Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Review of UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning

Hunting and pecking on the keyboard is one of my biggest pet peeves especially since I have a Business Education background.  Having this background should make it easy to teach my own kids the proper method of typing, but they have never been interested in me teaching them the proper way to type.  This is why I was excited to receive an UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning to review.
UltraKey Online Family Edition, typing, keyboarding, success-based learning, media-rich instruction
UltraKey Online Family Subscription begins each student with an introduction to the program with a video that explains what they will learn.  This program is recommended for ages eight and up, but it does say that with practice even students as young as six can use the program.  After viewing the introduction video students are given a typing assessment test that is used to set individualized for each student.  The individual goal of each student is designed to increase their typing speed also known as words per minute (wpm) and accuracy.  Once the assessment is completed and the goals are set, the student can begin working in the Lessons area. The lessons are very thorough and clear.  They use voice instruction and animated instructions to teach the lessons.   Once the student has worked on a lesson, they can practice what they learned in the Skill Check section of the program.   Each skill check can be repeated until the student's personal goals of accuracy and speed are attained.   The skill checks also offer different options for length of passage to check.   After the student passes a skill check, the next lesson is unlocked.  This program also features a typing forum and games for the student to gain extra practice and work on their typing. It evens tracks your student's performance for you.  The company recommends using this program for at least 20 minutes each day.
Little Miss was watching the video on posture here.  This is obviously the before of her posture.
Since we could use this subscription for up to 7 family members, I set up an account for both of my kids.  The accounts were easy to set up since I had a control dashboard to set them up in.  Once I showed my kids what they needed to do to access their account, they were able to log themselves in each day.  My fourth grader was excited to work on this program because she has been wanting to learn to type better.  I told put this program on her list to work on 3 days a week and many weeks she did it 5 days a week.  She watched the introduction video and went through the section on proper posture and couldn't wait to start her first lesson.  She found the lessons to be very easy to understand and worked through them quickly.   The skill checks were harder for her and she had to repeat them several times because she had to hit her goal of both accuracy and speed to pass.  At first this frustrated her because she was able to hit one goal or the other, but after more practice she finally passed on both goals.  She also liked to practice her typing in the forum.  My ninth grader was not as excited to learn to type. He didn't see anything wrong with his “hunt and peck” method which was driving me nuts. He worked on this program 3 days a week and I have been noticing improvements in his typing.   When he took the lessons seriously, he didn't have any problems passing the skill checks.  He even worked hard enough to unlock the games area so that he could play games to test his typing.  
These were my stats and goals at the beginning of the program.
I also got a chance to use this program which I am happy about because I wanted to be able to check it out completely.  I really enjoyed that when you set up the main account for the family, the "Manager" account, it already had an area for me to practice the lessons too.  This way I could see exactly what the kids were seeing and working on for myself.  I also wanted to practice my typing skills as I know I have lost some of them since my days of consistently teaching typing before I had kids.   I was able to work through a few of the lessons and I got high enough scores that I could play the games too.  I must say that the games are pretty fun and I liked the combination of reading, typing, and thinking in the games.  I did fairly well on the assessments and my typing skills weren't as bad as I thought they were, they just need some polishing.
Buddy had fun playing Capitals, Capitols
As a former keyboarding teacher, I was extremely impressed with this program and all it has to offer.  It is very thorough while being very user friendly.  I appreciated how this program would not let you move on until you had passed the skill check which meant that you mastered the lesson.  It might take my kids a few tries, but I would rather have them completely the skill checks the right way.  I also liked being able to set goals for each of my kids and then adjust them as they reached the goals.  I also like that based on the assessments the program would give them goals too.  We all liked how the lessons featured both audio and visual learning to reinforce the concepts.  We also liked that we could turn the audio off if we didn't want it on.  We like that it is a good mix of fun and educational so it doesn't get boring for my kids.  My favorite part of this program from a teacher's perspective are the reports it gives for each student.  I can quickly access them and see what my kids have been working on and their achievements.  It is a great feature of the program.  I appreciate that we can use one program for everyone in our family and we plan to continue using this program to continue building our typing skills.

These are the different reports the program creates for you.  These were from each of my students.
Bytes of Learning offers many different options when it comes to purchasing UltraKey: The UltraKey Online Family Subscription that we received  has multiple purchase options for multiple size families starting at just $29.95 for 3 users, $39.95 for 5 users, and $49.95 for 8 users.  You can learn more about Bytes of Learning on their website or on Facebook.  You can learn more about the UltraKey Online Family Subscription by clicking here.  As always you can read about what the other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this product by clicking the banner below.
UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}

2 comments:

  1. Cassandra, as a former keyboarding teacher, it will not surprise you, I am sure, to know that two practicing business teachers and two elementary keyboarding teachers, were part of the original UltraKey design team. Other teachers were involved then, and later as the program evolved.

    You write, "We like that [UltraKey Online] is a good mix of fun and educational so it doesn't get boring for my kids." That means a lot to us. There is such a fine balance to achieve between understanding that skills are not developed without some serious effort, but we can genuinely enjoy the success and fun in the process.

    Good luck with continued use of UltraKey Online. And thanks for providing such an informing overview for your readers.

    Art Willer, M.Ed., President, Bytes of Learning www.bytesoflearning.com

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to come and read my post and comment. It truly is my favorite keyboarding product for teaching typing. It is solid and I can tell a lot of time and effort went into it. It means so much that you took the time to stop by.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and leave a comment, it means the world to me!