I keep discovering more reasons for learners to make Google Chrome their default browser! In the Chrome Web Store are some great options for learning or improving keyboard skills. Some apps offer systematic drill and practice. Others are game based, and probably more engaging. There’s something helpful for everyone, and it can all be used on Windows, Mac or Linux!
Type Fu is a traditional systematic option for learning 10-finger keyboarding with leveled exercised. There is auditory feedback. Speed and accuracy can be measured and graphed. Settings allow for customization, including use of alternative keyboards (DVORAK, QWERTZ, etc.) This app is free of advertising.
Typing Club is another traditional systematic application for learning and practicing 10-finger typing skills. It looks as though it has been thoughtfully designed. As long as the user is logged in, he or she may save a record of progress, and can resume wherever he or she leaves off. There are multiple ways of logging in. I just used my Gmail account. Typing Club also offers a “Teacher Portal” for managing classes, or even multiple classes. For now, this high quality app is completely free and is not ad-supported.
Type Scout is a professionally designed commercial product intended for school-wide use, but any individual can go online and use it for free. Type Scout is another application for learning and practicing 10-finger typing skills. In addition to practice drills, Type Scout offers a Tetris-like game. There are no ads on the site.
Nitro Type is possibly the most engaging typing game available as a Google Chrome app, but it is probably not the best place for a beginner to start. This app is for building on basic skills that have already been learned. The game is built on an auto racing theme, and it is surprisingly sophisticated. It is possible to compete with other players who may be online. Signing up is easy, and does not even require supplying an email address. This app is ad-supported.
Z-Type is a basic but engaging skill building game, described by its developers as “Type to Shoot”. As the player types a key, the letter is shot out of the “sky” as it drifts down from the top of the screen. The level of challenge increases as the game progresses. Two game modes are available–normal and expert. Engagement is enhanced by optional music and sound effects. This app is ad-supported.