Having free time as a teacher tends to ebb and flow greatly depending on the time of year it is. Being a track coach consumes nearly all of my free time in the spring, and then towards the end of the school is always a frantic time also. However, a great perk about being a teacher is also the breaks, and during these times I fight my inner lazy self to make the most of this free time which can be such a great blessing.
Needless to say, I’ve been learning to write code better and have been developing a lot of features behind the scenes for Typing Home. The most exciting thing that I am adding to the website is text based typing lessons, and the first three lessons are now listed on the main typing lessons page. An area that I attempted to focus on when creating these lessons was to avoid typing gibberish as much as possible and instead focus on typing actual words (or words which at least sound like English) as quickly as possible. Another one of the strengths of these lessons in my opinion is the fashion in which the keys are progressively introduced to students. The most common problem that I observe in new typists is that they often will use the wrong fingers to strike the keys, but by introducing the weakest fingers to typing first the students are much more likely to use the correct fingers and gain confidence using the pinky and ring fingers to type with. A weakness with these lessons that I need to address is that students need more time to spend on each new key as it is introduced to them, and I hope to remedy this issue with future prequel lessons.
The typing test has also received a minor update in the way that it scrolls through text one line at a time as the typist progresses through it. I am hopeful that the new scrolling method should make the test taking experience feel more natural and allow for the best typing performances. It would be easy to add multiple texts to the test, and eventually I will probably create my own texts (like I have for the advanced version), but the reason I’m choosing to keep the content the same for now is because when testing younger students reading levels play a large factor in typing speed, and for comparative reasons some texts are much more difficult to type quickly than others. Every week I chart student and class typing test results and keeping the same typing texts allows for a consistent measurement to accurately gauge the performance over time of my students.
Over the remainder of this summer I am planning on adding a lot of content to the website. I’m in the works of creating many more lessons and fun typing activities, but they do take a bit of time and effort to make meaningful. Having a deadline of August with a new batch of students coming in should provide the motivation needed to complete this long laundry list of ideas though. I hope you enjoy the website and please let me know if you see something wrong or have any suggestions.