Recognition of skills with digital badging

KAZ City & Guilds digital badge

At KAZ we know the benefits of digital badging and in 2019 we were delighted to receive approval for our online touch typing course and become City & Guilds Assured.

Digital badges provide a flexibility that the GCSE and A level exam boards can only dream of. This benefits education, students and companies.

One of our key audiences is home learners and they took a real hammering on the exam front last summer as the government decided that ‘not all external candidates were able to be awarded a grade this summer because some will not have been in a position to provide sufficient evidence to enable their exam centre to include them in their centre assessment grades and rankings.’

Some estimates indicated that over 20,000 students were affected and unable to move on to college or university or to certain careers. 

Contrast this with digital exams, taken online at the end of a course or module by everyone, whether they are studying at school, college, in a workplace or at home. 

Changing landscape

We were interested to see an article in FE News from the Fashion Retail Academy that claimed they had witnessed a 135% rise in students signing up for a fast track career entry. 

They feel that after lockdowns and the uncertainty of the last year, some students are unwilling to enter into long term commitments and want short periods of study that will produce quick results and give them a head start when applying for jobs. 

Increasingly, we are getting requests from people who are looking to change their job, moving from catering or retail into a job with more of an IT focus or young people who want to provide evidence of efficient keyboarding skills alongside vocational qualifications.

Digital badges recognise skills and experience and offer so many advantages to students, apprentices, career changers and young people looking for their first job.

  • They recognise individuals’ skills and talents 
  • They are a digital showcase for individual skills
  • The secure online system keeps everything in a safe place 
  • The badge can be verified online straightaway 
  • Potential employers or colleges can see how the candidate proved their skills and who endorsed it 
  • The badges can be added to CVs and shared via social media, especially useful now that 92% of recruiters are using social media to identify the right candidate 

We have seen how young people are turned off by schoolwork and are reportedly less engaged now that public exams are not going ahead in their usual format this summer.  

Most people like to have their achievements recognised. Badges are a simple way for individuals to showcase their achievements, and for prospective employers to verify them. 

This is an attractive modern solution to awarding qualifications and is so much more flexible than the current unwieldy exam system that it is hard to see why the government is not encouraging more widespread use.

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

PRESS RELEASE   KAZ launches FREE international touch typing competition

Students entering the AKZ Worldwide Touch Typing Tournament

The award winning software company KAZ has launched a challenge to schools across the globe using its touch typing program. Go online and test your speeds against the best of the best.

The competition runs from January 10th – June 30th 2020 and schools can join in at any time. Students can take the timed test as often as they wish and their best score will be saved. A leader board will be published on the KAZ site each month and the result will be announced in July.

The student with the highest number of words per minute will be awarded a KAZ Touch Typing Winner’s Certificate and a City & Guilds licence. The winning school will receive The KAZ Touch Typing Trophy 2020, a year’s free subscription to KAZ, as well as press and social media publicity.

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. Find out which of your learners could be a top-flight court reporter, transcriber or programmer of tomorrow. 

Alan Tsui, Academic Enrichment leader at Willow Brook Primary School Academy in Leyton, is keen to improve the typing speeds of his young pupils and frequently challenges them to beat his score: ‘The KAZ Administrator panel and student progress display is absolutely fantastic,’ he said. ‘The children I work with are always thrilled to see their scores displayed in a way that is easy to understand and rank their performances.’

The original idea for the KAZ international touch typing competition came from Dublin Oak Academy, an international boarding school in Ireland. Principal Robert Pattison used KAZ throughout the school.  The boys learnt the basics in hours but to make sure they built up their speeds he set up an inter-form competition where the typing champions of each class were pitted against one another. At one stage this was so successful that he found boys were neglecting their studies to improve their typing speeds! 

Mr Pattison believes that every student at Dublin Oak Academy needs to touch type: ‘It is the professionalism of touch typing that is so important,’ he said. ‘You don’t expect to see a manager or project leader in the workplace tapping away using just their two forefingers. In this day and age, it just looks prehistoric!’  

Managing director Keene Braganza agrees; ‘Our software is popular in the workplace and for apprenticeships. These days, everyone – from doctors to solicitors to university students – needs to use technology to produce text and an increasing number of students use computers in examinations so it makes sense to train them to use the keyboard more efficiently.’

Touch typing makes a massive difference to speed and accuracy and reduces the risk of repetitive stress injuries (RSI). Research by Pitman Training shows that people who type with two fingers manage between 27 and 37 words a minute, while someone trained to touch type can reach between 50 and 70 words a minute.   

So, sign up, have a go and help your students take the first steps towards world class typing speeds!

For more information contact Keene Braganza at KAZ Type Limited : keene@kaz-type.com 01926 423424 https://kaz-type.com/  

Home

Learn to type with KAZ

Hello and welcome!

We are an educational software company, specialising in everything typing!

We offer typing tests, learn to touch type software and our own RSI protector.

Although we offer a full range of products, we specialise in mainstream and SEN/Dyslexia touch typing software. 

We are passionate about what we do and are an advocate of diversity. We hope to teach and make a difference to the lives of mainstream and neurodivergent individuals through innovation and technology.

We don’t need to say we are the best . We let our testimonials say that for us.

Our products are used by individuals, educational establishments and business organisations worldwide.

Learn to touch type in just 90 minutes, with our proven © Accelerated Learning teaching method which is based on ‘brain balance’ and ‘muscle memory’.

After extensive testing the Open University produced a white paper on the effectiveness on the KAZ method and deployed our software to over 90,000 students for over 14 years!

The KAZ Team

Home

Learn to type with KAZ

Hello and welcome!

We are an educational software company, specialising in everything typing!

We offer typing tests, learn to touch type software and our own RSI protector.

Although we offer a full range of products, we specialise in mainstream and SEN/Dyslexia touch typing software.

We are passionate about what we do and are an advocate of diversity. We hope to teach and make a difference to the lives of mainstream and neurodivergent individuals through innovation and technology.

Our products are used by individuals, educational establishments and business organisations worldwide.

The KAZ Team