Keyboard Town Pals: A TOS Review
Sacha’s<25: This program teaches children of all ages and learning aptitudes the location of the 30 letters and symbols — typing real words on the keyboard within one hour.
Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)
Is it worth our time? 6 stars
Did it help us learn? 6 stars
Is it worth the money? 4 stars
Is it useful to me? 6 stars
Practicality- 4 stars
Quality- 6 stars
Kid Rating- 5 stars
Hard to believe it can promise such results, isn’t it? That’s what I thought when I read that claim. We decided to put it to the test. We started with Faith (4). She did just as the lessons explained and did them over 2 days with 30 minute segments. My son Andrew (8) also did the same thing. Did it work? Can they type? Only in the 1 hour of instruction?
Yes and no. Yes, they know where MOST of the keys in the keyboard are, but not all of them. Are they typing at a good speed? NO. They still have to think about where the keys are. But, they are very excited to be typing, and they had no expectations of what they should be typing or how fast by the end of the lesson. It was painless, stress-free introduction to the keyboard and where all the letters are.
However, the kids aren’t in any way done with typing lessons! This program teaches where they keys are, but does not drill them for speed or accuracy. While it’s good to learn where the keys are — this program is over way too soon, waaaaay before they are on their way to typing well.
Here’s how it works:
Check out this video to see what it is like:
The student watches the program on the computer and when instructed types along with it. After 2 30 minute lessons (or shorter 6 minute segments) they are done with the program. They are watching puppets teach them where the keys are on the keyboard. I found this to be confusing near the ends of the lessons when they want the student to type words and they are trying to remind the student where the keys are. The middle row of keys is called “Home street”. Above middle row is uptown and below is downtown. Each key has a different puppet which starts with the letter of the key.
After Andrew was done with the program, he had the option of emailing the different puppets to tell them jokes. This is supposed to help get the kids typing. He emailed a bunch of jokes, but I don’t think that he ever got a response. (Which is promised on the program) Hmmm… (they could have at least set up immediate automatic generic responses)
What I liked:
- It was a quick introduction to the keyboard keys.
- It uses memory pegs to help the kids learn where the keys are.
What I didn’t like:
- My 4 year old watched the first minute and exclaimed, “This is kiddish!” (And we don’t do a lot of TV or video games).
- The Q and G look almost the same on the program while typing. It is very hard to tell them apart because you can’t see the bottom of the lower case letters on the screen.
- The puppets can be a bit annoying. Watch the video above. This is a program that I think your kids will either love or hate. And you will be able to get a good feel for it from the video!
To sum it up: While this was not a great fit for my family, it might be for yours. If your kids like puppets and are not used to high tech video games this might be a good fit for them. I am not sure that this program is where today’s technology is at. However, my kids felt they could deal with an hour of the puppets if it was going to help them type. This might be a great program for children with learning disabilities or special needs. I would recommend this as a good first introduction to the keyboard, but not as a full typing program.
The important information:
Order from: Keyboard Town Pals
Price: Learn To Type In An Hour – Web Based—$39.95
To read other TOS Crew reviews of this product click here.
Disclosure/Disclaimer: I received the above product free of charge for review purposes. I am only expected to give an honest review.