Designing a Better Keyboard for Touch Type Mastery
What's the difference between a student who types 60+ WPM and 20 WPM? If a student is not mastering the keyboard it is most likely because they have developed the nasty habit of looking at their fingers instead of memorizing the keys. Teachers can try to discourage this by using plastic keyboard covers or skins to hide the keys or other similar methods, but each method has its own flaws, and none seem to be the perfect solution . . . UNTIL NOW!
The Learning Lights Keyboard comes equipped with one little button that is a major game changer. LIGHTS! As students focus on keyboard mastery, teachers may choose appropriate times in their instruction for "Lights Out" practice. When keyboard lighting is turned off, students can test their knowledge of the keyboard by blacking out key characters, effectively eliminating their ability to look at the keyboard to find a key. A computer teacher can appreciate how truly wonderful this feature would be to have in the classroom as they teach key memorization. Genius, we know!
Teachers will find that students will often black out their keyboards without even being asked. In fact, your students will love this feature and use it often! They think it's fun to test their skill and prove their abilities on the keyboard.
Simplified Keyboard Layout
Teachers, have you ever had a student raise their hand and tell you their keyboard isn't working? If you're like most computer teachers, you probably have that experience several times a day! The most likely culprits are the Insert key, the Num Lock key, and the Scroll Lock key. Why do we need those keys again? Oh, that's right, we don't! Those toggle keys are confusing enough to adults, let alone to children! Those keys had their day being useful but most users today have no use at all for them; they serve as a nuisance rather than having any real purpose.
These keys, along with a few other unnecessary keys, have been removed from the keyboard altogether. We believe that these small changes to the keyboard will go a long way toward making the keyboard more user-friendly for our young typists.
Curved Key Surfaces
Many of us have had the misfortune of typing on keyboards with very flat keys. Did your fingers feel a little disoriented because they didn't know where they were supposed to rest? The current trend in computer keyboards is flat. That is NOT what our students need! Keyboarding is a skill learned by touch. The simple curvature of each computer key helps students to know that their fingers are on the center of each key and in the correct position. Such a small thing, but this is critical to keyboarding mastery! Each of our keyboards feature curved keys and a deeper strike so that students can feel confident with every stroke of the key.