Learning to Type with the UltraKey Family Subscription – My Review

UltraKey Bytes of Learning
We recently had the opportunity to review the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning. I have to say we have tried a few different keyboarding programs over the years without a ton of success. Some felt too adult (boring) for a 10-year-old and others felt more like games.

UltraKey Online has been different. I decided to test it out alongside our grandson to get an idea of how the program works for an adult who uses a keyboard daily but has never learned the correct keyboarding technique. I’m quite happy that I did.

UltraKey Online Family Edition
The first thing I noticed as we tried out the program was how success-based it is. There is never a time when the student feels they have failed at a task. Throughout the program, you are reminded to ignore your errors and focus on what you are doing right.

This reminds me of watching Canada’s Worst Driver when they remind the poor drivers to “look where they want to go” rather than at the object blocking their way. Inevitably, the driver will look directly at the foam figure or archway and head straight for it, thus failing their challenge. The few who do follow the instructions achieve success.

We didn’t set a WPM goal on my account but I was still able to achieve success

I’m thinking this likely holds true for keyboarding as well, don’t worry about hitting backspace because you hit the wrong key, (parents can actually disable the backspace key so your children get used to not using it) just keep going forward.

This program is easily customizable, allowing the parent to choose the best practice settings for each of their children to help them achieve success. If your child is struggling with the level of practice required, it can be reduced so the child continues to feel they are doing well. If they are breezing through, the practice can be increased so the program isn’t completed too quickly. The recommended timing is about 8 hours of use over the course of six weeks.

Both the User & Family Guides are full of helpful information that you help
your family make full use of the features of this program

And at the beginning of each day, there is a warm-up. While your kids (or even yourself) might be tempted to skip this and rush into the daily lesson, my advice is don’t. Going through the simple color-coded letters helps create muscle memory and remind you of the work you have already done.

UltraKey Online Family Edition

There are also videos that show proper posture (that means not sitting on the sofa like me, see below) and proper finger placement. EJ liked that he got a reminder part way through his session to take a stretch break, it helped prevent him from getting too stiff as he worked.

Broken up into 12 lesson units, UltraKey Online uses letter pairs, letter chains, and words to continually build upon what you have already learned. Each of these lessons takes about 10 minutes plus another 10 or so for the accompanying skill check. We found that 20 minutes a day was a good amount of time and still allowed for improvement (although EJ wanted to keep moving ahead since he could “feel his fingers learning to type better every day!) He is certain his schoolwork is going to go much faster now.

I have to say, even I found myself improving and that is tough when you have typed for years in a certain self-taught way. I’m now using much better and more efficient keyboarding skills than when I began.

At the completion of 12 lessons, each student receives a
Keyboarding Graduation Diploma

We used UltraKey online on both my laptop and Chromebook without any issues aside from one tiny glitch when I couldn’t get out of the Game Zone (honest, I was trying) but shutting the program and re-entering was all we needed to fix that. We weren’t able to test it on our Android tablet and keyboard though as it only works on iOS. It would have been nice to have but not essential.

Throughout the program, there are reports available to allow parents to keep track of their child’s successes and progress. They are clear and easy to read and accessible through the main dashboard. Handy to have all in one place, especially if you have several children to keep track of 😊

Overall, we have been very happy with UltraKey Online and would recommend this affordable program to other families looking to learn or improve their keyboarding skills.

UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}
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