We had the pleasure of reviewing Read, Write & Type by Talking Fingers Inc. My family received a one-year subscription for three users to review. I grew up around computers. It wasn’t a common thing in the late 70’s & early 80’s to have a computer in the house. Since one of my dad’s hobbies was (and still is) computers there was a computer in the house long before I was born. I learned how to type the word ‘run’ (in DOS) before I could write the word so I could play my games. Since we are in the times where computers are used daily, classes are available online etc. it is very important to learn how to type correctly the first time and not have to reteach yourself how to type properly because you picked up bad habits early on. I was thrilled when a program for younger children became available to the Crew to review.
Read, Write, & Type is an online program and there are no downloads needed to use it! This program is geared for children ages 6-9. The children learn to type correctly at the same time as learning how to read and write.
The teacher portal is nice. When you log in as the parent there are links to the User Manual and Administrator Guide at the top of the page. Then you have buttons for: Your Licenses, Your Associates, Your Students, Your Profile, and Logout. Some of the features available on these pages are not necessarily used in a homeschool setting. The teacher portal is set up to be used in a co-op and school setting as well.
The default page when you log in is Your Licenses page. There is a link to purchase additional licenses. The link will take you to the page to purchase home and school software as well as a couple of books. Your licenses will appear below the link. Talking Fingers Inc. sells multiple online products and each will be linked on this page. It will tell you how many slots you have purchased, how many slots are in use, and how many you have free. Below that it will provide the details of how many licenses that are assigned to you, which product licenses you have, how many are in use, when they were purchased, who purchased them, when they are active, how many times they have been used. One thing I have noticed is that the usage count doesn’t always change every time my children have logged in. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I log my children in myself before turning the computer over to them so I know they are being logged into the correct account. For instance two of my three licenses that I received for this review were activated after the first license was. It says that they have only logged in twice while the first license has logged in 119 times. While I would like to say that one child has logged in 119 times I highly doubt that is the case for the length that we have been reviewing this product. I know for absolute certainty that the other two licenses have logged in more than 2 times between the two of them.
I don’t have any experience using the Your Associates page but this is used in a co-op or school setting when adult associates are added to the account to manage student accounts.
This is the page where all student data is located. For me my three children using Read, Write & Type are listed. I can add, modify, delete any of my licenses. It lists my students individually, which license they are using, a place for supervisor information (not assigned in my case since I am using it in a homeschool setting), the level they are currently at, and the percentages for phonics, reading, spelling, and average. When I click on each of my children I can edit their profile, including change the password, see their progress in Read, Write & Type, their grades, which lesson they are on and more. I like the bar graph with their grades for each level. It gives a quick view of how they are doing overall. In their profile, a nice feature is that you can set when they are allowed to log in, which days, and what you consider as passing. You can also change the lesson settings for the child but it is advised to only make the change(s) when the student’s account is not currently using Read, Write & Type. Changing the lesson settings allows you to move your child ahead or go back and review a section. It will not change their scores.
Your Profile & Logout
Your Profile allows you to edit all of your information such as name, address, email, and password. The Logout button of course logs you out of your account.
Read, Write & Type is popular with my girls and they enjoy playing the games. They have also tried to stall going to bed by asking to play it.
When my girls are logged into their accounts it starts with a very catchy song and then goes to the main page which is the keyboard with their complete letters, left and right hands, and a scene with Vexor the Virus in it. As my girls progress through the program their keyboard fills up with the letters and sounds that they have been working on.
You can see in the picture above that the girls are in different parts of the program. Once they are here they click on Vexor (the green thing above the blue house) to see where they go next. Vexor will take them to different places depending where in the city or on the houses they click.
Here are a few examples of the games that they play:
When they click on the tree they work on typing sentences from a story. The flying saucer has them choose a sound or a storyteller that they have already been introduced for the game. The blimp takes them to the theatre. They are shown a picture and depending on the directions they must decide if the answers are correct by typing the letter sound that they are working on or incorrect by clicking the space bar.
When they are finished they earn pieces of their Certificates of merit which can be printed. When they have completed the entire program there will be a total of 10 certificates of merit.
Sweet Pea likes all of the games but says that going to park and working on getting the storyteller across the park is her favorite one of them all. Peanut says her favorite games are when she works on the sounds of the letters in the theatre and library. Lil’ Bit isn’t sure which game is her favorite.
One thing I have noticed is that two of my girls get frustrated during one section of the program. It is the section where they have to type the same letters over and over. It takes them a little longer to type the sequence than what appears to be allowed. It doesn’t show a counter with the time that it has to be completed but it isn’t long. Vexor starts taking breaths and eventually blows the story teller away to start over if there are too many pauses during typing or if they hit the wrong button too many times. When the girls get stuck at this section, after a couple of attempts, I will help them type the letters faster so they can continue on.
We will be continuing with Read, Write & Type until the girls finish the program. They really enjoy using program! I highly recommend the program to anyone who has 6-9 year olds. Even some younger and older children may enjoy this as well!
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