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KAZ Typing Tutor Review by Rheea Hermoso-Prudente

KAZ
Tel: +44 1926 423424
Village Farm, Village Street
Warwick, Warwickshire
http://www.kaz-type.com/

KAZ Typing Tutor is a multi-sensory touch-typing course for adults and children. When you follow the course, it guarantees that you will learn the touch typing in 90 minutes (they recommend that younger children learn at their own pace, though).

Worth noting are the other versions of the program, which have features that answer the needs of dyslexic, hearing-impaired, and vision-impaired users. The SEN/Dyslexia Edition, for example, which was developed with help from the Dyslexia Research Trust, Reading Clinic, and Oxford University, allows users to customize certain settings. You can choose: the background to reduce the white screen glare; filters which help minimize letter movement and blurring; typeface and font size for easier reading; and font color and choice of keyboard for visibility comfort.

Unlike other typing courses, KAZ does not use games to teach because gaming removes focus from learning the proper keys. It does, however, have a cute bird mascot (named Kaz, of course) throughout the lessons, both for the Adult and Junior versions. The course works best if you do the five course modules in the recommended order (which is the same for the Adult and Junior versions).

You begin with the Flying Start module, which gives you a rundown of how the program works, introduces Kaz the the bird—who is also the navigation tool—and gives you proper posture pointers.  This segment shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Module 2 is the meat of the program, The Basics. This is where you learn the home keys (where each of your 10 fingers should rest every time you use the keyboard), and which finger presses which key. You will learn all the 26 letters in this module, through five silly phrases which you need to learn in order: ‘if mike jived,’ ‘rude dunce,’ ‘slap now,’ ‘baggy hat,’ and ‘extra quiz.’

Once you get the hang of the alpha keys—using the proper fingers on the correct keys without looking at the keyboard—you can move on to the third module, Just Do It. Here you can practice your keyboarding skills. The fourth module, And the Rest, teaches the rest of the keys—numbers and punctuation. Finally, the last module, SpeedBuilder gives you the opportunity to practice all your new skills, and is meant to be used several times a day. SpeedBuilder, as the name implies, helps improve typing speed, as well as accuracy. It’s also meant to develop your typing rhythm.

My 7-year-old daughter Breeze was the most interested to learn how to type properly. She enjoyed Kaz the bird, and the animation (after you complete each of the silly phrases, for example, Kaz will do something related to the phrase). She learned the five phrases over several days, going at her own pace. I am waiting for her to be ready to take The Big Test, which comes after the five phrases (she still wants to practice). She does know the home keys and which fingers to use, albeit she still goes slowly—which is perfectly fine.

We really loved the fact that the fingers used for each key are not only numbered (1 is your index finger and so on), but are also illustrated on the screen. As you learn the proper keys, you can toggle on the screen that shows you—via animated hands on the keyboard—exactly which finger you should use for a certain letter. This makes it easier to follow and get your own fingers used to pressing on the correct keys. This interface, plus the animations and the nonsense phrases, makes KAZ so fun and easy that Breeze requests to do typing session on her own.

I know that learning to type correctly will increase my productivity (I can type pretty quickly, but not proper touch typing), so I will be setting aside time soon (90 minutes!). I am glad that Breeze is getting better at typing. I hope to convince my 10-year-old daughter, Raine, to give it a try soon.

You can either get an annual subscription to KAZ, or you can purchase a download, and it’s a very good deal. 

- Product review by Rheea Hermoso-Prudente, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018

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