USN Lower School Technology!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The End of September, October Begins

Big News! The wonderful Keyboarding for Kids program we've been using for several years has gone GREEN! Now textbook free, our 4th graders begin working this week with its new online interface, which they'll see when they login the usual way. This is a huge improvement in our typing program, and I'm discussing the possibilities with administration and teaching teams, toward potentially initiating it in 3rd grade for the first time beginning after Winter Break. More on all that soon!

This is huge.

The Short Story:
3rd graders continue Type to Learn 3
4th graders meet the new online version of Keyboarding for Kids
Kinderkids meet Drawing for Children
1st graders refresh their Drawing for Children Skills
2nd graders meet Dance Mat Typing

The Long Story:
We move along in Type to Learn 3, and 3rd graders are printing progress charts in part so I can see who may be struggling and in part to give them tangible evidence of their progress to motivate them to make even more of it.

4th graders are getting along faster this year than ever in their Keyboarding for Kids work. This online version seems sleeker, less confusing, and really easy for them to manage. I'll be updating individual students with the program's messaging tool after they move on to doing it at home instead of in the lab.

Kinderkids and 1st graders are all working with Drawing for Children, the freeware graphics program that allows for a lot of creativity and a robust early experience with a computer program's GUI (Graphic User Interface). I'm having the Kindergarteners write their name at least once with a drawing tool, and I'm having 1st graders do so as many times and in as many ways as they can during the half hour. I'm also printing these for them to take home, so watch for this new refrigerator magnet item coming home! If you'd like to fetch the program for your own home computer, visit our Webliographer's Downloads topic and do so!

2nd graders are diving into Dance Mat Typing, a British Broadcasting Company website with a pretty durned good basic introduction to touch-typing. This program has no login, so one's progress isn't recorded, but as long as they remember where they left off, they can move through it and get an early experience with correct technique. Plus, it's FREE: I like that word.

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