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Educational Software Thread, Alternatives to Word Shark in Technical; Hi all, i have just been asked to install some "Typing Practise Programs" on a laptop for a student with ...
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    Alternatives to Word Shark

    Hi all, i have just been asked to install some "Typing Practise Programs" on a laptop for a student with literacy problems. I know of Word Shark but i was wondering if anyone knew of any alternatives?

    Thanks

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Word shark isn't really a typing practise program. It's the tool of choice for SENCOs dealing with children who have literacy problems.

    For actual typing practise, we have: Learn to Type Fast with KAZ Typing Tutor Software

    Online, BBC - Schools - Dance Mat Typing is popular here

    And we also have this installed on a couple of standalone PCs [ame=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Education-Typing-Timon-Pumba-PC/dp/B000A437QK]Typing with Timon and Pumba[/ame]

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    Thanks, i am aware of the the typing tutors but that's not what they want. sorry should have been more clear. They don't want to teach them to touch type or anything like that just to be able to recognise words and use a keyboard.

    Thanks

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    If you mange to persuade your SENCO to consider anything other than Wordshark, let me know! My experience is that they won't use anything else!

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    If you mange to persuade your SENCO to consider anything other than Wordshark, let me know! My experience is that they won't use anything else!
    Not the case here. Do I get a cookie?

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    We use busykidfingers but they just revert to one finger, so is it worth it. We have some kids, mainly girls, who are taught touch-typing at home by mum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Not the case here. Do I get a cookie?
    What are you using then? This software is the bane of my life! Known issues list as long as your arm for what should be very simply hold your hands up and admit your software doesn't work properly mistakes

    Known Issues

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    Not really any help as you are not looking for typing tutors but we have mavis beacon 16 network version which we are using in the senior school and have numbershark and workshark available to all students in the junior school. Our staff seem happy with that setup.

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    mr_wordshark's Avatar
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    Wordshark

    Quote Originally Posted by OutToLunch View Post
    What are you using then? This software is the bane of my life! Known issues list as long as your arm for what should be very simply hold your hands up and admit your software doesn't work properly mistakes

    Known Issues
    Yes, we do indeed hold our hands up and admit that our software does not always work properly, particularly on dodgy kit - very open, as your link shows, to holding our hands up to this. Many techs would rather we were open than not have a "known issues" link, though you are clearly an exception. However, when you look at the known issues, they have solutions. Agreed, if your soundcard does not work then our program will not have sound until you fix the problem. If you have forgotten your password, you will not get admin access until you get a bypass. If you have not registered your pupils, then they will not get results recorded until you do. Read the known issues, hold your hand up and agree that you are indeed aptly named on this one. If you have a problem with our software, try ringing or emailing us. You just might find we help even if your problem is to do with RTFM (as many of the known problems boil down to).

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    witch's Avatar
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    One of my schools uses wordshark and numbershark, and we dont have any issues as long as it isnt networked.
    The other school uses Rapid Writing (and Rapid Reading) which seem to do the things that you want.

    NB: the discs are very old which is why there would be networking issues. I cannot comment on newer discs as my school won't buy them!!
    Last edited by witch; 23rd August 2010 at 10:30 PM. Reason: clarification

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    mr_wordshark's Avatar
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    Hi Witch - not chatted with you for a while, so assume all is well at FFS. I've a note that they are using quite elderly single user CDs, which I agree should be fine on your setup so long as you don't try to run them as if they were the network version. I agree that for what LeightonJames is after, "Rapid Writing" would be a more sensible option than Wordshark, which really is not intended to be a typing practice program.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_wordshark View Post
    Hi Witch - not chatted with you for a while, so assume all is well at FFS. I've a note that they are using quite elderly single user CDs, which I agree should be fine on your setup so long as you don't try to run them as if they were the network version. I agree that for what LeightonJames is after, "Rapid Writing" would be a more sensible option than Wordshark, which really is not intended to be a typing practice program.
    hi - I left FFS over a year ago and I presume they are still using the same discs!! My current school also uses old discs which is why I won't network it!
    Rapid Writing isnt used as a typing program at my school, obviously it does help but SEN use it for word recognition and to help the children to use the keyboard which is what the OP wanted

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    mr_wordshark's Avatar
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    I think FFS are. Old disks - wise decision. If they want to we do trade ins (even for the original disks 15+ years old, at least for now), but no rush. Support is still available for the old discs should you need it, subject to your hardware coping with geriatric disks. If you are at BETT in Jan do pop in and see us if you are ready for a coffee.

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    witch's Avatar
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    Thanks - I will be around i hope

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    Tux4Kids - Projects

    Dunno if this is of any use?

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