Sunburst Technology's Type to Learn, Jr.

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Type to Learn, Jr. from Sunburst Technology introduces keyboarding skills to youngcomputer users in a fun and creative way. Type to Learn, Jr. is bright and captivating, easy to understand, easy to navigate, and just plain fun. One of the best aspects of Type to Learn, Jr. was that I was able to fully load the program (I used an iBook with OS 9 to review this program), eliminating the need to insert the CD every time the children wanted to play. After opening the program and signing in, you are brought to a colorful house and introduced to the four main aspects of the program: The Learning Center, Cassie's Empty Nest, Hopkin's Treasure Trove and Tiny's Flying Feat. Using this "home" makes it very easy to progress to the different activities of the program. Everything is based on this opening screen.

The Learning Center, where all children should start and review on a regular basis, introduces the letters of the alphabet (lowercase, uppercase, numbers and punctuation), and teaches users which hand is used to type each letter. The keyboard is color coded for your right (purple) and left (red) hands. However, the program d'es not include which finger is used to type each letter. After typing the specified letter, a word beginning with that letter is shown. Throughout the program, key words representing the letters of the alphabet are used.

After completing The Learning Center, children can move on to any of the three other activities in the house. Cassie's Empty Nest is the first game, and it provides practice in typing letters and numbers. Hopkin's Treasure Trove adds uppercase letters to the typing practice, and Tiny's Flying Feat adds even more with sets of rhyming words and word families that directly relate to most second grade curricula. To add more to the learning experience, each of these activities has three skill levels. Changing skill levels is as easy as a click on the icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

In addition, teachers are able to access a special menu that will let them check on the progress of their students and set the activities they want an individual to concentrate on. The teacher can also generate colorful certificates to reward students for their progress. Sunburst also supplies the teacher/school with a teacher's manual that includes many away-from-the-computer activities and reproducible sheets for use in the classroom. As a school that uses Type to Learn as our keyboard program of choice, Type to Learn, Jr. will make a wonderful addition for the youngest of computer users.

Lisa M. Taylor
Computer Resource Specialist
Wren Hollow Elementary School

Contact Information
Sunburst Technology
Pleasantville, NY
(800) 321-7511
www.sunburst.com

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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