I too was asked by my administration to spend time on typing to help students become more proficient for testing. I am using Typing Web with students in grades 4-8. I like it bc it is free, I can organize students by class and the students can access the program from anywhere. I can run reports to see their progress including the amount of time they've spent typing, their accuracy rate, and lessons they have completed and are working on. It also has tests students can take. The students like it for a variety of reasons including the fact that the program remembers what lesson they are on, they can change the skin, they can see their statistics, they can earn trophies and certificates, and there are fun games they can play. Overall I'm happy with Typing Web. More importantly though is that the students enjoy it and they are proud of the improvement they have made. I'm still looking for something that will be good for the K-3 population. I would love to hear what others are using that they like.
We are using UltraKey at my school for grades 3 & 4. The program seems to have a high success rate, but the kids find it very dull and I am not a huge fan of it. We are also in discussion of starting keyboarding skills at an earlier age so that kids are ready for the testing before grade 3 - we are looking at programs like Keyboarding without Tears, Type to Learn, etc. A friend of mine suggested some of these websites to work on basic mouse functions and keyboard skills with Kinders - so that is where I'm starting with my little ones:
I wanted to create a space for everyone to share the keyboarding programs that are being used in their schools. With the Smarter Balance assessment due to start this year, many of at the elementary level are working toward introducing or strengthening keyboarding skills. I am hoping this list will help all of us in finding the best choice for our school. Please include both online and purchased programs.