Lillian Herridge, mother, was asked by ‘Bizziebaby’ to review KAZ Typing Tutor’s junior edition. Lillian thought getting her two girls, Amy and Lucile, aged 8 and 10 to try out KAZ, would be the perfect opportunity to teach them to touch type correctly!
In today’s world, do you think children are familiar with a computer from an early age?
“Yes, they are computer savvy from an early age. My 2 daughters are always on the computer, writing and preparing tasks for school but using just two fingers!”
What did you think of the course?
“The set up and process of organising everything online was easy for my daughters. The programme offers a ‘getting started’ section, then they would just go through each stage. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow. It took them both through each step and explained everything clearly. The whole programme outlined how to begin and how to position your fingers on the keyboard. It started them off with simple exercises and they could take their time at each stage. A really good programme which allows each child to learn at the pace that suits them, which is so important. You could also opt for sound, which made it easier for the girls to follow. You can also obtain a review of your progress. My daughters did not encounter any problems using this online programme.”
Has it made a difference to their typing?
“I have seen a real difference in their typing skills, which will make it easier and quicker for both my daughters to prepare various essays etc. for themselves or school work. It has also increased their confidence on the keyboard and they no longer use just 2 fingers. Now they have this to work with, I know their typing skills will continue to improve. Results are great!”
What do you think of the price?
“It is certainly really good value – excellent value for money and I am surprised this is not in more schools. A great product which is child friendly and easy to follow.”
What do you think of the KAZ website?
“Easy to use and navigate.”
What do you think of KAZ and would you recommend it?
“A great product and I would highly recommend it. For anyone who wants to help children learn how to type with confidence, this is a good investment. My girls loved it!”
“I spend a lot of time at my computer and realised that I really needed to improve my work rate. I’m self-employed and in a ‘light-bulb’ moment decided that I really needed to learn to type – realising that the less time I wasted, typing with two fingers, the more work I could actually get done.”
How did you hear about KAZ?
I searched the internet but actually spent more time searching for the right product, than it actually took me to learn to type with KAZ!
I had tried a free typing tutor in the past and another paid one my friend used, which seemed really good, with lots of videos but I just got fed up and frustrated. It looked good online but it just didn’t do the job. I spent hours on the course but.. .
After speaking to my brother, who used KAZ at Uni and can now type, I looked KAZ up, read the testimonials and thought… 90 minutes? I’ll prove that wrong… but I can’t believe it actually worked!
How important do you think the skill of touch typing is?
If only I’d learned at school 🙁
What do you think of KAZ’s user interface?
Easy to use and simple to navigate. I guess it needs to be if you’re going to learn quickly or in 90 minutes.
KAZ offering both a mainstream and SEN/Dyslexia editions – did this help?
I only needed the mainstream version but I like the fact that they care.
What do you think of KAZ?
Really impressed with the price – cheaper than the bunch of flowers that I bought my girlfriend. (Haha!) Also, my fingers now just seem to go to the right keys without me even thinking about it. Definitely the best decision I made this year.
If Mike jived. If Mike jived. Rude dunce. If Mike jived who was a rude dunce. Before you ask, no I don’t hold a personal grudge against a ballroom dancer. I’m actually practising my keyboarding skills.
Sure, we can all bash away at a keyboard. But how much time do you think you waste on typos and hastily-typed errors? Computers may have been sitting in most of our homes, schools and offices for around 30 years now, but touch typing – that is, the ability to use all of your fingers across a computer keyboard to write sentences without having to look down from the screen – is something many of us still struggle with.
But as screens and phones increasingly dominate over handwriting as our main medium for communication, more and more people are clocking on to the benefits of touch typing.
In short, if we can train our fingers to type without having to think about it, we are able to work more efficiently because our thoughts are clearer
Touch typing in schools
In 2014, it was reported that schools in Finland – long established as a world-leader in progressive, quality education and the envy of all countries taking part in annual Pisa rankings – took the decision to ditch handwriting lessons in favour of getting pupils fluent in their typing skills.
And it’s not as if schools in the UK haven’t attempted to get behind the skill. In fact the programme I am using to taunt poor Mike, KAZ Type, is exactly the same one (give or take a few updates) that I sat using in my school IT lessons around 18 years ago.
More recently, prestigious Brighton College and Eton both made headlines after parents at the fee-paying schools insisted typing was brought back onto the timetable.
But while the Department for Education say touch typing is encouraged as a part of computer literacy, there is still no specific reference to it on the UK state curriculum.
Brighton College and Eton both made headlines after parents at the fee-paying schools insisted typing was brought back onto the timetable
An essential skill for the 21st century
This, according to Keene Braganza, managing director of KAZ is a mistake. “Schools tend not to teach typing skills these days. But it is now more essential than ever for students to learn, since employers expect productivity from the go,” he tells i. “We truly believe touch typing is an essential 21st-century skill. And the earlier it is learned, the better.”
Home Schooling – Grade 3 to College and Career Readiness
It is always refreshing to be contacted by individuals and organisations concerned about the best education resources available for students, in this case home schooling.
We are aware that computer literacy is now a core element of K-12 education, with students expected to have mastered keyboarding skills before college. We are also aware that several of the Common Core Standards require keyboarding.
KAZ’s School Edition is designed to typing skills quickly and help students meet and exceed the Common Core Standards. Whilst I won’t just regurgitate the common core requirements, which can be read by clicking on the link above, I will explain here why KAZ meets and exceeds these:
1. All students can learn typing skills together – both mainstream and SEN/Dyslexia.
2. We have Junior, Adult and Corporate editions available, taking the learning experience from 6+.
3. Our software uses a unique and proven ‘Accelerated Learning’ teaching method, which has been tried, tested and proven to teach the A-Z keys in just 90 minutes. It is based on 5 scientifically structured phrases which are protected by copyright. Incorporating both ‘muscle memory’ and ‘brain balance’, the method engages the major senses of sight, sound and touch simultaneously, radically enhancing memory retention and recall – which is why it is so effective.
4. The course is simple to navigate and designed to be used independently, with minimum teacher intervention and with the emphasis on learning quickly. All we ask is that students start at the top and work through each module in order.
5. All our learning modules are designed not to overload the working memory. They can be broken down into sessions; daily, weekly or to suit the student and their attention span.
6. All the learning modules allows learning through making mistakes. However, all testing modules will not allow progression unless the correct letter is pressed and will highlight the keys student are having difficulties with.
7. The student does not have to pass any badges or achieve any particular wpm before progressing onto the next module. This is key as this increases the learning process 10 fold. At KAZ, we place emphasis on speed and accuracy at the last stage. The learning modules are specifically designed to encourage learning, awareness of finger placement and the building of muscle memory. Speed and accuracy should always come later.
8. Our SpeedBuilder module offering 20 random phrases is designed to increase speed and accuracy with daily practice. All data is saved and progress can be monitored in the teacher’s admin panel.
9. Our courses do not contain gaming, as this has been proven to delay or extend the learning time. It is however delivered in a fun and light hearted way to encourage interaction and learning.
10. There is a short module on the importance of correct posture and RSI in today’s IT led world.
Our course has been proven to encourage learning quickly and efficiently, which is why we are now getting industry recognition and becoming the preferred choice amongst teachers, SENCOs and home schoolers. https://kaz-type.com/case-study.aspx
Firstly, a roundup…
KAZ Type Limited has been successfully serving the education sector in the US, UK and rest of the world for the past 20 years with our award winning and inclusive touch typing software.
As all individuals are unique and have different needs, our company’s ethos is to ensure our site and software is suitable for all and to make a difference to the lives of both mainstream and neurodivergent individuals through innovation and technology.
With this in mind, we spent the past 3-4 years upgrading our software into the latest html technology, including new user interfaces and imagery.
We refuse to ignore children with SEND and our course is now suitable for individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, Tourette’s, visual disturbances, amongst others. We can also confirm that recent studies show that KAZ has proven to help individuals who have suffered brain trauma.
At KAZ, we believe that no one should have to pay a premium for needing a little extra help and so we offer all our SEND courses at the same price as our mainstream courses. Additionally, all our educational licenses include our SEN/Dyslexia option for free!
Our courses and software are used worldwide. We have always produced a US edition since inception and have always historically had a greater ‘user base’ in the US.
The US is far more progressive than the UK as Prof. Marc Eisenstadt, a founding member or the UK’s Open University and champion of KAZ, confirms in his recommendations and approval for KAZ. The report is now several years out of date but the detail is still very current: https://kaz-type.com/newfolder/OU-Support-for-KAZ.pdf
Whilst touch typing in the US is very much part of the common core, here in the UK it is not.
However, in the US, we are very proud to be supported by all schools, including home schools and especially Christian schools and recognised by the American Dyslexia Association, where you can find several blogs on KAZ.
KAZ is evolving into one of the most respected touch typing companies. This year we have been shortlisted for several academic awards – BETT 2019 and currently Teach Primary 2019 and Teach Secondary 2019.
We believe that in today’s world of computers and technology, teaching students the three R’s is not enough. We believe that the invaluable ‘life skill’ of touch typing is essential, as it gives students, both mainstream and neurodivergent a huge advantage, preparing them for college, the working environment and life.
‘Thank you for caring and investing in tools for Dyslexia. You have helped me make a break through!’ K.Hamerski – US
‘Thanks for letting me trial KAZ which I found surprisingly easy and I am touch typing this email! I need to speed up a lot but only practice will do that!’ Kate Ireland – Learning Support – City of London School
‘Honestly, your method is like magic. I sent your website to other friends with dyslexic kids and another adult friend who never learned to touch type. Thank you so much for you method. I feel so lucky to have discovered KAZ. I love typing now.’ Rachel Rosenthal – US
‘We loved the ability to customize your screen display to ensure you can read comfortably, and the typing and demo areas on the screen are clear and easy to use.’ The School Run magazine Review