Tag Archives: computer skills

UltraKey Online Review

We are currently reviewing UltraKey Online Family Subscripton from Bytes of Learning in our homeschool.  My kids love it!  This program really makes learning to type fun.

UltraKey Online Family Subscription

UltraKey Online

Typing Course

Easy To Use

Self Paced

Family Subscription for up to 8 people

Ages 5+ – Adult

(8+ independent, and ages 5-7 with parental involvement)

Engineered for all Mac OS X and Windows computers

UltraKey is a self paced typing program, and likely the only typing training program you’ll ever need.  All you need is a subscription, a computer with a keyboard, and internet service.  You can set personal goals and proceed to achieve them at your own pace.   It is adaptable to various ages and skill levels.

Lessons:

UltraKey Online lessons are self paced and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There are 12 main lessons and you can use the program at your convenience and take as long as you need to master each lesson.  UltraKey Online uses voice supported instruction, and the lesson format includes audio voice, video, and graphic animation.  Lessons appeal to a wide range of learning styles and skill levels.

Dashboard:

Each student has their own dashboard.  From your dashboard, it is easy to access lessons, set goals, see progress, print awards, and generate and print reports too.

The parent / family administrator also has a dashboard and can view and access the records, goals, reports, etc of all of their students at the same time or view each student individually.

Goals and Reports:

UltraKey has a great record keeping system.  It is easy to access everything you need and helps parents review and keep up with their students progress.  Parents can adjust program settings to guide the students as they operation the program, or leave it in default mode and the student can control their own settings.  You can easily print progress reports for individual students to keep in their portfolio and also reports for the entire class of students if you are teaching more than one.

Parents and students can also create or import their own content for further practice or customized practice if desired.  The program is flexible and allows you the option to import occupation-related, religious, or topics of your choice for practice and testing.

UltraKey is individualized learning and practice.  You can choose from several different levels from beginner to very advanced.  Many different options are available for challenge levels and the amount of practice can be tweaked to your individual preferences.  It helps identify remedial problems and offers help if needed.  Other ways UltraKey encourages progress is that it praises the student as typing improves and congratulates students when goals are achieved.

Game Zone

Game Zone is a lot of extra fun for the kids if they want to use it.  It helps build typing knowledge and fluency.

There are different categories to choose from such as:

  • Mixed Up Words
  • Spelling’s Important
  • What’s Missing
  • To The Finish
  • Rhymin
  • Capitals Capitols

International Typing Performance Standard

With UltraKey Online, you can also generate certifiable typing performance reports based on International typing assessment standards.  Below are the key International standards set for typing performance:

  • 5 keystrokes is a typing word.
  • The gross speed is the number of typed words per minute.
  • A typing word error is any typing word with one or more errors in it.
  • The net speed score is the gross speed less a penalty of 2 typing words per typing word error, per minute.
  • The best speed is the highest net typing speed.
  • The accuracy score is the number of correct keystrokes, divided by the overall number of keystrokes completed.

Video

Here is a video that explains more about how UltraKey Online works.

Our Experience

I am very pleased with our Family Subscription to UltraKey Online.  Before using it with our kids, I spent some time exploring the instructional interface, and the management dashboard to familiarize myself with the program.

In the “Dashboard” section, I can set goals and choose various settings.  I can also let my older kids set their own goals and give them more freedom to create their own unique experience with the program.

All three of my older boys (ages 17, 15, 13) have used this program for 20 to 30 minutes almost every day.  They all love using it.  Two of the three boys are audio visual learners.  One of the three boys can easily learn from just about any kind of program regardless if it is audio visual or not.  This program has met the needs of all three of them.

Two of my younger kids have also used it a few times a week though they are proceeding much slower than the older kids.

The fact that the kids can play the video lessons, and listen to the instructions, and then follow the examples has been a great help to them.  They started out completing the introductory videos, setting up his dashboard preferences, and set their typing level to beginner and practice level to heavy.  At the end of practice each day they do skills checks and typing tests.  Each day they practice, they make more and more gains in this program.

The 13 year old has improved from typing 7 words per minute to 27 words per minute with 99% to 100% accuracy consistently.

He just finished the program two days ago, got his diploma, and asked me to wipe the program clean so he can start over and improve his score.

After he started over and rewached everything from the beginning, his first few lessons and skill checks he was already mastering 34 words per minute.  We will see if he maintains that and continues to improve.  He is highly motivated to master this program.

My 15 year old really loves this program too.    He has improved from typing 10 words per minute to typing 24 words per minute with 100% accuracy.

Here is an example of the progress the 15 year old made during three of the lessons and skill tests.  Each day he worked through the program, I could see that he put in his best effort.

Skills test 1: 10 words in 1 minute 96%

Skills test 2: 20 words in 2 minutes 99%

Skills test 3:  22 words in 2 minutes with 99% accuracy.

and so on.

Every day when he is finished, he prints out a report of his skills check.   It records what he typed, for how long, how many wrong keys, missed keys, additional keys, etc and generates a score of words per minute/accuracy percentage/result of passing or not.  This has been great feedback for him.

My 17 year old is an independent learner.  He has taken a typing class before, but did not have this kind of instant feedback to his efforts and see these kind of results.  He is really enjoying this program and has improved from typing 15 words per minute to currently typing 30 words per minute with 99% to 100% accuracy.

UltraKey Online Family Subscription is great for a wide range of ages in the family.  My kids are enjoying using it.  The younger kids need more time and practice than the older ones to grasp the concept, but they too are doing really well with the program.  I hope to start my youngest son as well as my husband and myself as students on it soon since we have the large family subscription with space for up to 8 people of any age from the same family.  I can’t wait to see my own typing skills improve as much as I have watched my kids skills improve.  The results from this program are very impressive!

Social Media

Be sure to check out Bytes of Learning and the UltraKey Online Family Subscription on their social media links for all the latest news, updates, and product information.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bytesoflearning/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/BytesofLearning

Blog https://www.bytesoflearning.com/blog

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using this product in their homes.

Please share.

CompuScholar Java Programming Review

Computer skills are almost a necessity in the world we live in today.  Very few interactions in our modern world escape the influence of these devices.  If you want to help your kids get a good foundation learning how to use computers, then check out the products CompuScholar, Inc. has to offer. They have a wide variety of easy to learn computer curriculum for kids from 6-12 grades.

We recently had the opportunity to write a review for CompuScholar.  For this review, they gave us the option to choose from three of their outstanding courses:

Java Programming ,


 Digital Savvy ,

Web Design

My oldest son researched each one in-depth and we found out they are all terrific courses!  He was so excited and wanted to use all three classes.  He eventually chose the Java Programming course for this review.

The course is completely self study online.  We printed off the course syllabus so he would have a physical outline to see as a visual aid as well as using his dashboard on the computer.  The course syllabus is laid out very nice and has the week listed, the reading and objectives of each lesson, and the corresponding labs and helped us get a good overview of the course.

The Java Programming course is easy to follow step by step and understand the goals and what you are working on.  Each lesson has a video as well as written text.  As you work through each chapter lesson and project progressively building upon each concept.  If you make a mistake you can retrace your steps and figure out where you messed up.  Then complete one section at a time, and then a quiz, before moving forward into the next lesson.

Summary From James age 16:

“I like using the Java Teen Coder Course. It has been great for me. I have learned many new things.  I learned the E.N.I.A.C. was the first reprogrammable computer.

I like the fact that there is a video and text to each lesson.  Both the video and the text are very easy to follow and understand. The layout of the lessons is very easy to navigate and find what you are looking for.

I like the lab projects I have worked on so far.  It is cool to see my work on the screen.  I have enjoyed using this program very much.”

Java Programming

Online Course Self Study Course

Retail $15 / month or $120 / year subscription.  If you choose the 1 year subscription, you can add additional children in for $40.

27 Chapters & Quizzes & AP Exam

Projects & 20+ Hours Hands On Programming Lab

Free, Comprehensive Technical Support

Self-Study at your own pace

Step-by-step lessons

Integrated instructional videos

Lesson quizzes, chapter tests

Programming and computing projects with easy-to-follow solutions

Projects & Lessons

The program is flexible and you can complete lessons and projects at your own pace.  There are 27 Chapters that contain about 97+ lessons. Some chapters have only 3 lessons and some chapters have 6+ lessons.  Some chapters have only 1 Lab project and some chapters have multiple Lab projects to complete.   The lessons can be accessed 24 hours a day 7 days a week with an internet connection from any HTML5-compliant web browser on standard computers, laptops, or tablets.

Though it is flexible, it is recommended to do 1 chapter per week plus the final review over the course of 30 weeks.  The way we planned our course is that we decided what time we had available and when we wanted my son to finish the class, and then figured out the number of chapters he needed to complete each week to finish the course at that desired time frame.  If you plan to finish in the recommended 30 weeks for example, you will need to do a chapter a week and at least a lesson every day or so to keep up the pace of completing this course within this time frame.   If you planned to go faster and do the course in about 3 months, you would need to do about three chapters a week.  You can take longer than recommended or finish sooner if desired.  It is up to you how much time you want to spend on the course.

Sky Art Cloud project example from Java Programming

Some of the Java Programming Lab projects kids make in this course include:

Create a Checkerboard screen pattern

Identify and hunt program bugs

Create a race with a track and racer.

Phone Dialer

Create a pizza ordering screen.

Calculate Baseball batting statistics.

Create game pieces or classes.

Create Game for MidTerm project

Create a Math Factory that converts decimals.

Create a program to convert addresses to a file.

Create a method of monitoring algorithyms.

Create a Sky Art Cloud Scene

Create a diagram of a composite class

Create a shared image directory and web page

Create JavaDoc HTML

Final Project

Guided Projects

and more.

Requirements:

Java Programming course requires internet access and use of a computer, laptop or tablet with operating system: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 Mac OS version 10.7 or higher.  It also requires familiarity with using a keyboard and mouse and the basics of how to select and run programs, navigate application menu systems, and generally interact with the operating system on your device.   Kids taking the Java Programming course should know how to load and save files on their computer. If they do not have these minimum skills, then parents are encouraged to consider having their kids take the Digital Savvy course before taking Java.

Video:

Video that explains how Java Programming course works:

AP Computer Science A Exam

If your child desires to take the AP Computer Science A exam, this course is on the College Board recommended list. The Java Programming course will teach them all of the Java skills required for the test and no pre-requisites are required.

Social Media

Homeschool Programming
Facebook – www.facebook.com/HomeschoolProgramming
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HSProgramming

CompuScholar, Inc
https://www.facebook.com/CompuScholar
https://twitter.com/CompuScholar

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using CompuScholar courses in their homes.

Please share.