Friday, August 8, 2014

Product Review: Typing Instructor Platinum 21

     One of the most important skills to have, these days, is keyboarding skills. Typing a paper, searching the web, and learning to code, all require basic knowledge of the keyboard. Being able to use the keyboard efficiently, only helps to complete those tasks and many more. Although keyboarding is a valuable skill to have, it is not always viewed as "fun"to learn. After reviewing our options of resources, we decided to utilize Tying Instructor Platinum 21 for our 3 girls.

       

    Typing Instructor Platinum 21 has met and exceeded my expectations. Our eldest child had taken a keyboarding course online, through our local virtual school, and it was a chore to keep him on task with the course. The lessons were dry and monotonous, failing to keep him engaged. Typing Instructor is just the opposite. Although the program does cover major keyboarding skills, it does so while keeping the learner engaged.

    


       The program can be used for multiple learners on the same computer. If the download is purchased via Amazon, you will be able to download onto multiple computers for multiple users as well. This was important for me, with 4 children using potentially utilizing the same program. After installing the program, your child enters their name and picks a program option. The parent/student can pick a customizable lesson plan or choose from one of the 20 plans already available. There are 3 travel themes that are available, with a total of 36 destinations to travel to while learning. As the child learns various skills, they earn stamps that are displayed on their passport.


     Prior to beginning the program, I recommend having your child watch the how to type videos that are available within the program. They cover proper body positioning and give a quick intro to the keyboard. The first lessons include the keyboard and show the correct fingers to use with each key. You can choose to remove this option in the settings menu. Typing Instructor Platinum 21 is complete with over 300 lessons included in the program. Tests and games are also included to break the monotony of the typing lessons.  The games and tests are spaced throughout the program. If you choose to customize your plan, you can leave these out if desired. I find that the occasional trips to the game area help to keep my children engaged and encourages them to practice, independently outside of class time. The lessons are progressive and tests are given at regular intervals to assess keys that have been learned.

    

     The program quickly and easily displays a summary of the child's learning. Along with a list of completed activities, the summary page displays the average words per minute, adjusted words per minute, peak words per minute, as well as accuracy. The results can be filtered to include items of choice and all results are available to print. Our state requires portfolio reviews so this feature is great for our documentation. As the child progresses and meets the programmed measures, they also earn certificates which can be printed out for the child. 


    Finally, one of our favorite places is the practice portal. They have the option to play arcade type games and practice lessons. The two options that I favor, are the dictations and magazines. The dictation zone allows them to practice typing dictated paragraphs. The magazine area allows them to learn about various topics while typing the printed text of the magazine articles. 

All in all, we have been very pleased with the program and all of its options. The children are not only learning a needed skill, but also enjoying the time they spend using the program. I couldn't ask for more than that!


D.T.


      

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