels right. They know immediately when they have keyed in the wrong letter Benefits neurodivergent students Touch typing offers neurodivergent students a new medium for learning and communicating. It helps level the playing field and can help address many of the challenges they face. Challenges such as processing, slow work rate, poor writing skills and a poor working memory Prepares students for the workplace In today’s IT world, computers are found in most, if not all office environments, even if just for maintaining customer records or for email communication. An individual that can touch type will outperform their peers - producing higher quality work quickly, efficiently and will excel in time management, all essential traits required for enhanced career prospects Correct posture whilst typing With prolonged periods spent at the computer, students need to be aware of correct posture whilst typing, to prevent developing RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). ‘City & Guilds Assured’ typing test and credentials KAZ’s City & Guilds ‘Assured’ typing test consists of a multiple-choice paper and typing test. All successful candidates will receive a digital certificate and badge to showcase on their social media profiles, C.V.’s and job application forms. Learn to type with KAZ KAZ’s inclusive touch typing software is suitable for both mainstream and neurodivergent students It’s proven Accelerated Learning teaching method teaches the A-Z keys in just 90 minutes It’s safe and secure for online use - KAZ are members of ICO.org and ensure student data is protected at all time https://kaz-type.com