Teaching with Typing Tournament – Best Practice

Teaching with Typing Tournament - Best Practice »

Helpful strategies

Over the years we have gathered a wealth of information relating to the way that teachers use Typing Tournament in their classes. There are a multitude of approaches. The following list sets out some of the most useful that we have found.

The teaching of efficient typing skills is a curriculum requirement

It is important that teachers have an understanding of the requirements to teach typing embedded in the various different curricula.

The Australian Curriculum

Within The Australian Curriculum, there is an implicit requirement that students develop efficient keyboarding skills. (ACELY1654ACTDIK007ACELA1433ACTDIK001).

NSW Syllabus

The Technology outcomes of the NSW Syllabus are explicit regarding the teaching of keyboarding skills and lead to the statement in the document “demonstrate confidence, accuracy and speed in keyboard skills” (Overview of phonological and graphological processing skills K–6 referencing: ENe-2A, ENe-3A, ENe-11D, EN1-2A, EN1-3A, EN1-11D, EN2-2A, EN2-3A, EN2-9B, EN2-7B, EN3-2A, EN3-5B)


ACARA, the author and custodian of the Australian Curriculum, NAPLAN and NAPLAN Online clearly expects students to have well-developed keyboarding skills to complete the type-written content of the NAPLAN Online.

Finding time in the crowded curriculum to teach typing

Teachers usually report a rapid increase in student’s typing speeds when using Typing Tournament. This means that other tasks such as writing can be completed more rapidly with the time invested in Typing Tournament being more than balanced by the savings in other areas.

How do schools implement Typing Tournament?

A little regularly is the best approach. With Typing Tournament, each student has their own account that tracks their progress word by word. This means that class sessions can be any length that suits your situation. Here are a few of the common strategies teachers use:

  • ICT lesson in the computer lab
  • Creative writing
  • Business studies
  • Use laptops one on one if there are sufficient
  • Start the day or return from morning tea or lunch to 10 minutes of typing
  • Regular typing lesson in weekly timetable
  • Use in small groups for rotations
  • Perhaps 15 minutes a day for say 2 weeks with follow-up lessons at longer intervals
  • A focus on Typing Tournament for a term followed by a term off
  • Language arts/English
  • ICT
  • Lunch time voluntary activity in the library
  • After school care
  • Use Typing Tournament as a homework activity
  • Print and send home the Typing Tournament “Home Use” letters from the Teacher Management section
  • Use the The Typing Tournament reports to see when a student last used the system

A Whole School approach is best

The teaching of typing skills, like handwriting, is a longitudinal process and needs to be introduced early to every student with ongoing practice, exposure and increasing expectations year by year. Typing Tournament gives schools an adaptable, expandable tool that goes from the rudiments of typing right through to typing speeds exceeding 100 words per minute!

Start with one class and expand to the rest

Many schools are currently in the process of incorporating the teaching of typing into their teaching programmes. Often, schools start with one class and work from there or the ICT teachers uses it with a range of classes from the beginning. Typing Tournament has been built to help teachers achieve the relevant keyboarding curriculum outcomes across all years of schooling and to teach students the vital skill of 10 finger typing.

At what grade level can we start?

Typing Tournament can be implemented as whole school strategy or class by class and is commonly used from Year 2 through to Year 12. Enhancements currently under development will enable its use with even younger students. Ideally students should be well engaged in the process by Year 3.

How much time needs to be spent using Typing Tournament?

Regularity and repetition are key when learning a kinesthetic skill like typing and like all such skills, the time taken to learn them varies greatly with the individual. Our current estimate is that students take approximately 20 hours of focused, regular use to achieve functional 10 finger typing. Younger students take longer. Investing extra time to achieve higher typing speeds is recommended.

First establish the use of the right fingers on the right keys

Most students come to Typing Tournament with well-established poor typing habits. For them to learn to type correctly it is important that they retrain their muscle memory and establish good typing habits.The Typing Tournament system senses many attributes of each typist and uses this information to manage each student’s progression, however it cannot determine whether the student is using the right fingers on the right keys. Ultimately only a vigilant teacher can ensure that students use the right fingers on the right keys. Resist the temptation to let the students type, unsupervised – particularly in the introdutory stages of the typing lessons. Time being vigilant early on will pay dividends as the students progress.

There are many inbuilt encouragements and instructions within Typing Tournament that guide students to use the right fingers on the right keys. They include:

Although these inbuilt encouragements guide students toward the use of the correct fingers on the correct keys however, it is important that teachers complement the process through direct supervision and other strategies including:


Designate a member of the class to act as a monitor to check on and encourage other members of the class to use the right fingers on the right keys. Rotate monitors throughout the lesson


Pair each student with another and periodically have them observe the other and have them encourage them to use the right fingers on the right keys and to observe correct posture and keeping their eyes on the screen

Teacher aides and parents

Use them as monitors

Learning to type is like learning to play a musical instrument

You start young with simple music, learn your scales, use correct fingering and technique, and gradually progress to harder and harder pieces.

Classroom strategies to ensure correct finger placement

Slow down and take time to ensure that all students use correct posture and finger placement from the beginning.

Whiteboard projection – Finger placement

Project Chapter 1 (Mountains) to a whiteboard and model the correct practice to the class

Whiteboard projection – Correct Posture

Project the “Posture Info” from the Typing Tournament Main Menu to a whiteboard and discuss and model with the class

Adult helper

Organise a parent or teacher aide to help monitor students and encourage them to use the correct finger placement

Class monitor

Designate some class members to monitor another student’s use of the correct finger placement. Change roles from time to time.


use all 10 helpers: Talk with the class about the need to use all 10 fingers to get the job done. Use the illustration of digging a hole with 10 helpers with shovels. Q. What is the fastest way to get the job done? A. By getting all 10 helpers digging.


musical instrument: To play a musical instrument it is important to use the correct fingers and technique. The same is true with typing. Play with the wrong fingers and you will not be able to progress very far but learn correctly and you will be able to make wonderful music. It’s slow to learn at first but the rewards come later. The same is true of learning to type.

Resetting student’s results

From time to time it may be necessary to reset the results (work done in Typing Tournament) for an individual student, group of students or a whole class. This need arises when students have been using the wrong fingers on the keys and they need to go back and redo the exercises to build correct muscle memory or some other person has typed in a student’s account. To reset a student’s results, sign as a teacher, navigate to the class and select the student, then click on “View Student History” and then under Point 2 select the Activities which you wish to reset. Choose “Delete Selected” from the side bar.

Focusing on the screen and not the keyboard

To touch type correctly students must focus their eyes on the screen and not the keyboard. The prerequisite to this skill is the establishment of automaticity in the key strokes being typed for each letter and the use of the right fingers on the right keys. Once these primary skills are established the teacher needs to encourage students to focus their eyes on the screen and not the keyboard.

Actively supervise and encourage

students that are well advanced in the establishment of automaticity and are using the right fingers on the right keys to focus on the screen and not the keyboard.

Stealth Keyboard

Once students have demonstrated that they are able to type accurately and have passed the exit tests up to Chapter 4 on the map the teacher substitutes the standard keyboard for one with all or some of the identifying letters on the keyboard removed. The lack of letter symbols encourages students to keep their eyes on the screen and to rely on muscle memory to complete their typing. Keeping keyboards from old computers and then colouring over the letter symbols with black marking pen or small blank stickers are effective ways of masking the letters.

Tea towel

Whilst typing place a tea towel over the hands. This method was commonly used when teaching students to type on manual type writers.


Have the class teacher or other teachers and parents from around the school community model good typing habits.

For teachers with good typing skills

For teachers with good typing skills

Storytelling and interviews

Many adults and older students have stories to tell about the frustration of not being able to type or the positive impact that good typing skills have made in their lives. Some can recount the difference that learning to touch type made once they acquired the skill.


There is a host of motivational devices built into Typing Tournament. Intrinsic motivators include: instant feedback on words typed, speed tests, lessons, drills and games. Extrinsic motivators include: Printed certificates, games, reward movies, collection of tokens and badges and more. Many teachers use a mix of the following to further enhance student motivation:


Typing Challenge

Certificates and reports

Speed tests

Build wall charts

Typing Tips Posters

A series of pdf posters designed to jazz up your classroom and help you to focus on teaching the crucial concepts that underpin good typing technique.  The posters will assist you in raising student’s expectations of the typing speeds that can be achieved and give a sense of context to the acquisition of typing skills.

Teaching with Typing Tournament - Best Practice »