15 Free Resources to Develop Typing Skills ( Games, Lessons, Tutorials )

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The purpose of education is to prepare students and equip them with the right tools and skills to help them easily blend in the job market and workforce. Typing quickly and correctly is one of the most  important skills our students need to work and develop to meet part of post graduation challenges.


typing skills



I personally never learnt how to type quickly until a couple of years ago, but this should not be the case with our students. The world has so much changed and so do learning habits and needs. Today's learners are more digitally focused than what we were and to help them learn how to use their keyboards correctly is something that every teacher should urgently consider. In this regard I have compiled a list of free web tools and programs that are primarily designed to help users :


  •     Practice and improve typing skills
  •     Test typing speed
  •     Test typing accuracy
  •      Learn healthy typing postures


I have also included these typing tools in two  presentations : the first one is done using Issuu and the second one which you will find below is done using Google Docs.

Here is the Issu slideshow







1- 10-Fast-Fingers

10-Fast-Fingers is a cool web application. It allows its users to test their typing speed to find out how fast they type and where they position themselves against others.

2- TypeRacer

TypeRacer is an online speed typing game. It allows its users to race each other by typing quotes from books, movies, and songs. It is the first multiplayer typing game on the web.

3- Keybr

Keybr is a tool for touch typing practice. It allows its users to improve their typing speed togther with typing without having to look at the keyboard.

4- Typing Web

Explore  tutorials that provide instant feedback after every free typing lesson. It offers beginner through advanced typing lessons for free.


5- TuxType
This is a  fun, open source, program designed to help young students learn touch typing skills through smart and interactive games.


6- Sense Language
This is a typing program that allows its users to create their own typing activities or use the website's  standardized lessons.


7- TypeFaster
TypeFaster is a tool that teaches you how to touch type fast uisng a set of free typing tutorials. This program comes in three version: Standard, Accessible and Spanish. The Standard version is the ideal one so far for it has quite many interesting features.

8- PowerTyping

This one here has a small collection of five typing games and lessons  that students can use to develop their typing skills. 


9-  Typing Lessons Online
Typing Lessons Online is a free touch typing program that allows its users to type fast using their ten fingers. It offers free and interactive typing lessons and exercises for all levels.

10- Good Typing

This is a free online typing skill development program.  It provides 27 graduated lessons designed to help students learn how to use their keyboard correctly.


11- Typing Speed Monitor
This is a Google Chrome extension that will track how fast you type and what keys you use most frequently.


12- ClockWords

This is an interesting game that tests your vocabulary and your ability to type quickly.


13- Type It

This is a free online program for typing accent marks and other special characters that are often required for languages other than English.


14- Lite Type

This is a virtual keyboard that allows you type and search the web in your choice of 53 different languages.

15- Dance Mat

This  is provided by BBC to improve students touch typing skills through a series of lessons covering  four different levels. The difficulty moves up gradually from level one where students are introduced to a lesson on the right placement of their hands on the keybaord to level four where they will learn elaborate keybaording tips.

Here is a presentation containing all these web tools


Magzinr Organize and Tweet your Bookmarks Easily

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Magzinr is a new social bookmarking tool that allows users to organize and tweet their bookmarks on one easy to use platform.. This tool works on all major browsers ( Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and some versions of Explorer ). It is very easy to use and has an intuitive interface that anyone can handle instantly.


magzinr



Magzinr offers a bookmarklet that you will find on  its homepage, just drag it to your toolbar and each time you want to bookmark and tweet something , one click on this bookmarklet will do it. You do need to be singed in to use this service, you can use your Twitter account to log in. Once logged in you will be able to do the following:


  • Bookmark anything online
  • Organize your bookmarks
  • Add tags, descriptions to your bookmarks
  • Tweet and share your bookmarks
  • Organize your bookmarks in a tree structure
  • People can subscribe to your tags' RSS feed
  • You can use Magzinr widget to embed  a set of your bookmarks into a webpage or blog


Head over to Magzinr and give it a try

Infographic about How Higher Education Helps Economy

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College is an expensive investment, so you might wonder, is the cost of a degree really worth it? Based on studies conducted by PayScale for Bloomberg Businessweek, here's a look at colleges that offer a great return on investment (ROI) and how higher education helps the economy.

Read and share it with your colleagues



How Higher Education Helps the Economy
Via: Online Universities Resource

Dance Mat A Great Typing App

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Dance Mat Typing is a cool web tool from BBC. It provides typing lessons for young students ages 7 to 11. I have already covered in a previous post a List of The Best Typing apps for students and teachers and after reviewing this new website I am also adding it to the list. Dance Mat is designed primarily for kids but will not do any harm if adults want to use it too.


dance mat



Dance Mat's aim is to improve students' touch typing skills through a series of lessons covering  four different levels. The difficulty moves up gradually from level one where students are introduced to a lesson on the right placement of their hands on the keybaord to level four where they will learn elaborate keybaording tips.

What is really so cool about this website is that each lesson or practice activity offers feedback in audio and visual form. There are also worksheets available for each stage that can be printed out and used offline with a typewriter or computer. Dance Mat is completely free and has a very student friendly interface. It does not require any software download or installation just head over to its homepage and start your typing journey right from there.

ClassConnect Build and Share Lessons for Free

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ClassConnect is an awesome learning tool. It allows teachers to build lessons with the use of websites, videos, Google docs, files and many more. These lessons can be stored online and then shared with students and parents. This service is free to use and has a user friendly interface.

The story behind ClassConnect is really inspiring. Its founder  is just a young guy who used to suffer from lack of interest in his schooling and one day he decided to change the focus of his life and he went to Silicon Vally where he worked on ClassConnect and started doing the things he is mostly passionate about.

classzone



Some features of ClassConnect

Here is a list of the main features that ClassConnect offers to its users:

  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It allows teachers to build their lessons using a set of different tools
  • Teachers can add websites, online videos, Google docs and files to their lessons
  • They can search for lessons built by other teachers
  • Teachers can organize and store their lessons for anytime access
  • You can share your lessons with parents and students with just one click
  • Students and parents are automatically notified when changes are made

Head over to ClassConnect and give it a shot

Old Maps Online A Free Resource of Historical Maps

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Old Maps Online is a great web tool for educators. It is basically an easy to use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. Old Maps Online has a sophisticated search engine that enables users to look for and find digital historical maps across various collections using geographical search.



 online maops


If you are searching for historical maps near where you live then Old Maps Online will definitely give you a hand. By default it searches for maps about locations in your vicinity but you can customize and refine your search options to make it more specific. You can for instance search by typing a place-name or by clicking in the map window, and narrow by date. Just bear in mind that Old Maps Online does not hold the maps that you find through their search box but rather provides a direct link to the map image on the website of the host institution.

Old Maps can be a great learning tool for students. They can use it when working on history project to find relevant maps and since it is free and easy to use then there is no reason not to give it a try.

Head over to Old Maps Online and give it a shot.

The Faculties Free Lectures for High School Students

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The Faculties is a great video resource  for both teachers and students. It provides a wide range of educational videos created by university lecturers speaking on topics in their fields. The  Faculties also helps students choose the right university department and guide them through the  possibilities their studies might open up for them.

The purpose behind these video lectures is two fold. First , it aims at providing relevant video resources for high school students about topics that might interest them and the second goal is to provide and equip students with the right information that will familiarize them with the expectations and realities of being a college student. The content in Faculties is organized in such a way that users will find it easy to browse through.


faculty



There are basically 6 sections named as follows: The biology faculty, the Math faculty, the Psychology faculty, the History faculty,the Biology faculty, and the Chemistry faculty.There are videos in each section and based on what they are looking for, students will be faced with various collections of videos made specifically to meet their learning  needs.

Head over to The Faculties and give it a try

Week in Review: Popular Posts of Last Week

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Hi everyone this Med from Halifax sending you his best wishes. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend and have a better time for I did not because again foe the second weekend in a row it was stormy and rainy. As is the habit every Sunday, I will be briefing you on the most popular articles that have been featured in Educational Technology and Mobile learning for this week.





Here is the list:

1- A List of Educational Presentations and Slideshows for Teachers and Students

2- Challenges Facing Educators Using Social Media

3- Understand how Google Works

4- 15 Interesting Facts about Wikipedia

5- This is how to Explain Internet to your Students

6- All you Need to Know about Wikispaces

7- 20 Case Solved by Facebook

8- 10 Free Mobile Apps to Create  Awesome Drawings and Sketches

9- Technology Enhances Learning


Have you already subscribed to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning ? If not this is how to do it :

  1-   Subscribe via RSS
  2-   Like Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on Facebook
  3-   Find Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Google Plus
  4-   Follow Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on Twitter

My other blog The Best of Mobile Technology is gaining subscribers everyweek. If you want to learn more about how to use mobile technology such as smart phones, tablets, and apps in education , please check out The Best of Mobile Technology and let me know what you think.

Thank you very much for your support and enjoy your weekend.

Technology Enhances Learning

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The use of technology in education has become a necessity. We no longer talk about only the integration of web 2.0 tools and desktop applications but rather about mobile technology such as tablets and smart phones. Some educators are still reluctant and doubtful about the usefulness of technology in teaching and learning which is a sad thing indeed.
Working on my master thesis gave me the chance to meet some teachers in different public schools in Canada. I was surprised to see how enthusiastic students are to the use of any kind of technology in their classrooms and 99 percent of them can  do basic computer skills. I felt happy to see this positive interaction but not all teachers were as enthusiastic as their students. For these teachers and other educators who still question the use of technology in education, please read the infographic below to discover interesting facts that might hopefully change the way you think about technology in education

Sources : Socrato Blog



10 Free Mobile Apps to Create Awesome Drawings and Doodles

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one thing students, kids and even some adults love to do is drawing. There are a bunch of awesome drawing tools I have covered here before that can allow you to easily make drawings and skectches online . Some of these tools have social part in the sense that users can share their drawings on popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Users can also invite their budies and start collaborating together in real time and even chat back and forth while they are drawing. All these features and many more others are great for students and learners.  The Best of Mobile Technology has reviewed some great Androidd and iOS apps that I want to share with you here and that can do the same things as the web tools I talked about earlier. These mobile apps are totally free  and you can use them on your mobile devices and tablets. I know mobile devices are ubiquoutous and our kids and students have more and more free access to them so why not give them these apps and help them turn their devices into effective learning tools.

Here is the list of the free drawing apps. Among the things these apps have to offer to their users are:


  1.  Easily create sketches
  2. Make drawings
  3. Make doodles
  4. Create shapes,add text, and share with others.

I have included a Google Docs and Issuu presentations containing these apps. Scroll down to see them.

1- Doodle Budy Gold



It allows userst to create sketches and doodles using their fingers. They can finger paint with their own selected colors and drop in playful stamps. -



  • Read the app review here
  • Download the app here







2- Big Fat Convas


 Big Fat Canvas lets users draw free-hand on your Android device using a set of easy to use options such as size altering, selection of colors,and opacity of the line you make.

  • Read the review here
  • Download the app here











3- How to Draw


How to Draw is a great Android app that allows its users to make awesome drawings. Those of you who are fond of art and drawing can now have access to a plethora of materials off/*ered+--- for free and all of which will enable you to have fun while making you drawings
  •  Read the app review here




4- Sync Space


Sync Space is a whiteboard app available for Android  and iOS devices. Sync Space is used to create drawings and documents. It offers free hand drawing  and typing tools. You can use either of them or even both of them at once to create your scribbles.
  •  Read the app review here
  • Download the app here




5- Jot

Jot is a cool iPad app that allows its users to sketch out their ideas in a whiteboard like interface and share them with others in real time. This is indeed one of my favourite collaborative whiteboard apps .

  • Read the app review here
  • Download the app here




6- Show Me



Show Me is a great mobile app for iPad. It allows its users to turn their iPads into interactive whiteboards where they can record their tutorials and animated lessons.
  •  Read the app review here
  • Download the app here





7- Draw Free for iPad




Draw Free for iPad is a great mobile app that allows its users to easily sketch and doodle beautiful drawings.


  •  Read the app review here
  • Download the app here






8- Bambo Paper




Bamboo Paper is a great mobile app that allows its users to sketch whatever they want using their own handwriting on a neat digital paper notebook
  •  Download the app here
  • Read the app  review here





9- Skitch




Skitch for Android is a cool app that allows you to create awesome drawings from scratch
  •  Read the app review here
  • Download the app here







10- Google Docs



Google Docs App is the mobile version of Google documents. It allows users work on documents in real time.

  1.  Read the app review here
  2. Download the app here



Here is  Google Docs presentation containing all these apps









Here is the same presentation using Issuu


20 Cases Solved by Facebook

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I strongly advocate the use of social media in education. I know I got some criticism on some articles I wrote in this regard specifically the one entitle " Reasons Why Facebook is Revolutionizing Education " but I think some educators still did not really open their eyes to the benefits of such tools in learning and they rather prefer the " head in the sand" approach to social media.



facebook\



Let us take Facebook as an example since it is the most popular social website students use almost on a daily basis. This website is blocked in almost all of the schools excluding thus the positive side it would play in some learning activities, take a look at The Best Facebook Learning Apps to see the potential this platform has for education. I know it is not safe but ' no venture no gains'. Instead of shunning away from websites such as Facebook we should rather teach our students how to use them responsibly and be their immediate model . Without any further ado read the infographic below to see what Facebook can really do for  justice.

20 Cases Solved By Using Facebook
Via: Criminal Justice Degrees Guide Blog

All you Need to Know about Wikispaces

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Wikispaces are among the most reliable resources of educational technology tools. I am personally a huge fan of these web tools and I have created three wikis all of which are geared towards the use of technology in education. There are also several reputed wikis created by  other educatos that are really a must for every educator to know. I am actually working on a presentation that will feature the top educational wikis and will soon post it  here.



wikispaces


 So apart from the tutorials created by educators such as me to help other teachers better use wikis no official tutorials were ever posted so far but this is not the case anymore. There is a Wikispaces YouTube channel that has just gone viral and that contains more than 25 screencast videos created by Wkispaces. The purpose behind this channel is to help users from all around the globe and show them how to utilize some of the useful features that Wikis have in store. I highly recommend this channel for you , you can browse it for videos and tutorials to share with your students. They need to know how to better use wikis and the best way to teach them that is through these videos.
Here are some examples of two videos I picked up fron Wikispaces Youtube Channel


1- Introduction to Wikis







2- Creatin educational wikis

Google New Privacy Policy, Evil or Angel ?

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Yesterday was the start of a new month and also a new era in Google's history. You might have  already heard of Google's new privacy policy and all the tantrum that went around it. Yesterday, however, was the official date of its implimentation. Is this a good step forward or a step back in Google's great achievements ?

Since the launch of his Facebook-competing social netwrok Google+, the search guru has bewildered the international community with a new one-size-fits-all privacy policy which came into force yesterday ( March the 1st 2012 ) after weeks of complains and warnings by authorities. I have been going through some forums online and all I found are people showing their disatisfaction and sometimes anger over this new policy. So why all this fuss and what is it in this new policy to stir this huge wave of contempt from users worlwide ?


google privacy policy



According to the guidelines of this new policy Google will be able to :

  1.  Collect and share data of a signed-in Google user from one Google product to another
  2. Google maps records are now kept with search results and combines Google Plus  and Gmail searches and any other uploaded information
  3. Government access to your data is way easier with this policy than ever before in the history of internet
  4. Google will be able to build up a far greater picture of who you are as an individual and therefore start bombarding you with relevant and personalized ads
  5. This new policy also gives 'Google the opportunity to raise the advertising stakes allowing third parties to target users more effectively'.


Conclusion = Google trespasses your digital privacy and makes it vulnerable to other parties
                     Google puts advertisers wants ahead of its users' needs.

It is really funny, I was watching BBC lastnight and there was a representative from Google in Europe trying to defend his company's move and when was asked how users can avoid Google spying eyes on them while using its services he simply said they need to sign off google and therefore no data will be collected. Oh my, how can I sign off my Google account and automatically from all other services to start browsing the net ?Imagine working on a document in Google docs and you want to look for videos to include in it from Youtube, you should first save your doc and log off Google  and head on to Youtube and perform your querry.Being logged off , YouTube  ( which is a Google product ) wont track your search querries or collect any data about you. When you find your video log on back to your Google doc and embed it. This is ridiculously stupid. I am a huge fan of Google and I do appreciate all its great services especially for us in education but this should not blind our eyes to the fact that our own digital privacy is being endangered.

Now that this privacy policy came into force, Google has aldready started facing severe criticisms for its ' unaccounted for ' move. French data protection authorities began investigating the new privacy policy under the belief that it is in breach of Europe's data protection laws. Japanese authorities have also warned against this policy and seeks a clear explanation on the facts. South Korea also warned that its laws could be flouted in the move.

Here are some other links for further reading on this topic:


QuizMeOnline A Great Resource of Free Quizzes and Study Guides

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QiuzMeOnline is a great website that I have just discovered this morning in an email from Makeuseof. This is basically a social network for students where they can create and take pre-made quizzes. It is really a great learning tool for students for they can also be able to take notes, create their own flashcards and join study groups.


quiz


Study Buddies is one of the features I like so much about this website. Students can search for and find other people with whom they can work, collaborate and interact online. They can add enough buddies to create a study group. There is also the possibility that students create a class or enroll into one to study a topic at their own pace.

Some features of QuizMeOnline

Here is a set of the features that QuizMeOnline offers to its users:


  • It is free
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a user friendly interface
  • It helps students study for a quiz
  • Teachers can use it to create their own quizzes
  • It also lets users create and share flashcards
  • It also allows students to take notes and create study groups
  • It provides study guides for students to learn about a certain process. These study groups can include images, links and YouTube videos.


Head over to QuizMeOnline and give it a try.

Learners TV A Free Resource of Video Lectures from Reputed Universities

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Learners Tv is a great educational video resource for students and teachers. It basically provides video lectures covering different  topics and subjects. Among the covered subjects are : Biology, physics, mathematics, statistics, computer science, medicine, dentistry, engineering, accounting, and management. Lectures are organized into labels and tagged in such a way that makes it easy for you to navigate and browse categories you want.


learners tv


The lectures provided by Learners TV are both in audio and video format. They cover whole courses conducted by faculty from reputed universities around the world.The purpose of this website is to :
  1. Help students in their learning
  2. Create autonomous and independent learning behavior
  3. Sharpen students critical thinking skills
  4. Provide students with fun and innovative ways of learning
  5. Refine students test taking skills

Most of the materials offered by Learners TV are licensed by the respective institutes under a Creative Commons License.
Head over to Learners TV and give it a try.

Do Lectures Free Resource of Inspirational Videos

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Do Lectures is a great website for educators. It, as its name suggests, provides awesome and inspirational videos from people who are changing the world. TED was the originator of such kind of websites and recently Google joined in with its own special brand of though-provoking videos and lectures. Do Lectures fits in the same framework. It showcases videos of people who do amazing things in the hopes of inspiring others to discover their real skills and do something great themselves.


do lectures



Do Lectures features videos from great thinkers in the caliber of Alastair McIntosh, Alan Webber, Adam Lowry and many more. The content in this website is organized in such a neat way that you can easily browse and find videos you want based on the topic you select. There are  for instance videos on topics like Business, Food, Creativity ( This is my favorite topic ), Environment, Sport, Technology and Well-Being. Users can also search for videos by Tone such as Big Ideas, Challenging, Funny, Informative, Inspiring, an Soulful.

Do Lectures also features a section dedicated for its speakers where you can get to know those big minds behind the inspirational videos you watch. I recommend this website to educators. It can be of great help in ones professional development.

Kwiqpoll A Great Polling Tool for Educators

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Kwiqpoll is a great web tool that allows its users to  easily and instantly create and post polls. Are you looking for ways to garner feedback from your students on a certain assignment or something you have thought them before ? If so then give Kwiqpoll a shot. It is down to earth easy and does not require any sign up or software download.


kqwikpoll



Just head over to Kwiqpoll main page and type in your question. Provide the  answer choices. The first two answers are mandatory. Select the life span of your poll. you either select three or 7 days. This is the only inconvenience I have remarked in this website. the time your poll stays valid is 7 days maximum but I think in education it is enough for us to carry on constructive polling with our students. Once you have created your poll you will be provided a unique URL for your poll page that you can share with your students or colleagues. Here is a snapshot of  a poll I have created earlier


kwiqpoll example