Monday, 10 October 2016 Free Touch Typing Lessons

Hello. In this 8 minute video, I provide an overview of the website It is a free website that provides free touch typing lessons, games and tests.

The video includes a full set of subtitles but if prefer to read from a transcript, please find one below.

Start of Video Transcript

Hello everyone. It is James from the Visual Impairment Team in Devon.

In this video I am going to demonstrate the website

Touch typing is the ability to type on a computer keyboard while looking at the computer screen.

It is the expertise of knowing where individual keys are and using all the fingers on both hands in order to type without having to look at the keyboard.

Touch typing is a lifeline for many people with visual impairments.

For sighted people, touch typing enables a person to work much faster on a computer.

For people with a visual impairment, touch typing is a big part of being able to use a computer more independently.

An added bonus of being able to touch type for people with or without a visual impairment is that their posture whilst working on a laptop or a desktop, will be better.

Touch typists tend to sit with straighter backs looking at the screen than non touch typists who are more hunched over looking at the keyboard. is a website that contains free 15 lessons, a speed test and games all designed to help you improve your skills, but is it any good?

I am using Mozilla Firefox on a Windows 10 laptop, but this website should be accessible via Chrome or Microsoft Edge or on an Apple laptop.

Everything is web based which is great because there is no software to download and it can be accessed on many different devices.

A downside to this is that in order to access it you will always need the Internet- which is becoming less of a problem these days.

At the top of the page there is a brief description of the website and an explanation of touch typing.

Immediately below this are a huge range of different keyboard layouts that you can select from- about 105 by my reckoning!

These include all of the main US, UK and Europe keyboard layouts.

All the other parts of the website are accessed on the left hand side.

The first feature that I want to draw your attention to is the registration section, which is in the bottom left hand corner.

I think that this should be in a more prominent position.

The big advantage that registration brings is that by creating an account, you can monitor your progress and start where you left off.

If you don’t register then you will have to manually record your progress somehow and remember where you left off!

It takes about 2 minutes to register and when you do there is no email address to verify or any other steps like that.

As soon as you register, you are logged into the website and ready to go!

On the left hand side, all the different lessons are listed together with the speed test, typing test and games.

Let’s open up a lesson.

Each lesson is split into different drills or exercises and each drill have a specific letter or word focus.

In terms of the screen, right at the top you have the focus of the specific exercise and then below that you have an advert, which you can close by clicking in the top right corner.

Or alternatively, you can use an ad blocker to try and block all the ads on this page. I won’t be doing that in this video though.

Below the advert in tiny writing is your typing statistics- how many letters you have typed (and its percentage of the whole drill), the number of errors you have made, the time that it has taken you and your speed- expressed as words per minute.

In the next window are the letters or words that you need to type. The next letter that you need to type is highlighted in blue.

The window below that contains the letters or words that you have already typed.

Finally below this is the keyboard layout.

The next letter to type is highlighted in green together with a graphic showing the finger which you should use.

For a person with a visual impairment, I would say that this layout is a disaster. The contrast between the different colours is very poor. Also most of the important information- such as what letters you need to type is too small.

Fortunately, there is a workaround for anyone who has a visual impairment, which involves magnifying the screen by pressing the Ctrl and “+” keys together.

This will make some parts of the screen bigger but the tradeoff is that you won’t see other parts of the screen.

Try it and see. If you don’t like it, pressing the Ctrl key and the 0 key together will “reset” the screen.

That’s it. That is my quick tour of the touch typing website,

If this video has helped you, please share it with your friends, colleagues  and family.

I have created lots of other videos relating to touch typing and there is a link to my playlist below.

If you have any comments or questions or anything to add to the discussion, please leave them below.

End of Video Transcript

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