asdfg ;lkjh. Seem familiar? No, it’s not online cursing. Those are the home keys on a computer keyboard that, at one time, we either formally or informally learned. How did you learn how to type? Was it during visits to the computer lab back in middle school? Was is through having to keep up during AIM chatting in high school? Maybe it was just because your blasted teacher made you turn in typed book reports…so you struggled your way letter by letter until one day, before you knew it, your words per minutes were that of a veteran secretary? Whatever scenario you can relate to, you are now a pro.
Here’s my story. . .
Way back in whatever grade it was, my Dad spotted a Scholastic book order form on the dining room table. “Maybe it’s about time you learn how to type. Why don’t you pick software from here,” he said pointing to the form. I picked Mario Teaches Typing. Needless to say, my dad wanted me to pick Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing. It was a classic. But, being my dad, he had to keep his word. I chose Mario, so Mario became my typing guru.
In Mario Teaches Typing, players/students learn how to type (using all ten fingers!) at their own pace. Players must pass one level to move into the next, but have opportunities to return to previously passed levels for additional practice. A players advance, levels become more challenging. These levels include, in advancing order, individual letters, words, sentences, and eventually paragraphs. And, most impressively, Mario dissuades the cheater in us all! During many, if not all, according to my recollection, there are animated left and right hands that mimic the proper fingers. For instance, if you are asked to type a “y,” then the right hand’s index finger would light up.
Yes, for three reasons.
(1) Bonus points. Players are encouraged to look at the screen instead of always at their fingers. If the player pays attention to the screen, then there’s an opportunity to earn bonus points for hitting the correct letter. The bonus letter is displayed fleetingly. This motivates students to keep eyes on the screen and not glued to their hands. Memorization is rewarded.
(2) Praise from Mario himself. Mario congratulates players for each level passed. Additionally, a report card provides both positive and negative feedback (words per minutes, commonly mis-typed letters, etc.). The idea is that players strive for improved report cards with each session.
(3) Mario’s my friend. Mario’s everyone’s friend. He’s a familiar character to generations before and after me. We all want to make Mario proud. (Sorry, Mavis Beacon, but I don’t know you.)
Mario. Not only are you my typing guru, but my hero too.
Review by SuperKids Software – http://www.superkids.com/aweb/pages/reviews/typing/2/mario2/merge.shtml
YouTube, 5-minutes of Mario at various levels! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQbxoOxxNiE