Keyboard Town PALS
Sunday, November 13, 2011
When you purchase Keyboard Town PALS (Purposeful Associative Learning System) for $39.95, you will meet puppets Amy, Sam, Dora, Frank &George, Jane & Helen, Kay, Larry (plus semi-colon) on "home street" and eventually all their friends uptown and downtown as well. Keyboard Town PALS is an innovative typing program introducing typing in an easy and friendly manner. However, the typing skills learned are genuine.
Before you begin, there is a link outlining how to use the program. As soon as you open the program music begins and a friendly sun greets you with introductions. Each letter on the keyboard takes over from there. While the hands stay on "home street" (middle row), each character goes uptown or downtown until each key is learned.
There is never any correction for wrong letters typed. There is never actually any indication if you type correctly or not. The backspace and delete key are disabled while using this program. With repetition, the student gradually masters typing. In this program, there isn't a clear break between lessons, but the program could be paused or lessons started at any time and in any order.
While my oldest had the easiest time mastering the typing, my middle 2 made great progress and my youngest did better than I expected. She will definitely need to repeat the lessons many more times to make the best use. My 14 yo breezed through the lessons in about 1/2 an hour. Previously, he was mostly doing the search and peck method of typing.
Before this review, I thought the promise to teach a child to type was a pretty lofty promise. However, this program did exceed the expectations. While primarily marketed to 7-10 years old, this is also appropriate for special needs students or even older students who need would benefit from a laid back approach.
I don't know why it seems everything has to take a long time and be complicated to be a "real" course. I will purchase the full license in the future. The other typing courses have not held the attention of my younger children and this one did.
It is true the characters received some amount of ridicule from my children for being especially silly, it didn't keep them from using the program. My children don't currently have their own internet access, so it is easy to gage what interests them on the computer. The 8 and 9 yo asked often to let them play Keyboard Town PALS. My 14 yo did get on when I asked him to.My 14 yo said it did help him. He didn't complain about repeating the lessons. My 7 yo completed all lessons, didn't follow along quite as well and did not want to do the lessons again.
Keyboard Town PALS is probably better suited for younger children. However, my 14 yo preferred this easy and whimsical approach to the traditional keyboarding program we had tried in the past. He is not a special needs learner, but It is generally hard to introduce a new idea to him and he was actually looking for more lessons when he was done with the 8 lessons.
After completing the lessons, there is a link to an assessment area to double check the true progress that has been made.
The $39.95 price always all members of the household to access the program for 2 full years! . However, there is a sale going on right now and free shipping until the end of December 2011. If this program was a little more sophisticated and less silly, but still fun and if the video didn't start right away it would have been completely perfect.
I was given a 30 day trial of this program for free in exchange for my honest opinion.