Miss E has a goal of becoming a better typist so we were pleased to be able to take a in-depth look at The Typing Coach. An online audio tutorial, The Typing Coach Online Typing Course is applicable to students wanting to learn to type, from ages 8-80 or beyond.
Coach, your typing instructor, has created this program with the hope that it will make learning to type simple, less complicated. The key to this is following the plan exactly as laid out. There is not a pacing schedule for the program; you are to work on each lesson, repeating components, until it is mastered. This program will definitely be a great place to start for anyone who has not had any typing instruction.
The program has several components. In order to get the benefit of the program, you need access to the subscription program from The Typing Coach, internet access, a word processing program, and a printer. To begin with, the instructor needs to go into the program and print out the student pages, the Learning Checks pages, and the optional tracking page. Taking the time to read through the hints, the purpose of the program, the goals, and watching the videos provided will help you get started correctly.
HOW A LESSON WORKS
The student will open a word processor and The Typing Coach program. After setting up the printed page for the lesson and hitting play on the appropriate lesson audio, the student then clicks over to the word processor. Listening to the audio, the student is given the typing instruction. Listen. Type. Listen. Type. This is the basic process through which the instruction is given. At first, this is very simple – letter, letter, letter, space; letter, letter, letter, space. The instruction is give at a deliberate pace in order to encourage the student to take their time and work diligently at error-free accuracy.
After completing the audio course, the student is encouraged to practice and then to move over to the online Practice and Testing Center and take some typing quizzes. These quizzes are to see if they have done enough practice to move on to the next part of the program. There are time options for each Learning Check and once it is completed, the student will be given a grade. The goal is 100% accuracy. The speed will come with practice. After getting the 100% accuracy on that lesson, the student moves on to the next lesson.
There are a series of lessons that take you through all you need to work on to become an accurate typist, which is so necessary in our world. The lessons begin with posture, which makes a huge difference in ability. It moves on through the various rows on the keyboard and other keys used.
The goal on each of the lessons is 100% accuracy prior to moving on to the next lesson. It is really tempting for students to move on before that mark but practice and accuracy are important in learning to type. That is why this is the goal and threshold for progress.
I believe this is a good, solid program that will work for lots of folks. I do not feel it is appropriate for all, though. As homeschoolers, that is expected so I wanted to share a bit about these things and make a couple of suggestions.
While I understood this was an audio course, I did not understand enough about how it worked. The pacing of the audio was slow and deliberate, which is understandable for beginning typists. It was, however, slow enough that it was a hindrance for my daughter. She often lost concentration because of the pace and already knowing how to type. (This is a trial page with a sample and additional information. I suggest listening to the sample to help determine if this is right for you.)
The format (open a window and listen to an audio) was difficult for my daughter (13) to work with. It felt disconnected for her. Part of that is that she already knew how to type and learned with a very different style of instruction, which relates to my next concern.
This program is definitely NOT for someone who knows how to type. I misunderstood this. I saw the goals of improved accuracy and typing speed and that stood out as something I thought this program could help her with. And it might have, if I had started her further along. Starting her at the beginning, though, was a mistaken since she could already type with good posture and knew where all the keys and numbers were.
Another concern that I had was the nonsense collection of letters, numbers, and punctuation. Those are extremely difficult to type if you know how to spell and type. This threw some massive curveballs our way that pushed the frustration buttons beyond reset for the day. I can understand the purpose of it in working towards accuracy (letter by letter will slow you down) but for some people, this is something that is just not something they can overcome.
All in all, I think The Typing Coach program is good. If you have a student who has not already had typing instruction, this will likely be a good fit. If you have a student who does audio instruction well, this will likely be a good fit. This is a solid program that gradually walks the student through using all of the keyboard to by a competent typist. If you are looking for typing instruction, I encourage you to look closely at this program and to read more reviews from others on the Homeschool Review Crew who have been using the program for the last few weeks.