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

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:

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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.

Upsurge in online learning fuels increasing need for touch typing skills

Student learning to type with KAZ Online - distance learning

The UK school sector has lost many teaching days this year one way or another – deep cleaning for norovirus, flooding, snow days in some areas and now the coronavirus, forcing schools to close until further notice. Senior leadership teams are rising to the challenge, making plans for students to continue their education from home. For the first time the computer is becoming the main medium for delivering learning. This trend is likely to continue but underlying issues are coming to light. 

Many learners enjoy using resources online but the majority are not trained, equipped or used to producing their work in this way. It is one thing to send a text, fill in a worksheet online or keep in touch with friends on social media but quite another to be expected to use technology for all classwork. Yet in many cases, this is what we will be asking them to do. 

Most students are trained to handwrite but not to use a keyboard efficiently. Their keying in skills are poor and many are slow and inaccurate. There are also health and safety issues involved. Long-term extensive use of the keyboard can lead to RSI and possible spinal damage. When you think of how many hours schools spend teaching handwriting, it is quite astounding that they cannot allocate just 90 minutes to teach the basics of touch typing, which is all it takes with KAZ, our Accelerated Learning cloud-based program. 

The overriding argument for years has been that children will be expected to write by hand in their examinations but those days may now be numbered. An increasing number of students with dyslexia and other neurodiverse conditions are using word processors as their normal means of working and are now allowed to use the same methods in exams.  

Some schools, notably international schools and independent schools in the UK are ahead of the curve, making sure all pupils have had training in touch typing.  At a ‘live classroom’ at BETT Malaysia 2017, Iain Stevens, Head of Curriculum Support at Taylor’s International School, Kuala Lumpur said: ‘One of the things which attracted me to KAZ was the Dyslexia Screen, where you can change the fonts, the colours and so on. When I looked at other programs, they couldn’t actually do that and that was one of the reasons why I chose KAZ.’ 

Of course, there are free programs available but when pupils are learning online, schools need to be sure that students and their data are safe and not being spammed, as can be the case with free software. Our website and all our courses are secure. We are members of ICO.org and strictly adhere to their rules and regulations. We guarantee no pop-ups, no advertising and no solicitation by email. 

Teachers also want to be able to set up students easily and see at a glance if they are doing the work and how well they are progressing. The KAZ admin panel allows teachers to upload student lists in minutes, send logon details using real or pseudo email addresses and monitor student progress in real time. Kathryn Stowell, Head of Outreach and AAC at Charlton Park Academy, supports around 200 secondary students in many schools, so she has first- hand experience of distance learning:  ‘KAZ teaches touch typing fast so students are not taking much time out from other subjects to learn the keyboard,’ said Kathryn. ‘Best of all, we have one portal at the school and can see from the student logins how they are getting on. With students right across London, this saves us time when we are checking on progress.’ 

Additionally, to help keep students engaged, motivated and on task, we have launched a touch typing competition which runs until June 30th 2020. Students can take the timed test as often as they wish and their best score will be saved. A leader board is published on the KAZ site each month and the final result will be announced in July. Schools that have a KAZ licence can check up on student progress at any time which means they can also run their own in-house tournaments and maybe even pitch staff against students.

Schools that are moving to online learning in the next few months may find several hidden benefits from teaching their students to touch type. Not only will they equip their pupils with a ‘life skill’ they can use whilst at school, for exam access arrangements and carry forward with them into FE and the workplace but pupils may also start composing texts at speeds of around 50–70 words per minute.

The Department of Education has deemed BESA’s LendEd site the ‘go to’ approved platform for home learning resources in the even of school closures. Our software is the only touch typing software listed and approved. In an effort to help schools during this turbulent period of home learning, we have halved the price of all our school online licences. Please use code: KAZC19 at checkout.

https://kaz-type.com/educational-edition.aspx

Why YOU should bother with Typing Tests

Typing Tests - Why YOU should bother

If you are an employer then you need to ensure that your staff are competent, efficient, up to date with current practice and productive and all this just to maintain pace with the competition?

But how do we know if staffing is excessive, if you are top heavy or worse everyone isn’t pulling in the same direction?

We should all be constantly looking for efficiency in working practice and we do this through regular training? We should not leave the training to other companies and a well trained workforce is not only efficient but grateful and duty bound to be more concerned within the company. After all if you look after your employees then logic dictates they will look after for you.

Isn’t this the reason why so many of the worlds best companies goals are to get to the top and stay there. There is good reason for careful and detailed planning and this is to ensure quality, flexibility, longevity and productivity are the main consideration. Generally this will involve the use of the most up to date and cutting edge technology and machinery.

Commitment works both ways. Train your people well and your people will respond. Ever wondered why everyone wants to play and work and be in the big boys playground?

To quote a spokesman for the UK’s Learndirect, “The most effective and cheapest training course on the market is also the most neglected.”

Did you know that from 1000 free typing tests taken on our KAZ website, 69.7% of the ‘typists’ type at at less than 35wpm?… that is almost 7 out of 10 people unable to type efficiently. (Check out our test – it’s free, will only cost you 90 seconds of your life and you will then be able to accurately predict how much extra productivity can be gained by learning this simple skill.)

Typing is a skill – just like driving. We are taught to drive. We have lessons, followed by a test to confirm proficiency. Every laptop, desktop, Chromebook is sold with an attached keyboard. How are we expected to be proficient with a keyboard, where many of us spend several hours per day, when we are not taught?

If the average working day is 8 hours, it is relatively easy to work out the hours /days /months of our lives we can potentially save by learning this skill.

Let’s assume your staff need to spend 6 hours per day in front of their PC, typing at a speed of 25wpm on emails, work, essays etc., 

If you fall into the above 69.7% category (assuming you’re typing non-stop): 25wpm x 60mins x 6hours =  9000 words in 6 hours

If you fall into the latter, 30% typist category, you should be able to type at 50 wpm (the majority of users leave KAZ at this point): 50wpm x 60mins x 6 hours = 18000 words in 6 hours or the equivalent of 9000 words in 3 hours = a saving of 3 hours per day.

Double the word count in exactly the same time. 

(Out of interest, from the typing tests taken, the remaining 30% typed far in excess of 50wpm!)

Now what if I told you the average speed test of those 69.7% tests taken, was just 18!

Imagine how much of time you can potentially save each day. What would you do with that extra staff time?

So continuing …

3 hours per day x 5 days/week x 48 weeks/year = 

720 hours/year or 

90 days/year 

(based on working 8 hours /day)

Now that’s a lot of productivity saved/gained – should be an easy decision to start checking your employees typing skills.

“…I spent more time looking for the right product than it actually took me to learn…”

KAZ internet search reviews searching for the right product and how to touch type

Have you begun your search yet? This is an essential part of the ‘sorting and sifting’ journey, which along with reading product reviews should at the very least reduce your options.

There are a huge selection of typing tutors available. Some are games based, whilst others focus solely on adult learning. Either way, free or paid, the choices seem endless. Deciding which is the right one for you can be terribly time consuming and if you get it wrong, enough to put you off learning!

Nick: “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!”

Research is incredibly important when making an important purchase. We often consult friends, books, websites but when it comes to education, we can often be quite blasé in opting for the ‘free’ or cheapest option with the mentality, “Well, I’ve got nothing to lose!”

This is fine if we have the luxury of TIME but do we really want to take that risk with our children or fellow workers. When learning is misguided, results can be quite negative, making learning tedious and with negative conclusions drawn, resulting in an unenthusiastic learner. 

From our research, this is the main reason why so many individuals retrain in later lives.

To really value a lesson, ‘free’ should be taken in context. How many times have you been given something free which you so often discard or move on from? Also typically true with games. How many games do you or your kids have and how often are they played with? The answer should immediately present itself.

A good product will actively seek testing, review and will then make claims it can justify, back up and substantiate. This information will then be clearly displayed on their website.

The KAZ method was developed through years of research and with huge investment from the 3i group. It was designed through innovation, using an Accelerated Learning teaching method and was tested in over 300 education centres across the UK, prior to launch. It was only launched when 93% of learners touch typed the a-z keys in less than 90 minutes. Furthermore, it was tested by the Open University, who were so impressed with the results, they produced a white paper and deployed KAZ to all 90,000 + students per annum, for over 14 years.

It is still the only typing tutor available on the UK’s Learndirect site and the US’s OpenSesame.

Joanne: “A friend recommended a free typing tutor. I really wish I didn’t listen. I spent days and weeks, wasting my time. In the end I bit the bullet and bought KAZ. Within 3 weeks I was typing at 50wpm. Now, one year on, I’ve bought the family version for my 3 kids too.”

Once you’ve searched the web, read the reviews and learned to type, please remember the opening statement!

https://www.bestadvisor.com/typing-software  KAZ Rated Best Pick

https://www.thetop10sites.com/learn-to-type/kaz/ – Joe Schwartz, Typing Tutors Editor –  KAZ Rated 1st

https://whatsgoodtodo.com/kaz-family-edition-touch-type-course-review/ – Reviewed by Sandip Stapleton – Rating: 5/5