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Old 01-27-2009, 08:47 PM
Jeffrey LePage
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

Hello,

Has anyone _actually_ taught a beginning typing class with open source software?* I'm trying to find Linux software that can be used to teach introductory typing from 3rd grade to 6th grade.***

Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype, etc.), and they all fail to impress my teachers.*





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Old 01-27-2009, 08:54 PM
Miles Berry
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

Hi Jeffrey,
Yes. We've used ktouch (ktouch.sourceforge.net) for a couple of years
now with our Year 3s (7-8 years old), both when taught by me and by
class teachers. Multiple language pack, colour coded keyboard on
screen, multiple levels and reasonably meaningful statistics.
You might also like to register and then repost over at http://opensourceschools.org.uk/using-open-source-software
Best wishes,
Miles.

On 27 Jan 2009, at 21:47, Jeffrey LePage wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Has anyone _actually_ taught a beginning typing class with open
> source software? I'm trying to find Linux software that can be used
> to teach introductory typing from 3rd grade to 6th grade.
>
> Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype, etc.), and they
> all fail to impress my teachers.
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
> See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html
>
> --
> ubuntu-education mailing list
> ubuntu-education@lists.ubuntu.com
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at: https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-education

Miles Berry
Head, Alton Convent Prep | www.altonconvent.org.uk/prep
Website manager, Open Source Schools | opensourceschools.org.uk
Blogger | milesberry.net
Twit | twitter.com/mberry



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Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 PM
Brett Alton
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

There are also all sorts of Flash and JavaScript websites you can use.

One example: http://www.typingtest.com/

On Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 4:47 PM, Jeffrey LePage
<jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Has anyone _actually_ taught a beginning typing class with open source
> software? I'm trying to find Linux software that can be used to teach
> introductory typing from 3rd grade to 6th grade.
>
> Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype, etc.), and they all
> fail to impress my teachers.
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
> See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html
>
> --
> ubuntu-education mailing list
> ubuntu-education@lists.ubuntu.com
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-education
>
>



--
Brett Alton
http://brettalton.com
brett.jr.alton@gmail.com

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Old 01-29-2009, 03:04 PM
Onatawahtaw
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

--- On Tue, 1/27/09, Jeffrey LePage <jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype,
> etc.), and they all fail to impress my teachers.*
>
Can you be more specific as to what you mean by "usual suspects"? Not sure if that includes KTouch, but I've used KTouch and it works fairly well. It is included in the Edubuntu package by default. Also, what fails to impress the teachers? Is there something in particular that they are looking for?

-Kevin




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Old 01-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Jeffrey LePage
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

Regarding typing tutors...

First, I notice that many people are fond of ktouch, and so I will take a second look at it.

As for the usual suspects, I have instructed the teachers to look at TypingFaster, Tuxtype, Ktouch, and a few others I've forgotten.* They're also looking at TenThumbs, which is not open source but does run on Linux.* I personally have not looked at any of the packages in much detail; I've left that up to the teachers.

My teachers have requested these features, in no particular order.

1) cross-platform (Linux/Windows/Mac)
2) interactive fingering charts
3) built-in instructional videos
4) lots of lessons
5) built-in games (like fish cascade in TuxType)
6) the ability to keep track of individual students automatically.* Ideally the student would login and statistics would be saved to a
central data repository.

I get the general impression that what they really want is something that looks exactly like what they're familiar with.* Usually that means some deluxe version of Mavis Beacon, or some similar proprietary windows product.

--

Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

--- On Thu, 1/29/09, Onatawahtaw <onatawahtaw@yahoo.ca> wrote:
From: Onatawahtaw <onatawahtaw@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Re: have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?
To: ubuntu-education@lists.ubuntu.com, "Jeffrey LePage" <jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, January 29, 2009, 9:04 AM

--- On Tue, 1/27/09, Jeffrey LePage <jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype,
> etc.), and they all fail to impress my teachers.*
>
Can you be more specific as to what you mean by "usual suspects"? Not
sure if that includes KTouch, but I've used KTouch and it works fairly well.
It is included in the Edubuntu package by default. Also, what fails to
impress
the teachers? Is there something in particular that they are looking for?

-Kevin








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Old 02-05-2009, 02:09 PM
Jeffrey LePage
 
Default have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?

A few weeks ago I asked about teaching typing with open source.* The consensus choice seemed to be ktouch.* I can now report that ktouch, at least the kde4 version, does indeed fulfill most, if not all, of our needs.* Ideally, we would like ktouch to offer fingering diagrams in addition to color-coded keys.* However, we can live without that feature.

I was not present at the first ktouch lesson, but I was told by several of the children that the lesson went extremely well.

A few notes...

The kde4 version is prettier than than the kde3 version, and
includes support for user logins.* We don't run kde, but the necessary kde libraries loaded without fail and worked just fine within gnome, openbox, and xfce.

We did have some problems:

** a) kids tend to hit numlock and capslock a* lot.* This causes typing
programs to _seem_ to malfunction because the users think they're typing 'a'
when they're really typing 'A'.

** b) kids also tend to mouse-click on the desktop or another window,
and so de-focus the ktouch window.* This of course causes keyboard
input to go somewhere beside the ktouch window, and the kids think the
program has locked up.
** c) problems a and b also tend to confuse the teachers.

** d) on slow systems the ktouch window must be delicately sized.* The lesson text is displayed in a sliding text window.* If
the lesson text is wider than the window, then the text flows off the
right side of the screen.* As the user types, the text moves to the
left.* The problem is that this text sliding process is too slow on old systems and the program can't keep up with the typist.* However, if you resize the window such that the lesson text fits completely within the window, then the problem goes away.
** e) not surprisingly, ktouch starts rather slowly on our old laptops.* However, once it starts, it runs quite smoothly.* The memory footprint is actually quite small, and the CPU load even smaller.
*

If you're interested...
We are doing our typing lessons using laptops made in 1999.* They have 256MB RAM and a PentiumII running at 400MHz.* They are running Xubuntu 8.04, but with the openbox window manager rather than XFCE.* Despite their limitations, and despite the daily abuse they suffer at the hands of our elementary school children, they still perform fairly well.

--

Please avoid sending me Word or PowerPoint attachments.

See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

--- On Thu, 1/29/09, Onatawahtaw <onatawahtaw@yahoo.ca> wrote:
From: Onatawahtaw <onatawahtaw@yahoo.ca>
Subject: Re: have you used open source typing tutors in a classroom setting?
To: , "Jeffrey LePage" <jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, January 29, 2009, 9:04 AM

--- On Tue, 1/27/09, Jeffrey LePage <jeffrey_lepage@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Yes, I've looked at all the usual suspects (tuxtype,
> etc.), and they all fail to impress my teachers.*
>
Can you be more specific as to what you mean by "usual suspects"? Not
sure if that includes KTouch, but I've used KTouch and it works fairly well.
It is included in the Edubuntu package by default. Also, what fails to impress
the teachers? Is there
something in particular that they are looking for?

-Kevin








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