The rise of computer-based testing for grades 3-8 has been rapid and transformative. The majority of state-mandated standardized tests are now administered digitally. In fact, according to a 2016 study by EdTech Strategies LLC, in 2016 "...only 15 percent of the over 800 tests being offered to grade 3-8 students [were] available in a paper-and-pencil format." (EdTech Strategies, Pencils Down: The Shift to Online & Computer-Based Testing)
Keyboard fluency has a dramatic effect on students' ability to show what they know on standarized tests. When students know how to naviagate a keyboard, they can focus on crafting strong responses. Now that many students are typing responses to short-answer and extended-responses test questions, many schools are feeling a renewed urgency to adopt a keyboarding program.
Keyboard fluency has long been a component in the Common Core State Standards. According to Literacy W.4.6, fourth graders must "demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting." Fifth graders should be able to type a minimum of two full pages in one sitting." However, because keyboarding skills were not previously assessed by states, many school districts were slow to address keyboard fluency as part of their balanced literacy instruction.
That's where we come in! QwertyTown is the perfect program to help your students develop the keyboarding fluency they need to be at their best come exam time. Our curriculum was designed by classroom teachers and literacy specialists. The avatar store and QwertyCoins economy support replayability and a desire to continually improve. Head2Head and the Friends List allow students to apply their burgeoning keyboard skills in authentic ways. QwertyTown was designed to make keyboarding instruction powerful, engaging, and efficient so that your students can spend less time hunting and pecking and more time focusing on doing their very best writing.