Do Typing Games Really Increase Learning in the Classroom?

shutterstock_126234773If you’ve ever learned touch typing as a kid you might remember learning how to type on a typewriter.  There were no touch typing games where you got to catch bubbles or build towers by pressing the correct key.  Learning to type was based on plain old repetition.

As a kid, this doesn’t sound too exciting and who can blame them?

Games have taken entertainment and learning from a more passive approach to a more interactive approach.  In fact, over 60 studies conducted in the classroom by teachers and their students showed that using academic games in the classroom resulted in a 20% gain in student achievement.

Allowing students to interact in the classroom via games helps them learn in a way that they are familiar with.  And, more teachers are getting on board with offering games as a way to supplement learning in the classroom.  A recent infographic shows that 95% of teachers use video games that were made specifically for educational use.

Touch typing games have become one of the most popular ways to solidify typing skills in the classroom through the level of interaction they allow and the variety of students which they appeal to.

Typing Games Increase Learning Through Interaction

Kids are familiar with video games and over 91% of U.S. school kids play them.  Typing games tap into the interactive aspect of the way students learn that are the core of this process.  Through these games, students interact with the computer and their classmates to achieve higher accuracy and speed.

While playing, students are also learning a valuable skill including, increasing hand eye coordination and muscle memory.  These are two of the most important elements of mastering touch typing.

Educational typing games allow students interact on both a personal and classroom level.  This happens by having goals that the student must meet or exceed.  On the classroom level, they might compete for prizes based on their performance or by beating a high score set by another student.

Typing Games Benefit a Variety of Students

Not all students learn alike.  By introducing typing games into your typing curriculum you offer an opportunity to engage all of your students.  While most students can benefit, those who stand to gain the most, perform at or below proficiency.

People learn in different ways and for some, gamification can be an integral part of solidifying what is being taught in the classroom.  A study performed in 2009 indicated that students who participated in games were also less likely to show signs of attention deficit disorder.

Typing games have proven to be effective when it comes to learning how to quickly pick up a new skill.  Students are challenged at just the right times and rewarded upon completion.  The element of completing a challenge in exchange for a reward whether it be a certificate of completion or otherwise is often enough to make the experience one that students will remember.

Although touch typing games can have a great impact on keeping kids engaged and help build skills in an entertaining way, they are not a substitute for a core typing curriculum.   When used as part of a curriculum that rewards children for completing tasks and performing well, touch typing games can be a powerful tool to keep kids excited about learning.

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