In a previous post, 2type or not 2type, I presented a few thoughts about 2 Simple's 2Type. I was grateful for a number of colleague reactions to this post, offering additional thoughts about keyboarding and tools available to support the development of this key skill.
Anthony Evans and colleagues in Redbridge carried out a school based pilot and action research project using 2 type, his blog post "Touch Typing," presents an evaluation of the project, and is a fantastic place to start thinking about the pros and cons of keyboarding tools and how we might design learning situations that include them in the classroom.
Doug Dickinson aso at this time suggested a number of "no cost" tools to support keyboard skill development including
John Sutton @ Creative ICT for directing me to Keybdr.com this morning. This site is another online tool for practicing keyboarding, but there is much more to it than first meets the eye. As well as offering random "natural" text to input, and tools to monitor words per minute; the input language can be altered, and through a cool site feature, a url or feed address can be added to capture text directly for input from elsewhere on the web for copy typing and practice. This certainly is a real timesaver for setting up activities with older students, who could be provided with the url of a particular web space, selected perhaps for theme relevance, to practice their keyboarding while engaging with its content. The "about," tab on the site offers ideas about how to use the game, and explanations of how to change language input and how to enter urls and feeds to support copy text generation . Have fun.