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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Typing tutor needed
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10/22/2016 05:20:05 AM · #1
I am a volunteer mentor for "Brisbane Seniors Online" - i.e. I teach senior citizens how to use their computers.

One of my current learners can't type to save her life - it takes her several minutes for a single sentence.

Way back when (think age of dinosaurs), I had a CD of "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing", and it was fantastic. I believe she still exists but isn't cheap. I found an old CD, but it refused to install on my current computer.

My learner would like a program that lets her track her progress (i.e. a history function), and I'd like her to have variety, games, challenges, etc, just to keep her motivated.

Does anybody know of any really good typing tutor programs/websites? Ideally free, or at least not overly expensive.

Thanks for your input.
10/22/2016 09:07:39 AM · #2
A friend of mine just showed me one today--it's ZTYPE. It's a game kind of like Asteroids where you have to type the words as they come down and then your spaceship blows the words up. It's a dumb game but strangely addicting. I could see it being a useful way to get faster at typing.
10/22/2016 09:47:17 AM · #3
Mavis Neacon a still available (of course a newer version) and I saw a free listing too...iIjust googled it.

Probably could google "best typing program"

Seems like you could use a phone to read???
10/22/2016 11:19:28 AM · #4
Is your learner using a computer you could install voice recognition software on? Your average smartphone does voice recognition, too. Typing seems like a simple skill, but it's not, not really, & after you learn it it's not good for anything else.
10/22/2016 06:25:34 PM · #5
Thanks, people.

Rob, that looks like a real fun game for someone who can already type.... it would help to get faster at it.

Janine, I did google, but the only Mavis Beacon I found that looked like it was free, was a "free download" - but if you want to actually use it, you pay. Yes, I did search for best typing programs, too, but I have much more trust in a DPCer's opinion rather than some google search result.

Annie, I struggled with this myself a few months ago when I broke my wrist. Even when I bought "Dragon Naturally Speaking", typing was still much easier, better, faster, more accurate. My learner doesn't even want consider Cortana which is already on there, let alone anything else.
10/23/2016 06:53:06 AM · #6
The Mavis Beacon program helped me a lot (more than twenty years ago). Hearing that it is "not cheap" made me take a look at the manufacturer's web site. Without looking for any bargain alternatives, they have Mavis Beacon Personal Edition at just under $20. Site. Might be more than some would want to pay, but seems fair to put in the "not overly expensive" category in my view. Of course, what works for one person may not work for another. Unfortunately, I don't have any recent experience with paid or free alternatives to suggest. Volunteer work like yours really helps make the world a better place. Kudos to you for being there.
10/23/2016 05:53:11 PM · #7
Bob, I totally agree with you. I learned to type with Mavis Beacon (many years ago) and the fact that the program is still around today shows just how good it is.

Our awful Australian dollar exchange rate would bring that to about $27.00, and our pensioners generally have very little money.

However, I will talk to her about it and explain the alternative options, then leave it up to her.

Thanks.
10/23/2016 08:51:11 PM · #8
Originally posted by ecmguy:

A friend of mine just showed me one today--it's ZTYPE. It's a game kind of like Asteroids where you have to type the words as they come down and then your spaceship blows the words up. It's a dumb game but strangely addicting. I could see it being a useful way to get faster at typing.


That's fun.
10/23/2016 10:25:01 PM · #9
This probably won't be helpful: But even if you don't have any specific programs, simply practicing often will get you faster. Most people don't have to type from documents anymore, they just need to be able to type what they're thinking.

When I bought my first computer (a Trash-80), my dad bought half of it with the understanding that I couldn't touch the keyboard unless my hands were in the right position. I agreed, and did it. And learned to type myself two years before I had a typing class in high school. (of course I couldn't touch type numbers or capitalize anything, since I never used the numbers and the trash 80 programs never bothered with lowercase. :)

Anyway, I also know a guy that can type 110 words/minute with two fingers.

The key isn't necessarily learning the correct way, one of the best ways is to simply practice, practice, practice, whatever way you want. My husband also can't touch type, but can type pretty quickly.

So if you don't find anything, just even give her homework that she has to write to you at least 5 sentences a day telling you how her day went. ?
10/23/2016 10:37:53 PM · #10
Wendy, she is 70-ish years old and hasn't managed to get any better at typing, even though she has had to do some throughout the years. She really needs formal, structured practice.

On the good side, I just found one that looks ok and does everything she needs: https://www.speedtypingonline.com, so I think we'll go with this one for now.

I just did their typing test and managed 69 WPM with 99.4% accuracy.

I'm pretty happy with that result :-)

Edited to fix a typo LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Message edited by author 2016-10-23 22:38:34.
10/24/2016 04:29:47 PM · #11
Originally posted by Beetle:

Wendy, she is 70-ish years old and hasn't managed to get any better at typing, even though she has had to do some throughout the years. She really needs formal, structured practice.

On the good side, I just found one that looks ok and does everything she needs: https://www.speedtypingonline.com, so I think we'll go with this one for now.

I just did their typing test and managed 69 WPM with 99.4% accuracy.

I'm pretty happy with that result :-)

Edited to fix a typo LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL


Glad you found something! (I'll have to take the typing test. Last time I tested, I was at about 110 wpm (quite awhile ago), but that was with a lot of mistakes -- (well, not quite). The problem is that the test didn't let you correct your mistakes. I'm quite fast at typing, but also quite fast at correcting mistakes. :)
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