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Software Review for Teachers

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UltraKey 5.0
by Diane S. Kendall, 01/20/2006

It’s hard to make a typing program exciting. The very nature of the beast is to be a taskmaster. Learning to type is just one of those very necessary skills that has to be practiced, practiced, and practiced some more. But with the launch of UltraKey 5.0, Bytes of Learning Incorporated is offering districts the ability to not only easily manage keyboarding instruction district-wide but opens up the possibility of where the practice takes place – at school or at home.

Now thanks to server –based technology student progress data can be exchanged with the central server (the UltraKey 5.0 Data Server) in real time through any network or Internet connection, whether students are learning at school or practicing at home. The same benefit goes to teachers who can review student progress at school or at home. Teachers can define and manage student instruction wherever they have a connection to a network or Internet.

 “UltraKey has been very popular in schools, but districts have asked us for a solution whose data could be managed from a central location while providing teachers full customization capabilities within the classroom,” says company president Art Willer.

“For the first time, students can learn to keyboard at school and at home while the learning is managed and reported through any network or Internet connection. Administrators can rely on the technical operation of the data server while each teacher directly manages her own classes,” he continued.

And what about the typing program itself? Its pretty basic using multimedia to teach students about posture, the keyboard and filled with multiple drills using various techniques. Not many changes from the popular UltraKey 4.0 software except for more emphasis on being able to use this software with students with special needs and users who are visually impaired by adding a choice of theme colors, text sizes and contrast levels.

The use of the software at home does require the separate purchase of the Home Edition of UltraKey 5.0. It can communicate with the school or district server software so student progress is recorded even from home. The Home Edition uses the options set by the student’s teacher at school, so the home experience is identical to the school experience.

All in all it’s a great way to get those hours of practice, practice, practice done anytime/anywhere. To try out a demo, go to: http://www.bytesoflearning.com/english/view/107

Product Information

UltraKey 5.0 and the UltraKey 5.0 Data Server are sold in school site licenses beginning at $695 for a 30-station license of UltraKey 5.0 and $500 for the UltraKey 5.0 Data Server. All school editions are networkable and include all class management and reporting tools. Attractive district volume pricing is available. Home Editions of UltraKey 5.0 retail for $49.95.

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