How We Used UltraKey Online Family Subscription
I found setting up our account to be very simple – I’m one of those “jump right in and tinker, then read the instructions if I can’t figure it out” kind of people, so I did just that. From the main “teacher” account, I was able to enroll my student, access the family management settings, and the student management settings. The family management settings allow changes to be made to all user accounts, while the student management settings allow you to make changes to each individual student account. The management dashboard also allows access to student reports.
Since Monkey has very little prior experience with typing, I left all of his settings as default. So for him, this meant that the first time he logged in, he was given an assessment that allowed the program to set a goal for him (this goal can be adjusted easily at any time). It also meant that the “auto speech” was turned on, backspacing was not allowed, and that he had to complete the lessons in order (step by step learning).
Since Monkey is a bit younger than the intended age, we moved through the program a bit slower than an older child would be able to. At the end of the lessons, it would say something like “Strike enter to move on or strike m to practice more.” I really appreciated that this option was built in and the way it was phrased, because it was easy to have Monkey just hit M and practice again. If it had just said “Lesson Complete,” Monkey would have fought against the additional practice.
We usually spent a few days repeating the lesson before moving on the the skill check. I asked Monkey to do his best and that I didn’t care what his score was and instead to just focus on not looking at the keys so his fingers could learn what they needed to do. Of course, with him being a perfectionist, we had a few melt downs in the first week when he would make a mistake, but couldn’t use backspace. I could have changed this setting for him, but I felt it was best for his learning to leave it on.
The program is great at providing feedback to the student. After completing the skill check you are shown your errors and it walks you through what you did good and where you could improve. The only thing I didn’t like was that if you didn’t reach a minimum level on the skill check (too many errors), it didn’t record anything and just had you repeat it. So in the progress report below, what is recorded as the first attempt, was really his third attempt and then the second attempt was really his fifth.
Another great benefit of the program is that every now and then it would have him stop to take a stretch break. The screen would prompt him to go to one of the stretch videos that walked him through a few different stretches. It also would occasionally tell him that he’d been working hard and could take a break (or continue on if he wanted).
Monkey’s Thoughts on Typing with UltraKey Online
I asked Monkey to help me out with this review and give me his thoughts on using the program. The review below is in his own words; I did the typing for him this time 🙂
From Monkey: I thought this program was pretty good. I think it would be good for kids that are a little bit older than me, because when they mess up, I bet they would get frustrated less. When I messed up, I got pretty frustrated. I did like it though, because it helped me learn more about typing. I wish we could have changed the voice, so it sounded more calm, the voice it had sounded too excited sometimes.
Note from me: One of the introduction videos mentioned being able to change the voice within your computer settings. He thought that the settings to change the voice were part of the program itself and not computer dependent – apparently that was a feature that he was really excited about. It really disappointed him to discover that our Mac did not have those settings available.
Overall, Monkey enjoyed using the UltraKey Online Family Subscription to learn how to type. He persevered after his initial frustrations and the reports made it easy for him to see how he was improving. We will continue to use UltraKey Online for the remainder of our subscription period. Monkey’s typing ability has drastically improved over the course of this review and I have no doubt that he will soon be typing without problem!
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