Teachers’ Guide

The Teachers’ Guide is an essential resource for teachers who are new to QwertyTown. This guide will help you get your students started with Teaching Tips, Lesson Ideas, and more. Feel free to download the PDF, print it out, and make as many copies as you'd like.

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Search our website for information or our YouTube tutorials for video assistance. See our most frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who created QwertyTown?

QwertyTown was created by Second Nature Learning, an educational software company based in New York.

Who is Second Nature Learning?

Second Nature Learning was founded by Paul Garofano and David Grammerstorf, two K-12 educators. Second Nature Learning specializes in digital literacy tools for young people.

How does the Friends List work?

After completing the Level 1 challenge, your students will unlock the Friends List. By adding friends to the Friends List, they can view one another's Avatars and challenge each other to Head2Head matches. Once Qmail is unlocked, they can send messages to each other as well.

By default, your students can earn the ability to communicate with anyone in your school. However, you can change the Friends Range for your class. Setting the range to “class” allows your students to communicate only with classmates. Selecting “District” allows communication between schools. “Everyone” allows communication with the QwertyTown community at large.

What is an Avatar?

Your avatar is the character that represents you in QwertyTown. The Friends on your Friends List can see your avatar, and you can see theirs. Students can customize and personalize their avatars with an ever-growing list of items, from noses and hair to clothing and accessories.

Is QwertyTown Safe?

At QwertyTown, we take online safety very seriously. That’s why we give teachers and adminstrators the power to oversee and guide their students’ experiences in QwertyTown. Teachers can view full transcripts of their students’ Qmail messages. They can add or remove individual students’ access to Qmail and the Friends List. Teachers can even govern who their students add to their Friends Lists. We provide teachers with the tools to teach their students how to communicate online safely and respectfully.

Do you offer a free trial?

Yes! Schools may sign up for a free 30-day trial to try out QwertyTown. With your 30-day trial, you will get one free teacher account and thirty student accounts.

How much does QwertyTown cost?

Subscribers purchase their desired number of user accounts for one year. We offer discounts for large accounts. Take a look at our Pricing page for details.

Okay, I'm sold. How do I buy QwertyTown for my school or district?

Head over to our Contact page and get in touch with our Sales team to find out how to purchase a subscription for your school or school district.

Who can subscribe to QwertyTown?

We cater to schools, school districts, and at home users. For more information, click How to Buy. Click "Find a Quote" to find a package that's right for you.

How are lessons structured?

Each lesson is scaffolded. There are three stages to a lesson: Demo, Guided Practice, and Independent. In the Demo stage, students are shown how to reach for the new keys. Then students try each new key themselves.

In the Guided Practice stage of the lesson, students type patterns with the new keys. They are given help when they press incorrect keys.

In the Independent stage, students are assessed on their Speed (WPM) and Accuracy. Students type patterns with new and previously learned keys mixed together. Students try to earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medal.

What is a Time Trial?

In the Time Trial, students are assessed on their Speed (WPM) and Accuracy. Students type all keys they’ve learned thus far. These keys are typed in the context of real words. In later levels, students type whole sentences and paragraphs. Students try to earn a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Medal.

What is Words Per Minute (WPM)?

Words Per Minute (WPM) is the standard measurement of keyboarding speed. For this formula, a “word” is five characters. “Dave’s pie” is considered two “words” because there are a total of ten characters (spacebar and apostrophe each count as one character). WPM represents the number of five-character “words” a person types per minute.

Do I have to install any software on my computer?

No. All you need is a web browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer...) and an Internet connection.

Which web browsers are supported by QwertyTown?

Windows:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer

Mac:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari

*for best performance, update your browsers

Does QwertyTown use Flash?

No.

Does QT work on an iPad?

Yes! QwertyTown is built using HTML5 and JS. As such, it will work in any modern web browser. Whether you're using Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or another browser, be sure to update it to the latest version to ensure compatibility.

What keyboarding skills will I learn?

In QwertyTown, users will learn all 26 letters of the alphabet, the digits 0-9, and the following punctuation, symbols, and other keys:

Punctuation: period, comma, question mark, exclamation point, hyphen, colon, semicolon, apostrophe, quotation marks, parentheses

Symbols: forward slash, underscore, asterisk, ampersand, percent, dollar sign, number sign (pound), at

Other keys: tab, spacebar, enter (return), delete (backspace), Left and Right shift

How does Qmail work?

Qmail allows a student to send messages to people on his or her Friends List. Students unlock the ability to send Qmail messages after completing the Level 2 Challenge. Many teachers enjoy using Qmail for class communication during class or at home. Users are notified of new Qmail messages in their Friends List. Teachers have the ability to monitor all Qmail messages sent and received by their students. They may also add or remove their students' ability to use Qmail at any time.

How do students earn medals?

Based on their performance during the Independent stage of Lessons or on Level Challenges, students may earn Medals. Medals are awarded when students demonstrate Speed (WPM) and Accuracy. The benchmarks for the Medals are as follows:

Bronze- 20wpm, 92% Accuracy

Silver- 30wpm, 95% Accuracy

Gold- 40wpm, 95% Accuracy

What are QwertyCoins?

When students earn a medal at the conclusion of a lesson, they are awarded QwertyCoins. QwertyCoins can be used in the Avatar Store to purchase new Avatar Items. This provides great motivation for students to repeat lessons and try to earn Silver and Gold Medals. QwertyCoins are awarded as follows:

Bronze: 100

Silver: 250

Gold: 500