What Are Keyboarding Covers and Skins?
At the core, instructional keyboard covers are a simple concept. By “hiding” the keys from a student typist, a typing teacher induces a physical modification that encourages students to rely on muscle memory and finger positioning instead of relying on the visual aid of labeled keys. The advantages of this approach are twofold. First, students are compelled to learn without visual cues, enhancing their memory and reinforcing the correct placement of their fingers on the keyboard. Second, this method promotes a deeper understanding of the keyboard layout, fostering a sense of confidence and independence in typing skills, eliminating “hunt and peck typing” habits.
Keyboard covers come in a wide variety of options, including learn-to-type keyboard skins or keyboard trainers (think of a tent covering your whole keyboard). Keyboard skins, also called speedskins, typically only cover letter, number, and punctuation keys. They are made of moldable plastics, are often orange in color, and fit around individual keyboard keys. Keyboard trainers, sometimes referred to as no-peek keyboard covers, sit above and around the entire keyboard and can be made of plastic, metal, wood, or even DIY cardboard. Both of these keyboard cover options encourage students to prioritize touch-typing, leading to improved keyboard memorization, speed, and accuracy.
The Power of Keyboard Modification For Typing Students:
The modification of the keyboard visibility serves as a powerful guide, steering students toward learning to type without constantly looking at the keyboard. It encourages the development of muscle memory, a fundamental skill for proficient touch typing.
Drawbacks of No Peek, No Look Keyboard Covers:
While skins and covers are useful for touch type practice, it's important to acknowledge the challenges associated with using no peek keyboard covers. Compatibility is a significant issue as keyboard skins vary across different keyboard models, and there is no universal fit option. Ensuring speedskins fit your classroom keyboards can be difficult and costly. Some students may find the transition from labeled keys to covered ones initially challenging, and no peek covers tend to be large and bulky. Classroom storage for the big, awkward size of keyboard trainers can also be problematic. Additionally, the limited visual feedback can be a drawback for those accustomed to constant visual confirmation.
Show/Hide Keyboards Offer Alternative Solution:
While keyboard covers with blank keys or no-peek trainers are a useful tool for learning, a simpler option for teaching students to master typing is available. The KeyMaster Learning Lights Keyboard has transformed typing education with its dual-purpose show/hide keys. This unique student typing tool offers flexibility and customizable settings to allow for a tailored learning experience. The Learning Lights Keyboard allows teachers to set student key visibility in any unique lighting pattern to support student success.
The KeyMaster Keyboard fosters student engagement and innovative teaching methods while providing unobstructed practice. Featuring on/off backlighting, slightly curved key surfaces, and compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Chrome operating systems, it offers a comprehensive and efficient solution for learning touch typing to accommodate typing students. This blank or visible keyboard enhances touch type mastery, accelerates keyboard memorization, and boosts typing speed and accuracy.
Traditional keyboard covers are still being used to promote touch typing, but the challenges they pose, such as compatibility issues, awkward user experiences, and an all-or-nothing approach to keyboard visibility, cannot be ignored. The KeyMaster Learning Lights Keyboard emerges as an innovative and effective solution to these challenges. With its dual-purpose show/hide keys, customizable settings, and compatibility with all keyboarding software, it not only addresses the drawbacks associated with traditional covers but also fosters a tailored and engaging learning experience. The KeyMaster Keyboard stands out as a powerful tool that not only enhances touch type mastery, accelerates keyboard memorization, and boosts typing speed and accuracy but also caters to the diverse needs of typing students, making it a comprehensive and efficient choice for educators and learners alike.