Reviews

We, at KAZ:

  • Are inclusive
  • Use a proven Accelerated Learning teaching method based on brain balance and muscle memory
  • Use a unique Preference Screen to minimize visual disturbances
  • Will teach you to type the a-z keys in just 90 minutes

But what do the reviews say?

How do I know if I need to learn to type?

How do I know if I need to learn to type

With so many of us now working from home, there is a constant need and expectation to work harder, faster and smarter, coupled with the anxiety to justify our productivity.

Had you ever looked around the office, watched your colleagues and thought that you really needed to type faster, or at least type as fast as some of your peers? Surprisingly, in these days of IT, computer and office-based working, 70% of office workers still do not type efficiently.* 

So what’s the simplest and easiest way to work faster? Well, if you spend a lot of time at the computer, you need to work out approximately how many hours a day you spend there and aim to reduce that time, with the proviso you get the same amount of work done. An easy and free way to check your typing proficiency is to follow the flowchart above. 

Take a free typing test on our site. Check your typing wpm score and find out if you are typing efficiently.

C:\Users\Kaz Type\Desktop\Imagery\Free Typing Test.jpg

What do we mean by efficiently?

We mean quick, accurate typing, using all fingers and thumbs, whilst looking ahead at the screen and not constantly glancing down at the keyboard… back up to the screen… back down to the keyboard etc.  

Why is this so important? Because when you touch type properly, the skill is automatised, enabling you to multi-task and think as you type. Productivity goes through the roof because there is little or no time spent searching for keys or correcting errors. Emphasis and focus are on creating and writing content quickly and efficiently. 

Think of it as learning to drive a car. At first, we all need instruction, followed by practice, then finally, a test. Driving is a skill which is learned. Similarly, with typing, how are we expected to type efficiently, if we are not taught? One main reason is that we are generally too busy and have little time to set aside to learn this skill. Alternatively, it could be due to a mental block from poor typing courses taken in our past, filled with painful thoughts of boredom, repeatedly typing the same phrases and exercises over and over again. Or it could simply be that we never realised just how much time learning to type could save us throughout our daily and working lives. 

Free up to 30% of your day!

Did you know that by learning to type you could free up to 30% of your day? If you don’t believe this statement, use our free ROI calculator and find out just how much time you could save annually. Click the link and scroll down the page.

Additionally, if you enter your hourly rate, you’ll find out how much money you could save your employer by learning to type efficiently. If you’re self-employed, that’s either wasted time or more billing time – you decide!

This is possibly a wake-up call and will help you understand why many employers and recruitment agencies now insist on candidates sitting a typing testbefore being considered or recommended for a position. The crazy thing is, typing as a skill is so easy to learn if taught correctly.

Set aside just 90 minutes to learn to type using KAZ’s © ‘Accelerated Learning’ teaching method and then practice on emails, essays etc. It is essential to maintain discipline and if you do, within a few hours you’ll be typing at least as fast as you were with 2 fingers but with the added benefit of knowing you will get much, much faster and also feel more relaxed whilst working at your computer. Sitting correctly and typing using good typing technique, rather than continually searching or thumping keys will also minimise the risk of you developing Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).

There is a reason why our course is used by both the UK and US governments, the MOD, the NHS, the police, businesses and schools worldwide.

We are still the only typing course available on the UK’s Learndirect and the US’s OpenSesame learning portals.

We don’t want to train you if you’re not going to benefit from our course. Why? We have a reputation to protect. Millions of people around the world have used, benefitted from and recommend KAZ. Our ethos is clear and our testimonials and partners are proof of our method working. 

Yes, we charge for our course but this is for a reason. Our research has proven that pop-ups, advertising, gaming, videos and extensive modules all simply delay or extend the learning process. These are just methods used to monetise training or to harvest data. We don’t do that. We are governed by ico.org.uk rules and fiercely protect our client’s data. 

Our course and trademarked teaching method were designed to teach you to type quickly and with minimal fuss. Few of us have the time to waste trailing alternatives and wasting precious time. Our course costs just £/$24.99 – that’s all. No recurring fees, just a fair price for a ‘skill for life’. 

How much time will you save by learning to type? 

The average person will save $/£3000 per annum X 30 years = $/£90,000 or more importantly, 300 hours per annum = 340 days over 30 years, which is almost one year of your life!

Tried, tested and proven!

C:\Users\Kaz Type\Desktop\Imagery\Open University Image.jpg

No games or videos but a method that works and promises to get you going in just 90 minutes** 

No hard-sell tactics, just a proven method that was tried, tested and proven by the Open University, who were so impressed, that they wrote a white paper on its effectiveness and deployed the course to all their 90,000+ students for over 14 years.***

* KAZ’s free typing test – from over 3000 tests taken, 70% show an average score of just 17.2wpm.

** Our tests and surveys have shown that the majority of users complete the a-z keys in just 90 minutes. However, this is not guaranteed and some individuals may take longer. KAZ is structured so that the individuals can work at their own pace. Allow an average of 4 hours plus practice time to complete the entire course covering the rest of the keyboard. 

*** Open University – white paper available on our website.

What WPM is considered a slow, fast or exceptional typing speed?

KAZ the best typing software

Learn to type faster and increase your employability

In today’s high tech world, it is hard to find an education, business or commercial environment without a computer or laptop. Typing ‘machines’ are everywhere and many now consider the skill of typing is as important as writing!

Being able to type fast and efficiently gives you positive advantages at school, in further education and the workplace. However, if you want to become an expert typist, increase your productivity, be able to multi-task, stand out from your peers/colleagues and increase your career prospects in a competitive workplace, learning to type will not be enough. You need to learn to touch type.

What’s the difference? 

Well, when you type with just two or a few fingers, although you may be fairly fast, you use your conscious mind. You think as you do. This adds additional mental load, does not allow you to type to your full capacity and makes it harder to multi-task.

However, when you touch type with all your fingers and thumbs, the process becomes automated and transfers to your subconscious, freeing your conscious mind to concentrate on the task at hand. It also increases productivity and enables you to multitask. With practice, muscle memory is built and your fingers instinctively reach for the right keys. This automatic response is what allows you to type faster.

What is the fastest typing speed? 

Using the English language, the world’s fastest typist, Barbara Blackburn, typed at 216WPM at her peak in 2005. She typed on a Dvorak keyboard, a keyboard specially designed to reduce finger movement.

What is the average accuracy and WPM? 

The average typing speed can vary dramatically from one course provider to another. This is because there is no authoritative industry standard. However, the Royal Signals, a division of the Royal Army and our research findings, whilst testing our teaching method on over 18,000 individuals per year for three years, suggest that 35WPM is the point when automaticity takes over, when typing with all fingers and thumbs. If you would like to improve your typing speed and achieve 35WPM, or if you want to exceed it and become an expert typist, try following the guidelines below.

 Why are you a slow typist?

There are several reasons why you may be a slow typist:

You may be typing with incorrect ergonomics

You may be using the wrong typing technique

You may not be practising enough  

How to improve a slow typing speed

Ergonomics is a science concerned with the design or arrangement of your workplace, equipment, furniture and systems. Good ergonomics will enhance your comfort, safety, efficiency and productivity. So, ensuring a good workplace setup and correct posture whilst sitting at the keyboard will help with your speed and efficiency when typing

Familiarising yourself with your keyboard structure and layout will also help your typing speed. There is no need to rush. With regular practice, muscle memory will build and you will quickly get acquainted with the layout

The starting position for your fingers when getting ready to touch type or when they are at rest and not typing is called the ‘home position’. The keys you place your fingers on are called the ‘home keys’. The ‘home position’ is situated on the middle row of your keyboard, as highlighted below. Using the home position when you are typing will allow your fingers to move to the correct keys more easily, hence increasing your typing speed

You must correct any bad habits you may have developed. When teaching ourselves to type, we often develop our own style of typing, normally using just our index fingers. This is known as the ‘hunt and peck’ method, where we look for keys one at a time and then press each key individually. This constant searching and pressing of individual keys, looking up at the screen and then back down at the keyboard is what slows our typing speed. In order to increase your typing speed, you need to stop ‘hunt and pecking’ and learn how to touch type (the ability to type subconsciously, using all your fingers and thumbs and without looking down at the keyboard)

How to turn a good typing speed into a fast typing speed  

Different typing software use different teaching methods and all have different opinions on what a fast or very fast typing speed is. At KAZ Type, we deem 50WPM, using all your fingers and thumbs as fast

However, to elevate yourself from an average typist to a fast typist you need to master the skill of touch typing. As mentioned above, touch typing is the method where you use muscle memory and not the sense of sight to find the keys. Certain fingers are responsible for pressing certain keys and with practice, muscle memory is built and fingers instinctively and automatically reach for the correct keys. This automaticity is what elevates your typing speed, as the need to look from keyboard to screen is completely eliminated. You simply think the word and it appears on the screen. A phrase known as ‘think type’. 

KAZ’s proven Accelerated Learning teaching method will teach you the position of the a-z keys in just 90 minutes. Incorporating ‘brain balance’ the method will train your fingers to work symmetrically and simultaneously, a direct result of both hemispheres of the brain working at the same time. No other typing software works in this way. With additional typing exercises, muscle memory and automaticity are also build and you will notice a distinct increase in your typing speed   

From ‘fast’ to ‘exceptional’

If you’ve followed all the guidelines above, transitioning from a fast to an exceptionally fast typist is down to one simple thing – practice. As the saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. However, to become an exceptionally fast typist, accuracy is key. There’s no point typing exceptionally fast if your text is littered with mistakes. KAZ’s SpeedBuilder module will allow you to build both your speed and accuracy simultaneously. Regular practice will increase your WPM with minimal errors and excel your typing to the next level.

City & Guilds Assured Typing Test 

Once you have achieved the WPM you want, take KAZ’s City & Guilds Assured typing test. On successful completion, you will be awarded a digital certificate and badge to showcase on you social media profiles, CVs and job applications by a globally recognised body.

https://kaz-type.com

The method works, my students almost across the board see gains

Greensboro school use KAZ

Greensboro Day School have been using KAZ for several years. 100% of students, grades 4-12, use laptops throughout the curriculum.

Q. How did you hear about KAZ? 

A. A former colleague recommended it.

Q. How important do you think the skill of touch typing is for students in today’s world? 

A. I think being able to type relatively quickly and accurately is very important to succeed in school and business.

Q. How have you implemented KAZ into your time table/learning? 

A. I dedicate several lesson sessions to teaching the students how to use KAZ, then monitor their progress. I assign independent practice based on their WPM and Accuracy scores from Speedbuilder tests. 

Q. What do you think of KAZ’s admin panel and recording of student progress? 

A. I like being able to see their latest WPM/Accuracy, though I wish it would qualify if the Speedbuilder taken was a “just the a-z” or “and the rest” keys. 

KAZ:We are looking into this.

Q. KAZ offering both a mainstream and SEN/Dyslexia edition in their school license – has this helped? 

A. I have only had one student with dyslexia that I used the program with. I appreciated having the option for that student.

Q. How efficient has KAZ been and are the children enjoying it?
A. I would rate it more efficient than fun. Some of the students really like typing and some don’t – I don’t think it is KAZ, I think it is typing in general for the students that don’t really enjoy it. 

Q. Is the fact that KAZ online can be used at school and at home a positive feature and why? 

A. This is a very positive feature and one of the reasons I have stuck with KAZ as I can assign portions of it for homework/independent practice and students may go at their own pace. 

Q. What do you think of KAZ? 

A. I really like KAZ and will keep using it because the method works (my students almost across the board see gains) and it is flexible enough for me to assign it they way I need to for my students. 

Greensboro Day School develops the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to become constructive contributors to the world.

#1 Best Private High School in Guilford County

Give YOUR students a head start – teach them to type.

Which is the best touch typing software?

Learn to type

There are numerous comparison sites such as; thetop10sites.com, bestadvisor.com, typinglounge.com and learntotouchtype.com. They all review typing software. They highlight both the positives and negatives of each product and provide tips on how to help improve your typing technique, how to up your accuracy and how to learn to type faster.

Individuals, schools, businesses and typing comparison sites all look for different criteria when choosing or recommending typing software.

Criteria such as:

Price – is it free, affordable or expensive?

Teaching method – is it proven to work?

Is it game-based?

Is it suitable for Mac/PC and available online and/or as a download etc.?

Is it inclusive – suitable for mainstream individuals, as well as those with differences like dyslexia?

So many questions! 

So what should you look for? What should a good touch typing software include?

If you want to be assured of choosing the right typing software, here are a few points to consider.

Is the product:

Safe and secure 

Developed through science and research

Tried, tested, proven to work

Easy to use  

Builds muscle memory 

Monitors & records progress and highlight problem keys

Works across all platforms 

Truly inclusive, catering for both mainstream and neurodivergent individuals

Affordable

Industry recognised

Safe and Secure

All software, especially if it is online, should be safe and secure to use. You, your children, your students or your employees’ data should be protected at all time. Ensure the software company you buy from is registered with a data protection organisation, follows their strict rules and regulations and has its ‘Privacy Policy’ available to view on their website  

Developed through science and research

A product that has been developed through science and research, holds authority and gives confidence when buying

Tried, tested, proven to work

A proven ‘teaching method’ that has been trialled, tested and proven to work and teaches you to type quickly and efficiently offers reassurance, especially when research papers are provided

Easy to Use

Simple and light-hearted presentation with easy to follow instruction is key to learning. Busy and complicated features can confuse, distract, delay or put off learning

Builds muscle memory 

If you’re serious about learning to touch type, you need to invest in a software that includes modules to develop automaticity, as it is only through the repetition of typing real word vocabulary that muscle memory is built. Many software give a taste of finger movements and skill, but they do not offer sufficient exercises to develop automaticity

Monitors and records progress 

Programs that monitor and record progress will allow you to evaluate your touch typing technique and progression. Choose one that will highlight problematic keys, allow you to re-fresh in the areas you need to – strengthening your weaknesses

Works across all platforms 

Typing software should be available across all platforms, to suit individual preference: Download for Mac and PC, Online and in SCORM format, suitable for LMS 

Affordable 

Truly inclusive, catering for both mainstream and neurodivergent individuals 

If you are an individual with special educational needs, or an education or business establishment, choose a software that is truly inclusive, suitable for both mainstream and neurodivergent individuals, as this will cater for everybody and help level the playing field. The program should be multi-sensory and include features such as a preference screen to address visual disturbances 

Industry recognised

A product that has been recognised, i.e. shortlisted or has won awards, shows its calibre and worth and reassures you when buying 

Review 

On reviewing a selection of touch typing software, they all had their positives and negatives. Several claimed to be superior products, using various teaching methods but have their methods been tried, tested and proven to work? Is there any scientific research to say they have and if so, is it published for all to see? I couldn’t find any.

However, one software that has been tried, tested and proven to work, have published their findings on their website and did tick all the boxes was… KAZ Type.

Voted No 1 typing software on:

https://www.thetop10sites.com/learn-to-type/
https://www.bestadvisor.com/typing-software

kaz-type.com

KAZ’s Mainstream and Neurodiverse City & Guilds Assured Edition

KAZ's City & Guilds typing edition

Recognition of world-class training

KAZ’s ‘City & Guilds Assured’ touch typing course is suitable for both mainstream and neurodivergent individuals

A ‘City & Guilds Assured’ programme offers external recognition and validation from a trusted global brand, providing a mark of learning excellence and credibility.

An ‘Assured’ status is only awarded to programmes that meet City & Guilds strict benchmark standards, demonstrating a commitment to quality training.

An ‘Assured’ status sets a training program apart from its competitors – confirming confidence and reassurance that its training meets best practice standards.

KAZ’s mainstream and neurodiverse touch typing program was noted to have achieved and exceeded the above criteria and is now ‘City & Guilds Assured’.

How does Assured benefit individuals?

Set yourself apart from your peers, provide a competitive edge with your ‘Assured’ online credentials.

Supported by Credly’s Acclaim, ‘Assured’ provides all successful candidates with a co-branded digital credential (certificate and badge), enabling them to showcase their quality skill and achievement externally via the web on social media profiles, CVs and job application forms – equipping them with an extra tool to help gain employment.

How does ‘Assured’ benefit employers?

As an employer, ‘Assured’ allows you to:

Motivate employees

By recognising their success and awarding them digital certification from a world recognised body.

Attract, recruit and retain talent

Demonstrate to your current, future employees and supply chain, your investment in the highest quality training.

Competitive advantage

Shine a light on exceptional in-house training by tapping into 140 years of expertise. Show your supply chain, end customers and investors that your training is best in class.

How does the course work?

The KAZ touch typing program – ‘City & Guilds Assured’ has been designed for individuals aged 15 years plus, or 14 years of age for invigilated environments. 

The program consists of KAZ’s award-winning Accelerated Learning course, plus a ‘NEW’ City & Guilds assessment module, comprising a ‘Multiple Choice Paper’ and a ‘Typing Test’.

Program Duration

The program is licensed for one year and is ‘on-demand’ (i.e. the learner can access the course online at any time and progress through the course at their own pace).

Typically, the program takes just 90 minutes to teach the A-Z keys and approximately 4 hours to cover the whole keyboard – all of which can be divided and learned in short modules.

After completing the first four modules, learners should undertake daily practise on the fifth module – KAZ SpeedBuilder, to develop speed and accuracy and aim to consistently attain 35 words/minute and 80% accuracy (‘City & Guilds’ pass mark). How long this will take will vary depending on how much time individual learners dedicate to daily practise. Where possible, we recommend an hour’s practise a day, over a period of a few weeks, unless the learner is already proficient.

Unique Preference Screen

The inclusive and multi-sensory program teaches typing skills whilst minimising visual disturbances using a unique ‘preference screen’, developed with advice and guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust. This opening screen offers learners a choice of preferences, tailoring the course for maximum visibility comfort.

Preferences include:

Choice of coloured background/filter screens – for reducing white screen glare

Choice of 2 specific DRT research-based background/filter colours – for steadying letter movement and blurring (the program has been specially adapted to replicate as best possible the effect of these coloured filters)

Choice of dyslexic friendly typefaces (including 2 licensed dyslexic fonts) – for ease of reading

Choice of font colour – for contrast from background screen colour

Choice of font size – for optimum visibility comfort and to minimize fusing and crowding of letters

Choice of Keyboard – for optimum visibility comfort

Once the learner has selected their preferences and can read the sample text comfortably, their options are ‘Saved’ and applied throughout the course, tailoring it for maximum visibility comfort.

The program also provides an ‘Audio Descriptive’ version, including ‘speaking keys’ and spoken instruction for visually impaired learners and a ‘Text Only’ version with written/visual instruction for the hearing impaired.

Program Structure and Delivery Method

The KAZ program uses a unique Accelerated Learning teaching method. Incorporating both ‘muscle memory’ and ‘brain balance’, it engages the major senses of sight, sound and touch simultaneously, radically enhancing memory retention and recall – which is why it is so effective.

Using specific combinations and progressions of just 11 words in 5 scientifically structured phrases, the method trains the fingers on both hands to work symmetrically and simultaneously – a direct result of both hemispheres of the brain working at the same time –‘brain balance’. No other typing tutor works in this way.

The program consists of 6 modules:

Flying Start – (Introduces the course, the navigational tool, teaches correct posture whilst sitting at a computer and the meaning, causes, signs, symptoms and preventative measures of Repetitive Strain Injury)

The Basics – (Teaches the A-Z keys using 5 scientifically structured and trademarked phrases)

Just Do It – (Offers additional exercises to reinforces the A-Z keys and build muscle memory)

And The Rest – (Teaches the punctuation keys)

SpeedBuilder – (Offers daily practise – increasing speed and accuracy)

City & Guilds Assessment – (Consists of a Multiple Choice Paper and a typing test)

The learner should work through the first four modules in sequence. They should progress through the program at their own pace and return to any module of the course, at any time, should they wish to refresh. 

On completing the first four modules, they should then commence the fifth module – KAZ ‘SpeedBuilder’ and practise until they consistently achieve 35 words/minute and accuracy of 80% (City & Guild’s pass mark).

Once they are ready, they should commence the final module – ‘City & Guilds Assessment’, where they will be presented with a multiple-choice paper and a typing test.

Program Assessment

The assessment’s objective is to evaluate the learner’s knowledge on what they have been taught throughout the program and consists of:

Multiple choice paper – consisting of 15 questions, evenly covering three different areas – ‘Correct Posture’ – when sitting at a computer, ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’ – meaning, causes, signs, symptoms and preventative measures and ‘Touch Typing Technique.’

Typing Test – (Recording speed and accuracy).

A City & Guilds pass will be attained when the candidate achieves the following scores:

Words/minute – 35

Accuracy – 80%

Multiple-choice score – 80% (12/15)

Should the candidate be unsuccessful in attaining their ‘City & Guilds’ on their first attempt, they may try again by pressing the ‘RE-SIT’ button. Although they may re-sit immediately, we recommend they wait 24 hours and re-visit the ‘Flying Start’ and / or the KAZ ‘SpeedBuilder’ module.

On successfully passing the course, candidates will automatically receive a congratulatory message. Once verification has been completed, they will be emailed a co-branded digital certificate and badge, to showcase their quality skill externally via the web – i.e. social media profiles, C.V.’s and job application forms. The badge may take up to 28 days to be emailed, as it is dependent on the City & Guilds processing department. 

With its new ‘City & Guilds Assured’ status, KAZ hopes to equip all successful candidates, both mainstream and neurodivergent with a globally recognised credential they can use to help gain employment. 

https://kaz-type.com/products/city-guilds-assured

What will university life look like in September?

What will universities be like - typing is essential to learn for the new term

From fees to online classes to social lives, the university experience is likely to be very different for this year’s batch of students (The Telegraph)

Freshers’ events will be virtual

‘Bubbles’ of students will live and study with people on their course to reduce the spread of Coronavirus

Many universities are expected to hold lectures online for the 2020-21 academic year

Most universities still expect students to be resident and said they may expect them to attend smaller classes

Some courses will have more virtual content than others 

(Sally Peck – Family, Education and Carers Editor – 17/06/2020
 

Online teaching, learning and using a computer have suddenly become crucial elements for both delivering lectures and submitting assignments. The computer has taken centre stage and it is for this reason that quick and efficient touch typing skills are now more essential than ever for students. The two-finger or ‘hunt and pec’ method will not suffice. 

Although a fundamental skill, touch typing offers many benefits to both mainstream and neurodiverse students:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/V-UyQzN_Non9lMf2kguVRk9mkkhMiiBXi7Co80amsyiAlVnRVao0TOCmMAXE4WOzK3Ra3w76IS_CVny4aW76DtUfjuLVUElG1ghBppNSJSexZfuGICCRdAruJK-KIYf0Goki6Tc

Increases focus on content

The important aspect of touch typing is not what the fingers are doing but what is happening in the brain.

When students learn how to touch type, the skill is automatised and transferred to their sub-conscious, leaving their conscious minds free to concentrate on more important tasks, such as planning, composing, processing, proofing reading and editing. It improves the quality, quantity and their overall performance in assignments and exams 

Increases productivity

Once the skill is mastered, quick and efficient touch typing reduces the amount of time spent on a piece of work, automatically increasing productivity

Improves accuracy 

Alongside speed, accuracy is also greatly increased. Touch typing trains the fingers to press the correct keys automatically. Students develop a sense of what feels right. They know immediately when they have keyed in the wrong letter

Benefits neurodivergent students

Touch typing offers neurodivergent students a new medium for learning and communicating. It helps level the playing field and can help address many of the challenges they face. Challenges such as processing, slow work rate, poor writing skills and a poor working memory 

Prepares students for the workplace

In today’s IT world, computers are found in most, if not all office environments, even if just for maintaining customer records or for email communication. An individual that can touch type will outperform their peers – producing higher quality work quickly, efficiently and will excel in time management, all essential traits required for enhanced career prospects 

Correct posture whilst typing

With prolonged periods spent at the computer, students need to be aware of correct posture whilst typing, to prevent developing RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).

Posture guide for KAZ Typing software

‘City & Guilds Assured’ typing test and credentials

KAZ’s City & Guilds ‘Assured’ typing test consists of a multiple-choice paper and typing test. All successful candidates will receive a digital certificate and badge to showcase on their social media profiles, C.V.’s and job application forms.

Learn to type with KAZ

KAZ’s inclusive touch typing software is suitable for both mainstream and neurodivergent students 

It’s proven Accelerated Learning teaching method teaches the A-Z keys in just 90 minutes

It’s safe and secure for online use – KAZ are members of ICO.org and ensure student data is protected at all time

https://kaz-type.com

I learned to touch type with my 7 year old son, to further my career and prepare him for his!

Touch typing heroes - a KAZ story

Although I type with just 4 fingers (my index and middle), I’ve never considered myself a slow typist. In fact, I’ve always thought of myself as being fairly fast but after reading an article online on how touch typing can increase your productivity and workflow, it began to make me think. Could I get even faster?

First of all, what exactly is touch typing? Keying in the words and doing an online Google search, it said, ‘type using all one’s fingers and without looking at the keys on the keyboard’. Okay, I kind of knew that but what I didn’t know was the following fact. 

When you type with just two or a few fingers, you use your conscious mind, i.e. you think as you do. This creates additional mental load, which can hinder creativity and slow productivity. 

However, when you learn to touch type with all your fingers and thumbs, the physical skill gets transferred to your sub-conscious, freeing your conscious mind to multi-task and concentrate on more important things, such as planning, composing, processing, proofreading and editing and so on. Wow! ‘I’d never thought of this before. It’s the same concept as learning to drive.

Think – Plan – Compose – Process – Proofread – Edit

Image of typewriter

Choosing the right touch typing software  

On searching for the right software, I read about several different ‘learn to type’ product. One particular website caught my eye: kaz-type.com

They use a unique Accelerated Learning teaching method, which supposedly teaches you to type the a-z keys in just 90 minutes and they made a point of highlighting the fact that their course was developed through research and science. I like research-based products, so I decided to give it a go. What did I have to lose? It was only £24.95.

Assessing my typing skills

KAZ Free Test button

On their home page, KAZ also offered a free online typing test, allowing you to gauge your typing speed and accuracy before you started the course. This was great, as it gave me a starting point. I was very confident that I would achieve around 35 – 40 words per minute, (the noted average) and so was totally gutted with my result of 22 words per minute, with 72% accuracy. I couldn’t believe how slow my typing speed was. I never considered myself as a slow typer. I really thought I could type faster! Looking through their site for some sort of consolation, I came across a blog:

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

It gave me no comfort whatsoever. I needed to learn!

I was very excited about my decision and so announced to the whole household that I was going to learn to type. Before I knew it, my 7 year old son William, who naturally wants to do whatever I’m doing, asked if he could learn to type too. I wasn’t too sure if he’d be too young but looking through KAZ’s website again, I was thrilled to find they offered a junior edition, suitable for age 6+. Perfect! I bought both editions. I thought if he learned young, he’d have the skill for life. It’ll help him at school in future IT classes, when he starts to learn to code at code camps and in his future career. If he’s anything like me and chooses to go down the IT path, be it a programmer, data analyst, coder etc., he’ll have an edge! 

Starting the course

Considering KAZ was developed through research and science, I was rather surprised at how simple it was in both presentation and delivery. Apparently, this is intentional so that it’s easy to follow, keeps user focus and according to research, doesn’t overload the working memory. It also allows kids to work independently or with minimum help. It worked! William was quite happy to simply follow the instructions.

How the course works

The course consisted of 5 modules and allowed me to work at my own pace and return to any module at any time if I wanted to.

Module 1 – ‘Flying Start’

‘Flying Start’ was an introduction to the course and only took a few minutes. It explained how the course worked, the position of the home row keys (a, s, d, f and j, k, l,;) and about the tiny raised bumps/ridges on the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys you always wonder about. I never realised they were where you placed your index fingers when positioning your fingers on the home row. Finally, it taught you about correct posture when sitting at the keyboard. The animation for this in the junior edition was very amusing. Willian loved it and played it several times over.

The keyboard in KAZ typing software showing home row keys highlighted

Home row keys – Image © kaz-type.com

Module 2 – The Basics

‘The Basics’ was the most important module. This is where they taught the a-z keys using their 5 trademarked and scientifically structured phrases. Each phrase took approximately 15-20 minutes and although they recommend children work at their own pace and do one phrase at a time, they encourage adults to complete the whole module in one 90 minute session, which I did!

 The Basics – Image © kaz-type.com

I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical at their claim of teaching the positioning of the alphabet keys in just 90 minutes, but they did! By the end of the session, I could type every letter, be it slowly, without looking at the keyboard. I have to say, it was a pretty good feeling. I’m not too sure how they get it into your brain, but they do. Reading through their explanation, it’s to do with muscle memory and brain balance, teaching you to use the fingers of both hands symmetrically and simultaneously. I guess it may be a bit like ‘chaos theory’, where it all just comes together.

Each phrase used certain fingers to press particular keys. I found the first three phrases quite easy, as they included the fingers I normally use. This is apparently due to finger dexterity. By the end of them I had learned the position of 16 letters! However, the last two phrases proved a little more difficult as they introduced my ring and little fingers, which weren’t as dexterous. Even William was rather puzzled but excited to see his fingers automatically moving to the right keys. Being only 7, his attention span was naturally shorter, so progression through the phrases was slower, but that was okay.

Module 3 – The Just Do It

The ‘Just Do It’ module contained exercises with additional vocabulary. Apparently, it’s with the repetition of typing words that muscle memory is developed and it really does work. The more I practised, the faster my fingers moved to the correct keys. I felt rather cocky because I could feel it was really working!

Module 4 – And the Rest

‘And the Rest’ ran through the punctuation keys, such as full stops, commas, shift, numbers keys, symbols etc. I did this section in two hits.

It was strange but I guess made sense that the shift key on the right, capitalised the left-hand keys, and the left shift key, capitalised the right-hand keys, huh!

Module 5 – SpeedBuilder 

The last module ‘SpeedBuilder’ helped develop speed and accuracy. It covered the entire keyboard and offered a choice of touch typing either 20 sentences or 20 paragraphs. It recorded and graphed my word per minute and accuracy, allowing me to keep track of my progress.

The speed builder module in KAZ typing software

SpeedBuilder Module – Image © kaz-type.com

They recommended doing this module once or twice a day, which is exactly what I did but I also practised on my ‘day job’ work and emails.

At the start, I was fairly slow and inaccurate. In fact, my word per minute had actually regressed. It was lower than before I’d started to learn to touch type and my ‘day job’ work was taking me longer to type than before. To be honest, it was rather frustrating but I was adamant I wasn’t going to go back to my old typing habits, so I kept at it.

Child learning to touch type with KAZ software

William also happily progressed through the course and is definitely developing automaticity on the a-z keys. Although the vocabulary is suitable for 6-11 year olds, there were a few words he wasn’t familiar with. This, however, did not pose a problem because he only had to copy type. He now just needs to complete the punctuation module and practice, practice, practice! 

Conclusion

I’m pleased I stuck to my guns because after just over two weeks (approximately 9 hours and 20 minutes of intermittent practice), I’m now touch typing at an average speed of 57-62 words per minute, with an average accuracy of 96%. Incredible!

I’m amazed I’ve achieved such a fast typing speed in such a short time and without seeming over-confident, I really believe I can further improve my word per minute once I truly master all the punctuation keys. 

In conclusion, I think my £24.95 X2 investment to upgrade my typing skills and to teach William to touch type was one of the best investments I could have made regarding my career and his future. There really is a lot to be said about Accelerated Learning teaching methods. William now refers to us as the ‘touch typing heroes’.

Posture image in KAZ Type software

Image © kaz-type.com

Ready, steady, type…

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How does touch typing help individuals with dyslexia?

How does 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.

What is safe and secure software?

Safe and secure software

Of course, there are free programs available but when students are learning online, school teachers and parents need to be sure that all data is safe and not being spammed, as can be the case with free software.

“I initially got another typing tutor and was emailed continuously with snippets of information. It continued inspite me telling them to stop. I cancelled my subscription and bought KAZ. I’m so pleased I did – it just worked and no spam!” Mary Owen UK

Why give software away for free?

Generally free software is a means for gathering or ‘havesting’ data and for generating revenue from advertising. However, the real concern is what is done with this data.

“Where did they get my information, my email, learn my shopping habits, what I like to eat, read?”

Data collection is a science, with degrees and doctorates in the subject. Google and Facebook are just a couple amongst many, that harness and collect data. They are able to provide a snapshot of where, when and how we shop, purchase and browse. Allegedly, elections have been won using this science!

Where do they get this information?

Your browsing history and your favourite blogging/posting sites.

Remember, by just browsing, your location and search history can all be monitored.

With ‘opt-in’ sites, there is a larger collection of data, as ‘opting-in’ gives the site the go-ahead to gather more information such as email addresses, job sector, position etc.

Free courses may put a cookie on your computer in order to harvest data and by ‘opting in’ you are allowing them to show advertisements or pop-ups, which may or may not be appropriate for the user. How can you guarantee the content from this site if you do not have any control?

We are all aware of ‘cookies’, ‘bugs’ and ‘worms’. Essentially, these are all the same but some are malicious, others are not.

So before you download freeware check if the site is secure? What guarantees are there? Is there a privacy policy in place? Is there a data policy in place and is there any institutional governance?

But I have anti-virus software…

Yes and there is a very good reason why we all have some form of anti-virus software installed on our computers, protecting us and our data. These subscriptions keep our computers safe but they are constantly fighting the cyberwars and continually updating bug fixes for new viruses infecting not only your computer but those of the wider web community. However, what they cannot stop us doing is giving our data away freely.

GDPR rules and regulations gave us a reprieve for a few months but all seems to have returned back to normal, with inboxes filling with junk /spam.

Safe and Secure…

Importantly, remember it is your duty to safeguard your family, especially your children, to keep their data and learning environment safe.

Teachers are responsibe for ensuring the health & wellbeing, online safety and security of all colleagues and for protecting their students and their data.

Is it really worth taking a risk with free software? What are the legal implications? Is the company legally registered? Can I contact them and is their information clearly displayed? Always read their Privacy and Data Policy.

The KAZ website and all their courses are secure and as members of ICO.org strictly adhere to their rules and regulations. They are a UK registered company, their Privacy and Data Policy is clearly displayed on their website and all their patents registered in the UK and US. They guarantee no pop-ups, no advertising and no solicitation by email.

ERGONOMICS – How to work safely

Neck, hand and fingers pain, RSI use KAZ typing software

The word ergonomics is derived from the Greek words ‘ergon’ meaning work and ‘nomos’ meaning laws.

According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘it is relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment,’ be it in an office environment or within the home.

Simply defined, ergonomics is a science and is concerned with the design or arrangement of workplaces, equipment, furniture and systems, so that they suit the people who use them, enhancing their comfort, safety, efficiency and productivity.

Poor ergonomics subjects the body to awkward posture, repetitive / sustained movement over a long period, localised pressure to a body part, forceful exertions or extreme temperature.

These can all lead to numbness, tingling, cramp and pain of the hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, back, head, eyes and lower limbs, causing inflammation or irritation of tendons and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Ergonomists, also known as human factors specialists analyse the interaction between people and machinery/equipment. They have an understanding of musculoskeletal function and apply their knowledge to ensure correct workplace setup, correct furniture and make sure equipment is safe and as easy to use as possible.

Poor ergonomics can be seen in many professions, including those where typing at length is required. Slaving over a hot keyboard can be as dangerous as using heavy machinery. Research shows that if you work with computers, you are more likely to develop Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) at some point in your career, than be involved in a car accident. Indeed, Philip Virgo, editor of the IT DPM Skills Trend Report
says, “the demise of traditional keyboard skills is the
main cause of RSI”.

Legal and safety experts fear that the health problems caused by an estimated four million keyboard users will grow without proper safeguards or training. Pressures on
employees can only increase, as executives are forced to take over responsibilities formerly covered at secretarial and clerical level. More and more are having to do their own typing because of economic

necessity, the lack of support staff and the speed of response that is required in most businesses today. This trend, when coupled with the constant danger of RSI, means there is a need for employers to offer keyboard skills training. This silent threat in the office is real and must be addressed.

KAZ typing software addresses these issues by delivering a tailored course, teaching the a-z keys in just 90 minutes. The program includes a specific module on correct posture, typing technique and RSI.

Graham Coath

Ergonomic and assistive technology consultant

Graham is a professional ergonomic and assistive technology consultant and has been working in the area of workplace assessments, adjustments, assistive technology and training for over 15 years. He has built his reputation providing assessments to the DSA and workplace and is hugely respected with clients ranging from individual home users to the largest financial institutions. As a master trainer he can demonstrate the benefits of products at your desk to ensure you make the right choice.

For a virtual home assessments or further advice contact: Graham at https://www.dseu.co.uk

Review by Cat Hase – Feb 2020 – Absolutely brilliant!

I’ve been experiencing some back and neck pain and suspected it was due to my desk set up. I had an idea of things I could try but no real clue as to whether they were the right things to do or not.

Enter Graham….

Graham did a virtual assessment with me, asking about the type of work I do, how I’m currently set up and all sorts of related questions to get a good understanding of where my issues might be coming from.

He then explained the different solutions along with WHY each one would help me. Knowing the why made a real difference to me. I’ve always wondered why on earth a chair would slope forwards and now I understand it’s about positioning your pelvis and back correctly. Suddenly it makes sense!

He gave me tips on how to use my current equipment better (like my sit/stand desk) and gave me recommendations of equipment that would help me further. I’ve already acted on his advice. As he said; “you only get one back” so it’s crucial that we do what we can to support and protect it.

Massive thanks for helping me find the right solutions for me – ones I can use not only at my desk but also when out and about.