Proficiency with computers is a must in our technology-rich world. Children and adults can benefit from improved fluency as communication becomes more dependent on screens and keyboards.
“Most research supports starting students on formal keyboarding around grade 4,” occupational therapist Theresa Tovey says.
With the need for formal keyboarding lessons at a young age, many companies have stepped up to the task of creating software and online-based programs to meet your family’s needs at home. While many prefer in-person assistance when hiring tutors for more complicated subjects, online support is the perfect resource for typing tutors, which are often found in the form of a game. We’ve rounded up the best online typing tutors for both in-home and classroom needs.
Typesy’s program is a fit for all levels, which is just one of the many reasons it’s one of the 2019 Best Typing Software, according to sites like Top Ten Reviews and Speed Reading Lounge. Typesy monitors your progress and adapts to your needs based on current typing proficiency. The use of video instruction provides clear direction on proper hand placement to maximize speed. Typesy is best suited for older students, as games are not the primary focus, as seen in other software. Typesy’s latest software is cloud-based and can run on all operating systems. They offer a yearlong license, up to five users on an account and a 12-month money-back guarantee.
Pricing: Annual License, $24.99 | Download, $39.99
The highlight of KAZ tutoring is unlike the other popular software. Developed based on recent brain studies, this program is targeted to individuals with a quick learning style. There are no fancy games or prizes, but what the program lacks in appearance, it makes up for in efficiency. Guaranteed to teach you the keyboard A-Z in 90 minutes and the entire keyboard in four hours, this program focuses on an accelerated learning experience. KAZ has multiple programs developed for varying needs. Special editions include an adult program, junior edition, a family program (for up to five users), as well as programs specifically geared for the classroom and businesses. Latest to the market is the edition produced for learners with disabilities, specifically dyslexia.
3. Ultra Key 6
Pricing: Personal License, $19.95 | Family License, $29.95
Geared toward professionals who are more tech savvy, Ultra Key 6 is more expensive than the other mainstream programs available. With the ability to customize a path for eight different users, this program’s cost is easily justified. Lessons cover correct posture, hand placement and individual finger training to help maximize your keyboard capabilities. This program begins with a skill assessment, so you will always be working on skills best designed for your needs. Unlike other programs, Ultra Key 6 allows you to manually adjust your level within the program as needed. With a sleek interface and free yearly updates, professionals will find great success with this program.
Pricing: Kids Edition, $19.99 | Personal Edition, $19.99 | Family Edition, $29.99
With varying editions, one designed for children as young as 8, the student will begin this program by setting personal goals for success. Each program is specifically geared for an age range, making the games and lessons more appropriate for the student’s needs. The only downside is you may need to purchase multiple editions to meet the needs of an entire family. Visual learners will love the video tutorials that outline expectations before beginning. You can also sync your own content to absorb information important to you through reading while learning to type. If cost is an issue, the offer older versions of the software for free here.
Pricing: Home pricing packages from $10-$199 | School packages, $499-$1,399
While only available for a single-user subscription, Typing Tournament is compatible with all modern browsers, Android and Apple devices and Windows PC. The numerous children’s activities encourage your kids to learn typing skills in a playful way, while adults can begin at their current level as determined by the initial testing modules.
Typing Instructor’s thorough lessons and wide variety of games make it a good fit for a multitude of learners, including students and businesses. Intermediate learners will enjoy the flexibility in learning paths, being able to either select a predetermined path or to create a custom one of their own. A couple unique features include the ability to type in either English or Spanish and the ability to select from a wide variety of music options to listen to while working, including 50 types of music like children’s, pop, jazz, reggae, classical and rock.
Pricing: Packages range from $3.95-$29.95
This browser-based program was created with children in mind. Geared toward 6- to -12-year-olds, this program offers games themed with Disney characters. This more laid-back program does not have the wide variety of games and lessons that are offered through other programs, such as Typesy, but the use of personalized certificates and numerous objectives throughout the games offers a sense of accomplishment to younger students who may need more frequent praise. Being a browser-based program, this will only work with internet and does not work when offline, which may limit your use.
Pricing: $29.95 for single-user license
The most recent version of this program was released in 2008. While that is bad news for a modern interface, that also means this program is perfect for a learner who isn’t interested in all the bells and whistles or who prefers a less tech-savvy, more straight-forward program.
Pricing: $10.99 per license, with a 25 license minimum for classroom use
Created for the classroom, this web-based program includes a comprehensive K-12 keyboarding curriculum. This program allows teachers to integrate keyboard skills seamlessly into cross-curricular activities. There is the ability to enable or disable home use, so teachers can allow the learning to continue outside the walls of the classroom. This program is available for up to 150 students. As those students complete the program, their licenses are then available for other students to use, making this a good fit for the growing needs of a school. EduTyping has a 30-day free trial to see if this program is a good fit for your school. While testing out the trial, be sure to look at the capabilities for all types of users: student, teacher, and administrator.
For those not as committed to a financial investment, there are plenty of free programs available. In addition to a missing price tag, you’ll also notice simplified features. Here are a few of the best free typing tutors.
10. Rapid Typing
Available in multiple languages, Rapid Typing’s simple features make this program very appealing to children and new users.
With limited activities and no audio features, this program is a great fit for an experienced typer looking to increase their speed. The program offers one-, three-, and five-minute lessons, which makes it easy to fit into a daily routine, even with the busiest of schedules.
Users can sign up for free to test their words per minute speed and then engage in lessons to increase their speeds. This program can be used by both individuals and teachers. Teachers may create groups to allow their students to play against friends or classmates. Data reports are available for teachers to view when individuals are set up under a group. This fully online program allows groups to be created in an effort to encourage friendly competition through social interaction. This is great for students who may need the additional encouragement to engage in daily practice.
Free registration with Speed Typing Online allows you to track your speed and accuracy progress as you advance from learning the placement of the keys to typing full sentences.
14. Dancing Mat
Younger students will love the ease of Dancing Mat. No registration or log-in means they can jump right into practicing. The lessons are filled with silly animals to create an engaging scene while they practice.
15. Typing Club
This free program can be used with or without an account. The registration is free and will allow you to monitor your progress in both speed and accuracy. Typing Club is also a great program for teachers who need a free resource to monitor student progress and to customize lessons.
A fun and interactive storyline prompts students to move through the games and lessons. The ability to earn rewards keeps the students coming back for more.
17. GCF Learn Free
While most free typing programs out there are geared toward younger learners, GCF Learn Free is designed with adults new to typing. This program is great for learning the placement of letters, but it does not record speed or accuracy. Once you get the basics down, you may want to advance to a new program.
Available in multiple languages and with a variety of screen layouts, this free program also has the perk of allowing students to hop around to lessons they want to complete instead of putting them on a predetermined path.
19. Big Brown Bear
Unlike other programs, Big Brown Bear presents the words to be typed in a scrolling single line versus one big paragraph. While most programs calculate your speed and accuracy rate, this one encourages you to go back and correct mistakes before moving on to the next lesson.
20. Free Typing Game
Prior to beginning the lesson, students will set a words-per-minute goal and select to have the keyboard shown or hidden while practicing. Following a short introduction, students have 30 lessons to practice fluency, two letters at a time.
Read next: The 10 best online tutoring sites for 2019