Upsurge in online learning fuels increasing need for touch typing skills

The UK school sector has lost many teaching days this year one way or another – deep cleaning for norovirus, flooding, snow days in some areas and now the coronavirus, forcing schools to close until further notice. Senior leadership teams are rising to the challenge, making plans for students to continue their education from home. For the first time the computer is becoming the main medium for delivering learning. This trend is likely to continue but underlying issues are coming to light.    Many learners enjoy using resources online but the majority are not trained, equipped or used to producing their work in this way. It is one thing to send a text, fill in a worksheet online or keep in touch with friends on social media but quite another to be expected to use technology for all classwork. Yet in many cases, this is what we will be asking them to do.    Most students are trained to handwrite but not to use a keyboard efficiently. Their keying in skills are poor and many are slow and inaccurate. There are also health and safety issues involved. Long-term extensive use of the keyboard can lead to RSI and possible spinal damage. When you think of how many hours schools spend teaching handwriting, it is quite astounding that they cannot allocate just 90 minutes to teach the basics of touch typing, which is all it takes with KAZ, our Accelerated Learning cloud-based program. The overriding argument for years has been that children will be expected to write by hand in their examinations but those days may now be numbered. An increasing number of students with dyslexia and other neurodiverse conditions are using word processors as their normal means of working and are now allowed to use the same methods in exams.   Some schools, notably international schools and independent schools in the UK are ahead of the curve, making sure all pupils have had training in touch typing.  At a ‘live classroom’ at BETT Malaysia 2017, Iain Stevens, Head of Curriculum Support at Taylor’s International School, Kuala Lumpur said: ‘One of the things which attracted me to KAZ was the Dyslexia Screen, where you can change the fonts, the colours and so on. When I looked at other programs, they couldn’t actually do that and that was one of the reasons why I chose KAZ.’    Of course, there are free programs available but when pupils are learning online, schools need to be sure that students and their data are safe and not being spammed, as can be the case with free software. Our website and all our courses are secure. We are members of ICO.org and strictly adhere to their rules and regulations. We guarantee no pop-ups, no advertising and no solicitation by email.                 Teachers also want to be able to set up students easily and see at a glance if they are doing the work and how well they are progressing. The KAZ admin panel allows teachers to upload student lists in minutes, send logon details using real or pseudo email addresses and monitor student progress in real time. Kathryn Stowell, Head of Outreach and AAC at Charlton Park Academy, supports around 200 secondary students in many schools, so she has first- hand experience of distance learning:  'KAZ teaches touch typing fast so students are not taking much time out from other subjects to learn the keyboard,' said Kathryn. ‘Best of all, we have one portal at the school and can see from the student logins how they are getting on. With students right across London, this saves us time when we are checking on progress.'    Additionally, to help keep students engaged, motivated and on task, we have launched a touch typing competition which runs until June 30th 2020. Students can take the timed test as often as they wish and their best score will be saved. A leader board is published on the KAZ site each month and the final result will be announced in July. Schools that have a KAZ licence can check up on student progress at any time which means they can also run their own in-house tournaments and maybe even pitch staff against students.   Schools that are moving to online learning in the next few months may find several hidden benefits from teaching their students to touch type. Not only will they equip their pupils with a ‘life skill’ they can use whilst at school, for exam access arrangements and carry forward with them into FE and the workplace but pupils may also start composing texts at speeds of around 50–70 words per minute.   The Department of Education has deemed BESA’s LendEd site the ‘go to’ approved platform for home learning resources in the even of school closures. Our software is the only touch typing software listed and approved. In an effort to help schools during this turbulent period of home learning, we have halved the price of all our school online licences. Please use code: KAZC19 at checkout.   https://kaz-type.com/educational-edition.aspx  

25/03/2020 13:45:44

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How touch typing can help individuals with dyslexia?

Touch typing has proven to be extremely beneficial for individuals with dyslexia. This advanced typing technique eliminates the need and challenges associated  with writing by hand and offers a new medium for getting thoughts onto paper easily and efficiently - boosting confidence and moral. When individuals learn how to touch type, the skill is automatized and transferred to the sub-conscious, leaving the conscious mind free to concentrate on more important tasks, such as: thinking, planning, composing, processing, proofing reading and editing. It improves quality, quantity and their overall performance in assignments and exams. The ways touch typing can benefit dyslexic individuals   A different learning process Touch typing uses a different memory skill than that of traditional methods. It eliminates the need of decoding spelling. With the repetition of touch typing real words, spelling and vocabulary are engrained to memory. Spellings simply become a series of finger movements and patterns on a keyboard, dramatically reducing the likelihood of transposing and misspelling words. Easy correction A paper littered with crossings out and scribbles can prove hard to read, will interrupt thought and work flow and can be very frustrating. When touch typing is learned, fingers automatically know when they have pressed the wrong key or made a mistake and normally they edit immediately. Additionally, when using a computer, spell checking tools are also available. Composing whilst writing Touch Typing is a ‘hidden’ skill that is often overlooked in education and life. It frees the mind and for dyslexic students, levels the playing field, allowing creativity in writing. Reorganisation of thoughts Individuals with dyslexia have a particular thought process. They jot down their thoughts first as a series of disconnected conceptions and then structure them into an organized answer / essay. Touch typing and using a computer allows them to do this more easily. Touch typing - a game changer for individuals with dyslexia Writing by hand can prove to be a great barrier for individuals with dyslexia whilst at school, the workplace and in life. It can result in low morale and self-esteem. Learning to touch type equips individuals with a ‘life skill’ that can be life changing. It can improve quality of work, productivity, outcomes of examinations and in turn, career prospects - boosting confidence, self-belief and esteem.

20/03/2020 11:54:25

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Top 5 Tips to Touch Type Faster

Touch typing is an excellent skill to possess as it helps you be more effective in communication and finish computer based work quickly, efficiently and on time. The learning process can be a little tasking as simply hitting the right keys isn’t quite enough. Even after learning the right typing techniques, you should still practice regularly to become better and more efficient with the keyboard. Follow these guidelines to improve your typing efficiency.    Touch Typing - A Detailed Guide for Typing Faster on a Keyboard   Learn the Basics You cannot type faster without clarity on the basic concepts of touch typing. Increased speed demands proper coordination of mind (for keyboard recognition) and body (for fingers and muscles movements). You need to master the top, bottom and home row keys, along with the number pad. Use good software that guides you with exercises and helps you with tracking your progress.    Start practicing with letter sequences ASDF or JKL. Remember, FDSA and JKL; represent the ‘home row’ and learn the correct fingers to use for specific keys. Your fingers should return to the middle or home row after every keystroke. Virtual keyboards will highlight keys, which helps build muscle memory, for each and every finger. The letters F and J have small bumps which you can sense easily by touch, to identify the placement of fingers on the home row.      Learn to use the ‘rollover’ typing method only once you have successfully engrained finger position to muscle memory. This saves time, as you press the next key immediately after you release the previous key, and so on. To strengthen the connection between your brain and finger muscles keep your head looking at the screen and practice typing without looking at your hands. This way you spot typing errors easily.  To process commands quickly, use keyboard shortcuts. Here is a list of shortcuts you could use to save time: Ctrl+C - Copy Ctrl+X - Cut Ctrl+V - Paste Ctrl+Z - Undo Ctrl+S - Save  Set Objectives Set your goals and make daily targets. With regular practice, you will progress quickly but you also need to physically see your level of progress, after a few days of training. Make sure you set realistic goals, so they are achievable.  Prior to every training session, set primary and various secondary objectives. For example, tapping any key on the home row 20 times repeatedly without looking at your keyboard can be a primary motive. Learning the keys for the right and left hand can be an appropriate secondary objective.    Once you attain your goals, you can assess your improvement weekly. After easily attainable primary and secondary objectives, you should set more difficult goals, even if it requires extra effort. At this stage, you are least likely to get satisfaction from achieving easy goals so be creative when setting strong objectives.  Focus on Accuracy As you learn the keyboard and increase your speed, try to focus more on accuracy. As you type quickly, you will make errors and to prevent this repeatedly happening, practice accuracy exercises. You should practice your typing technique slowly and perfectly rather than quickly and inaccurately. When it comes to developing speed, you should do this gradually and with practice.     The more you practice the more error-free content you will be type. You can proofread, read thoughts aloud to yourself and practice rollovers. People who type extremely fast have the least error rates as the skill is automatised and they instinctively know when, where, and how to press keys.  Maintain Correct Posture  Ensure a correct sitting posture. When you sit improperly, health issues such as Computer Vision Syndrome and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) are raised which can lead to backache and strain. Take frequent breaks and perform finger exercises. Keep your spine straight, feet flat on the ground, shoulders relaxed, keep elbows at your sides and avoid resting wrists on your desk. If you type for several hours, use a typing chair or one that is ergonomic.   Correct sitting posture is essential as it is important to be comfortable whilst learning. Be Patient Patience is key when learning touch typing. Do not rush and in the initial stages take everything slowly. As your fingers build muscle memory your accuracy will improve and you will be able to type faster with fewer and/or no errors. It is better to type error-free content than typing with a lot of misspelled words as, returning to correct a typo will take longer than typing the word at a slower, more comfortable speed. Accuracy is important. If you have patience, practice until you are capable of typing error free.     Touch typing will increase your productivity ten fold and is also pretty impressive for those watching too! Make learning fun, practice and keep focus and once you have learned this life skill you will never look back.  

04/03/2020 12:26:05

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10 Ideal Jobs For a Fast Typist

Typing is widely regarded as one of the most crucial yet ‘hidden’ office skills.  Most business operations and administration is carried out with the use of computers, irrespective of profession and/or sector. Now more than ever, it is a necessity to type quickly. The majority of office based workers make a living from their computer and their keyboarding abilities determine their efficiency and earnings, as the quicker they type, the greater their productivity. When you learn touch typing, speed and accuracy gradually develop and as a touch typist, you open up a vast array of different job opportunities.    Are you aware of the jobs that demand fast typing skills?     What are the Jobs that Require You to Type Fast?   Typist   To be a professional typist, you need to be exceptionally fast as well as accurate whilst typing. 55 to 90 words per minute is considered good. You will need to write reports, answer correspondence and type assigned content into a variety of specified formats. You should be able to type text from printed or handwritten text and in some cases, from audio files. Usually after working as a typist, promotions lead to senior administrative positions or you can rise through secretarial /P.A. ranks easily.   Transcriptionist    This job profile demands far greater accuracy as opposed to just speed in typing. You should have excellent listening skills and an extensive knowledge on the subject being transcribed, so as to not commit typos. As a transcriber or audio typist, you have to type as you listen from a tape or recording. A wide variety of fields, including law, medicine and the audiovisual industry require transcriptionists.     Data Entry Specialist   Being a skilled typist, you can also apply for a variety of data entry jobs. Big firms recruit data entry ‘clerks’ to input data to databases, systems and programs. This profession usually requires other administrative skills. Apart from keyboarding skills, you should have consistency, attention to detail and a goal-oriented attitude in order to meet daily targets.    Closed Caption and Subtitle Writer   The subtitle is a written text which accompanies audio-visual, broadcasts on TV, movie or online. As a sub-titlist, you are likely to work with freelance contractors and media/television production companies. Earnings can be high in this field if you have excellent editing abilities. Closed captioning involves typing for the hearing impaired / deaf audience. Several TV and media production companies offer online and offline closed captioning opportunities. Salaries are good for both sub - titlists and closed captioning professionals.   Journalist   Typing skills are an essential tool for all successful journalists or reporters. Although fast typing is not a prerequisite to be a journalist or reporter, it does improve your productivity and allows you to focus on other important aspects, such as creative writing. Additionally, if you love writing, you can also blog. The faster you type, the more meaningful and productive the blogs you create will be. You are also less likely to make errors, creating a positive impression on those searching, reading and looking for bloggers.   Personal Assistant   A personal assistant is generally responsible for the smooth running of an office or a small company. It is a hugely stressful job profile but also very rewarding. You should be efficient in time management, delegating and overseeing work. This role generally induces stress and gives little to no time to relax, whilst at work. By learning touch typing, you can easily type at 60 words per minute and when you can type quickly, daily tasks are accomplished quickly and on time, helping you in your role as a successful personal assistant.   Virtual Assistant    Virtual assistants need to be flexible in all areas of office work and must be able to compete from an outsourced skill pool as well as with in-house assistants. From email communication, to writing, editing and data entry, you should be able to handle various activities simultaneously. To work efficiently as a virtual assistant, you need to type fast.     Translator   These days, translators use advanced software to increase productivity but fast typing skills still give you an edge over other candidates. Learning to touch type boosts productivity and enables you to keep up as the skill is automatised.   Web Designer/Developer   IT professionals should be able to type at a minimum of 45 words in a minute. Efficient typing skills allow creativity in web designing and/or programming. If you are considering the web design and/or programming development sector, then nurture your typing skills and stay ahead of other professionals, both entering and within the industry.     Chat Agent Typing is a pre-requisite as a chatting agent. Large companies with customer service departments and online stores hire chat agents to communicate with their customers. As a chat agent, you need to be adaptive and be able to serve numerous customers daily.  This type of job is flexible and can often be worked from the comfort of your home.   Besides these job profiles, learning to touch type will also help you in your every daily life and with regular practice, you can easily increase your speed and excel in which ever is your chosen professional field.       

28/02/2020 08:10:10

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Why You Should Bother With Typing Tests

If you are an employer then you need to ensure that your staff are competent, efficient, up to date with current practice and productive and all this just to maintain pace with the competition? But how do we know if staffing is excessive, if you are top heavy or worse everyone isn’t pulling in the same direction?   We should all be constantly looking for efficiency in working practice and we do this through regular training? We should not leave the training to other companies and a well trained workforce is not only efficient but grateful and duty bound to be more concerned within the company. After all if you look after your employees then logic dictates they will look after for you.   Isn’t this the reason why so many of the worlds best companies goals are to get to the top and stay there. There is good reason for careful and detailed planning and this is to ensure quality, flexibility, longevity and productivity are the main consideration. Generally this will involve the use of the most up to date and cutting edge technology and machinery.   Commitment works both ways. Train your people well and your people will respond. Ever wondered why everyone wants to play and work and be in the big boys playground?   To quote a spokesman for the UK’s Learndirect, “The most effective and cheapest training course on the market is also the most neglected.”   Did you know that from 1000 free typing tests taken on our KAZ website, 69.7% of the ‘typists’ type at at less than 35wpm?… that is almost 7 out of 10 people unable to type efficiently. (Check out our test - it’s free, will only cost you 90 seconds of your life and you will then be able to accurately predict how much extra productivity can be gained by learning this simple skill.)   Typing is a skill - just like driving. We are taught to drive. We have lessons, followed by a test to confirm proficiency. Every laptop, desktop, Chromebook is sold with an attached keyboard. How are we expected to be proficient with a keyboard, where many of us spend several hours per day, when we are not taught?   If the average working day is 8 hours, it is relatively easy to work out the hours /days /months of our lives we can potentially save by learning this skill.   Let’s assume your staff need to spend 6 hours per day in front of their PC, typing at a speed of 25wpm on emails, work, essays etc.,    If you fall into the above 69.7% category (assuming you’re typing non-stop): 25wpm x 60mins x 6hours =  9000 words in 6 hours   If you fall into the latter, 30% typist category, you should be able to type at 50 wpm (the majority of users leave KAZ at this point): 50wpm x 60mins x 6 hours = 18000 words in 6 hours or the equivalent of 9000 words in 3 hours = a saving of 3 hours per day.   Double the word count in exactly the same time.  (Out of interest, from the typing tests taken, the remaining 30% typed far in excess of 50wpm!)   Now what if I told you the average speed test of those 69.7% tests taken, was just 18!   Imagine how much of time you can potentially save each day. What would you do with that extra staff time?   So continuing …   3 hours per day x 5 days/week x 48 weeks/year =    720 hours/year or    90 days/year  (based on working 8 hours /day)   Now that’s a lot of productivity saved/gained - should be an easy decision to start checking your employees typing skills.  

24/02/2020 09:47:48

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4 Reasons to Implement Touch Typing Classes in Schools

Touch typing is generally not included within the school curriculum. However, many teachers understand the importance and the need for this skill and try to find space in the limited timeframe they have allocated during IT skills and digital literacy. However,as a result many students do not learn the skill or take keyboard practice seriously.    If you learn touch typing, especially in early in life, it can help you to succeed in almost every profession. There are numerous reasons to implement touch typing classes in schools.   Why Touch Typing Classes Should be Offered in Schools? Whyshould schools offer touch typing classes to students?   Primary Requirement for Professional and Scholastic Excellence   Touch typing, also know as keyboarding is a fundamental and necessary computer skill. Whilst some students prefer to use the‘hunt and peck’ typing method, others may ‘touch-type’ or use a hybrid method, albeit not very accurately. When you learn to touch type, you can easily and efficiently conduct online research, take examinations and type assessments. You will naturally feel more confident and are more likely to perform well in studies. This advanced typing process saves time in homework allowing more time to focus on new and innovative learning as opposed to wasting unnecessary timeat the keyboard.    Fun to Learn   Learning the skill of touch typing should induce fun. When you get a well-structured and well researched software, the typing process is easy and enjoyable. You will be taught how to move your hands smoothly over your keyboard and hit the right keys, every time. The initial introductory lessons teach you the basics of typing and which fingers to use for certain keys.   Eases Difficulties in Learning   Touch typing is a necessity for students suffering from a variety of learning differences. For instance, students with dyspraxia and dysgraphia naturally struggle with handwriting. By learning to touch type at school, they can boost their learning and literacy skills, which in turnwill help them reach theirfull potential. This advanced process of typing also helps studentschallenged with musculoskeletal disorders and visual impairment to improve their learning process. As a student, if you learn to touch type using reading real words, you can improve performance rapidly. Touch typing is considered to be the base of multi-sensory learning courses. Once you learn to touch type, you will  hear, think and then read your text on the screen easily and without even realising it. As the learning process is multi-sensory, with regular practice your typing will become much faster.         Vital IT Skill   Technology is now ever presentand has significantly changed our lifestyles, our education, our health and our society. It is an essential IT skill and to use it effectively, you should know how to use your keyboard efficiently. Being an expert in touch typingcan give you an edgeover your fellow students and earn youbetter career prospects.     Teaching keyboarding at schools is so important for students. The learning process, if done in the correct manner, can be exceptionally quick. A high-quality keyboarding software will help students improve their typing speed and accuracy within a short time period.    Schools should allocate the time to teach typing skills to their students as it is an essential life skill that will help themthroughout theiracademic, professional and personal lives.    

12/02/2020 09:54:47

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“…I spent more time looking for the right product than it actually took me to learn…”

Have you begun your search yet? This is an essential part of the ‘sorting and sifting’ journey, which along with reading product reviews should at the very least reduce your options.   There are a huge selection of typing tutors available. Some are games based, whilst others focus solely on adult learning. Either way, free or paid, the choices seem endless. Deciding which is the right one for you can be terribly time consuming and if you get it wrong, enough to put you off learning!   Nick: “I searched the internet but actually spent more time searching for the right product than it actually took me to learn to type with KAZ!”   Research is incredibly important when making an important purchase. We often consult friends, books, websites but when it comes to education, we can often be quite blasé in opting for the ‘free’ or cheapest option with the mentality, “Well, I’ve got nothing to lose!”   This is fine if we have the luxury of TIME but do we really want to take that risk with our children or fellow workers. When learning is misguided, results can be quite negative, making learning tedious and with negative conclusions drawn, resulting in an unenthusiastic learner.    From our research, this is the main reason why so many individuals retrain in later lives.   To really value a lesson, ‘free’ should be taken in context. How many times have you been given something free which you so often discard or move on from? Also typically true with games. How many games do you or your kids have and how often are they played with? The answer should immediately present itself.   A good product will actively seek testing, review and will then make claims it can justify, back up and substantiate. This information will then be clearly displayed on their website.   The KAZ method was developed through years of research and with huge investment from the 3i group. It was designed through innovation, using an Accelerated Learning teaching method and was tested in over 300 education centres across the UK, prior to launch. It was only launched when 93% of learners touch typed the a-z keys in less than 90 minutes. Furthermore, it was tested by the Open University, who were so impressed with the results, they produced a white paper and deployed KAZ to all 90,000 + students per annum, for over 14 years.   It is still the only typing tutor available on the UK’s Learndirect site and the US’s OpenSesame.   Joanne: “ A friend recommended a free typing tutor. I really wish I didn’t listen. I spent days and weeks, wasting my time. In the end I bit the bullet and bought KAZ. Within 3 weeks I was typing at 50wpm. Now, one year on, I’ve bought the family version for my 3 kids too“   Once you’ve searched the web, read the reviews and learned to type, please remember the opening statement!     https://www.bestadvisor.com/typing-software  - KAZ Rated Best Pick   https://www.thetop10sites.com/learn-to-type/kaz/ - Joe Schwartz, Typing Tutors Editor -  KAZ Rated 1st   https://whatsgoodtodo.com/kaz-family-edition-touch-type-course-review/ - Reviewed by Sandip Stapleton - Rating: 5/5  

07/02/2020 12:25:50

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Can you spare 90 minutes? What if I now told you it will save you a YEAR in your working life?

If I asked you that question in general, you would immediately take notice but if I then told you it’s to teach you typing skills… you would probably respond; ‘I can type fine with 2 fingers’…’I’ve developed a method which is brill’…”My typing’s good enough”…   Typing is a skill - just like driving. We are taught to drive. We have lessons, followed by a test to confirm proficiency. Every laptop, desktop, Chromebook is sold with an attached keyboard. How are we expected to be efficient on a computer, where many of us spend several hours per day, when we do not have proficiency using its keyboard?   We should not be happy just doing enough to get by. We should be asking, what we can do better that can really make a difference to our daily lives.    If the average working life is to age 65, it is relatively easy to work out the hours /days /months of our lives we can potentially save by learning this skill.   OK - first lets get the facts, stats and then make some assumptions on which to base our calculations.   From 1000 free typing tests taken on our KAZ website, 69.7% of the ‘typists’ type at at less than 35wpm… that is almost 7 out of 10 people unable to type efficiently. (Check out our test - it’s free, will only cost you 90 seconds of your life and you will then be able to accurately predict how much of your working life can be saved.)   For ease of calculations, let’s assume you need to spend 2 hours per day in front of your PC, typing at a speed of 25wpm on emails, work, essays etc.,    If you fall into the above 69.7% category (assuming you’re typing non-stop): 25wpm x 60mins x 2hours =  3000 words in 2 hours   I realise it doesn’t quite work this way but just stay with me for a little longer…   If you fall into the latter, 30% typist category, you should be able to type at 50 wpm (the majority of users leave KAZ at this point): 50wpm x 60mins x 2 hours = 6000 words in 2 hours or 3000 words per 1 hour = a saving of 1 hour per day.   Double the word count in exactly the same time.  (Out of interest, from the typing tests taken, the remaining 30% typed in excess of 50wpm or much higher!)   Now what if I told you the average speed test of those 69.7% tests taken, was just 18!   Imagine how much of your life you can potentially save. Wouldn’t you prefer to be more productive or be doing something else with all that time?   So continuing …   Current age: 35 (retire at 65) Wpm: 25 (taken from KAZ free typing test) Working 5 days per week and spending 2 hours per day at the computer   You already know you could save 5 hours per week by learning to type properly. 5 hours x 52 weeks = 260 hours per year saved 260 hours x 30 years working life remaining = 7800 hours used up or saved - You decide!   That actually amounts to: 325 days  (7800 hours / 24 hours per day) Now imagine if you are one of the 69.7% typing at 18 wpm or less and spending a longer time at the computer? I’ll let you enjoy the math on that one… but it’ll save you over a year!   Ever wondered what you would do, if you had an extra YOU… Well, here’s how to save a year at least!   The KAZ method was developed through years of research and with huge investment from the 3i group. It was designed through innovation, using an accelerated learning teaching method and was tested in over 300 education centres across the UK, prior to launch. It was only launched when 93% of learners touch typed the a-z keys in less than 90 minutes. Furthermore, it was tested by the Open University, who were so impressed with the results, they produced a white paper and deployed KAZ to all 90,000 + students per annum for over 14 years.   It is still the only typing tutor available on the UK’s Learndirect site and the US’ OpenSesame.   Missed out on learning this skill in the past, don’t miss out on learning it now. These figures should help you decide.

01/02/2020 20:04:57

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