Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bytes of Learning UltraKey Online Review

 Finding good curriculum that has to do with getting letters and words out of Madison's brain into a form that others can read has been a real trick for us. She's a great talker, but she's not a great writer (yet). Some of her frustration comes from trying to combine one of her weaknesses (handwriting) with what she's actually composing in her head. Many people have suggested that we teach her how to type, so that she has another vehicle, but naturally, we've jumped around trying to find a good fit for that too. We were lucky enough to try out a new and fun typing program: UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning, and so far, I think this is going to be a good one that we can stick with.

UltraKey Bytes of Learning

This curriculum is recommended for ages 8 and up. Madison is 7.5 (grade 2), so I sat with her and guided her through the beginning of our work with this program. After the first couple of sessions, I didn't need to. The pacing is fantastic. It is far superior to other keyboarding programs we've found. I feel like we find programs that want kids to start typing words and paragraphs before they've really mastered hand placement, and this program doesn't do that. They can work at their own pace, as slow or quick as that might be, and the program makes certain that they don't move faster than the individual learner.

UltraKey Online Family Edition

The program was very simple to set up for Madison. She went in as a complete newbie, starting at the very beginning. All the reports were easy for both of us to read and understand. Our goals were just accuracy, with no speed expectations at all, and the program worked well. If an older student with some keyboarding experience started, the program would be able to meet them at their level and work on different goals (better accuracy, faster speed, etc).  This program also includes numbers, which I really liked.

An older student would probably have completed the program within a few weeks, and would be able to go through it as many times as necessary to continue building speed and accuracy. Madison is still young enough where we're building slowly and spending only a short time per day with it, and I'm happy that we're still able to get something out of it. I don't think keyboarding should wait, and I'm glad Madison is able to do this, even just bits at a time. Even at her level, she loved getting into the game zone to see what her goals should be!

Other great features?
  • NO plug-ins required
  • Operates on every browser (a big pet peeve of mine with other programs)
  • Available on iPad as well as the PC
  • Posture and fingering movies to really SHOW students what they should look like
  • Not babyish, but not dry. A good balance to fit all students.

Overall, I was really impressed with this program. It is reasonably priced at only $29.95 per year for three students (they also have five and eight student packages). The customer service is excellent, the reports are informative and easy to read, and Madison stuck with it happily, pleased with the progress she was making. Reagan still has fingers that are a little bit small, but I'm happy to let her experiment with it as well. It's nice to have the extra student account so her playing doesn't impact Madison's progress.

UltraKey Online Family Edition

I love finding how students of all ages have used this program successfully!

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}

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