TOS Sweet Critique: Keyboard Town Pals

Keyboard Town Pals What:  Keyboard Town PALS

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Cost:  The program is currently on sale for $30 – $45 depending upon the options you choose {CD-ROM vs. web-based, bundled package, etc.}

Recommended Ages:  Ages 6 and up

What Is It?

 

Keyboard Town PALS is a computer-based program that teaches typing to children.   Yes, I know.  There are lots of these.  Or, at least a few.  What makes this one different?

This program uses a Purposeful Associative Learning System {PALS}.  Say what?  This means that the program uses a well-devised way to use associations to teach typing.  I know this doesn’t work for some kids, but it generally works for Babydoll.  Having a story helps her remember something so much easier.

 So how exactly does Keyboard Town PALS do this?  Keyboard Town is made up of three streets.

Each street has residents {letters, numbers, symbols}.  The streets and the residents correspond to the rows and keys on the keyboard.

Then, through a series of stories and other fun stuff, the child is taught the keys in a vertical manner.  Vince and I were talking, and we think we remember being taught vertically, and it was much easier to learn the finger associations as opposed to learning where the letters were and then finger placement {horizontally}.

What Did We Think?

 

Well, overall I think it’s an innovative program that has really thought about covering the bases as far as a comprehensive typing program for kids {after all, it’s supposed to teach kids how to type in an hour}.  The program can be used with all learning levels and thought has really been put into creating a unique way to teach kids typing.

Personally, I thought the puppets and Sunny were a bit too silly for Babydoll {she’s nine}, but after her initial “Hmmm…”, she said she was able to see past that and still enjoy the program.  I think she even enjoyed the stories about the puppets and their purpose, she just wasn’t a big fan of Sunny.  Despite this, she sat there for a good while playing and learning, so overall I think it’s a win.

I also think this program could be used for kids younger than six, as soon as they have letter recognition down.  Shoot, it can even be used to teach letter recognition and sounds.  Much above then, though, I don’t know how well a child would respond to the puppets.  Take that with a grain of salt, because each kid is different; some will be completely happy doing something till a much older age than others will.

What Did Others Think?

 

Be sure to check out what other TOS members thought about Keyboard Town PALS!

True Confessions:  I was provided with access to Keyboard Town PALS in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.

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