Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bytes of Learning UltraKey Online Family Subscription -- my REVIEW

Typing is one of those skills that every person needs, or will need in the future. Computers and keyboards are such a part of our everyday lives and jobs that the "hunt and peck" method, while it works, might hold one back in terms of efficiency. I definitely want my children to be able to type quickly and accurately. My oldest daughter, who is going to college next year to pursue a computer science degree, has been self-motivated to learn to type and practice it. My other two children use the computer enought that they are semi-comfortable with typing, and they've tried different learn-to-type programs in the past, but I wouldn't call them proficient typists. I was happy to get a chance to try the UltraKey Online Family Subscription by Bytes of Learning to help them improve their skills.

UltraKey Online Family Edition

My 15 year old son and my 13 year old daughter are the students who got to use this typing program.  It was very easy to set up--I logged in and set up accounts for each of them so that they can easily log onto their own account, where they began with proper posture/positioning lessons and set goals for themselves.

I'm definitely glad that they began with the importance of the proper positioning.  Learning bad habits can lead to less efficiency and aches and pains!

Students get to set a goal for how fast they want to type.  The goals can be set through different means, either the Manager (parent in this case) can set the learning goal, the program can set the learning goal for the student, the student can take an assessment to help them set their goal, or the student can set a goal for themself.  
As goals are met, they can be changed if need be (increased or decreased) -- though, beware! Don't let your child think it's too hard when they try and try again to reach that words per minute goal--my daughter was more and more frustrated when she couldn't pass a level...then she tried and tried more and finally learned that it doesn't matter how fast she goes, if her accuracy isn't there, then she doesn't meet the goal -- she slowed down just a tad so that her accuracy improved and though she wasn't "racing" across the keyboard she met that goal and moved up.

So how do the lessons work?  Students are taught a set of letters, they practice them over and over again,

and then they take the skill check to see if they have met that goal.  If they do not, they have the opportunity to receive hints or tips which will help them to meet it.  

The goal chart is a nice motivator and a nice visual for the goals and how they are being met.

My kids both like this program.  It is not their favorite typing program, but they definitely liked this program better than some other typing programs that they have tried.  They both agreed that it is easy to follow and you can improve pretty quickly.  There is a "games" section that they said wasn't really fun :) but they didn't mind.  What it's worth to me is that it is a learn-to-type program that they don't mind doing, it fits nicely into their daily work plan with a short lesson per day, and they (and I!) can easily view their progress.

My daughter wanted to add her two cents' worth:, "The typing thing doesn't let you move on until you passed the skill check, which is good.  One skill check I had, I tried it for about 12-15 times, and still hadn't passed.  I read the advice it gave, and it told me to slow down, and it worked."  

I would definitely recommend this typing program, the UltraKey Online Family Subscription.  It is easy for the parent/teacher to set up, easy for the student to log into and use, easy for the student to learn and progress.  I like that different goals can be set and met. I like that there are hints to avoid frustration. I like the easy to view progress reports.  I like that my kids don't mind using it :) and that they are increasing their typing speed/accuracy with just a few minutes a day.

To read what some other folks thought about this learn to type program, please click on the banner below!

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}

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