What You Need to Know About Learning to Type

UltraKey Online Family Subscription

I am excited to be able to review the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning.

UltraKey Online Family Edition
 

For my family, it was perfect timing.

Because the plug-in for the typing tutor we used was no longer compatible with our browsers, we needed to find an alternative.

That is if my daughter wanted to continue her keyboarding lessons.

So, I’m very grateful to Bytes of Learning and their nearly 30 years of experience creating typing software.

UltraKey Bytes of Learning
 

My daughter can continue her typing lessons and…

(Added bonus) I can correct the hot mess that I call typing.

How does it work?

UltraKey Online is a web-based application. That means I don’t have to install and download it on the computer.

A relief for those who have computers with memory at or near capacity.

Describing it as a web-based application means that it is not a website, even though you access the application on the Internet. So, there is no added information. Everything is relevant to learning proper keyboarding technique. There are also no sales pages within the application.

The fact that it is a plug-in free application was a plus for me. I don’t have to hassle with changing browsers or settings for UltraKey Online to function properly. And I don’t have to install or update additional plug-ins.

Which makes working in the UltraKey Online application very user-friendly.

Even registration is simple and straightforward. From start to finish, a Family Subscription can be set up in moments.

Before getting into the UltraKey Online instructional interface, however, a subscription key must be purchased from Bytes of Learning.

The UltraKey Online 1-Year Family Subscription is available at 3-user, 5-user, and 8-user levels. Pricing for the 1-Year Family Subscription is $29.95, $39.95 and $49.95, respectively.

Once you purchase the appropriate subscription, you will receive a registration link.

Your subscription is created by clicking on that link and registering at the UltraKey Online registration desk.

 

From here, you go to

  • the terms (hopefully you read them)
  • entering your identifying information
  • a reminder of your expiration date and notice that your subscription will not automatically renew
  • a login name and password creation

Once that is done, you are taken to the access link page.

And you are given the option to have your information sent to your email or copied to your clipboard.

 

I suggest having it sent to your email.

If you have single mom homeschooler brain like I do, you need everything written down.

And you need to be able to access it from any location or device.

You’re Registered. Now what?

Now, I want to introduce you to the Welcome Page. This is where you will enter each time you log in.

 

On it, you will see sections titled:

  • My Dashboard
  • My Instruction
  • My Account
  • My Subscription

I know some of us might get excited, want to see what UltraKey Online can really do and head straight for My Instruction.

But, I beg of you to be patient.

Because as leaders of our homeschool, we must be familiar enough with the product to prepare ourselves as teachers.

And to prepare our students for what they will encounter.

Keeping this in mind, the first tool I suggest clicking is My Dashboard.

There, you will find controls to help you enroll your students (including yourself), manage your family settings, and manage your students.

Managing family settings are different than managing students in that changing the family settings affects everyone.

Whereas managing students helps you monitor and control the tools for each individual student.

In Student Management, you can review, set, reset, and create:

  • Goals
  • Student Settings
  • Passwords
  • Records
  • Reports
  • Certificates

Once you are comfortable with your initial settings (because you can adjust them as needed), feel free to enter your My Instruction section.

As if you were a student, UltraKey Online becomes your teacher in the My Instruction section.

You will use the same interface as your student.

In fact, according to the User Guide (located under Helpful Resources within My Instruction),


My Instruction is provided to family managers for three purposes:

  • Learn about correct keyboard technique, by using the program for personal development
  • Experience the instruction and optional tools in advance of the students
  • Use UltraKey Online as a group teaching tool, with a whiteboard or projector

We cannot overstress the importance for family managers to use My Instruction extensively, prior to using it with students.


And I wholeheartedly agree.

Because UltraKey Online ‘can teach the teacher just as well as it teaches the students.’

The user interface is robust and filled with media-rich instruction.  So, becoming familiar with UltraKey Online before using it with your student is essential.

Otherwise, the many options for customization could seem confusing.

Of course, my daughter was just fine with that decision. She got to take a break from one of her regularly scheduled courses while mom did some homework.

How it helped me

I must admit it took me longer to post this review than others. Not because I had to make a lot of edits.

Although, I did make a few.

No. it took me longer because I focused on correct keyboarding technique.

I had to unlearn my inefficient typing skills.

I could even re-do a skill check as I improved.

And that’s because UltraKey Online is success-based learning. Meaning there are set goals and rewards (congrats) as you meet them.

It’s about getting the skills and mastering them.

Not just playing games.

 

How it can help you

In doing this research to prepare to teach my daughter, I realized UltraKey Online would also be a great tool for single parent homeschoolers who were looking for a career upgrade.

Perhaps you want to transition to virtual assisting, or copywriting or even blogging.

The proper skills learned in UltraKey Online can work for all those career avenues. And many more.

So, I eagerly went through each lesson as a beginner.

And I did it with the understanding that I was unlearning bad habits and replacing them with correct ones.

That I was going to increase my work output just by learning proper posture and technique.

In this way, not only could UltraKey Online be a bonus to my homeschool, it could be a bonus to my clients and ultimately, my income.

To My Learning

When I entered the My Instruction section, I was brought to the Home screen.

This screen was a pleasant surprise.

 

Many typing software tutors go on and on about the proper positioning of the fingers.

Very few begin with proper positioning of the body.

I appreciated that UltraKey Online took the time to place that immediately after the introduction. Even before learning about finger placement.

Being a web copywriter and blogger, I understand how tiring it can become at the keyboard and computer screen for hours at a time.

Proper posture can alleviate additional stress and injuries.

Look at the button labeled Stretches.

Yes, UltraKey Online takes you through a series of guided stretches to keep you safe from injuries as you learn and perfect your typing technique.

Also, on the home screen are a set of buttons under the header ‘Keys to Success’.

Other than it being a clever title for a header, the other buttons allow you to customize your user experience.

My Goal allows you to set your goals or adjust them.

My Settings adjusts UltraKey Online to suit your needs.

The Welcome screen is under the My Learning button.

My Reports lets you view your reports, copy your most recent typing to the clipboard and print certificates.

What if you already know all this?

Up until now, I’ve been describing the UltraKey Online Family Subscription as if you were not familiar with UltraKey or Bytes of Learning.

But what if you are?

If you are asking what makes UltraKey Online Family Subscription any different than say the UltraKey 6 Family License (still on the Bytes of Learning Product page), there are two obvious differences.

Obvious Difference Number One – How it is accessed

Where the UltraKey Online Family Subscription is a web-based application, UltraKey 6 Family License is installed on the computer.

Yes, it is cloud-based and can serve up to 8 students on 3 computers. However, it will not work without installation.

Which may not be an option if you’re sharing a computer and memory is becoming limited.

(You know, between Minecraft based lessons, Evernote and Zoom…)

Now, if you are in a remote area where Internet service is sketchy, then the Family License may be the better option. But, for those who want to save memory, UltraKey Online Family Subscription with your choice of user levels is best.

Obvious Difference Number Two – The Game Zone

This is an area that provides fun while promoting typing fluency. It doesn’t stress complete accuracy which helps keep it fun.

My favorite is Spelling’s Important. Mainly because I write (a lot) and many times a word that looks perfectly correct is an often-misspelled word.

It will be interesting to see which of the 6 games my daughter will enjoy most.

That will be an update.

Who is it for?

At this point, I would recommend the UltraKey Online Family Subscription to families who don’t have access to many separate devices. Yet, each student needs their own, private account.

I would especially recommend it to single parent homeschoolers who want to skill up.

In fact, the only real downside I find to this program is that there is no way to restore a record once the student has been purged.

And once an account has been used in the given year, it can’t be cleared and used by another person.

But, I guess that is why it is a red button process.

However, because UltraKey Online is an amazing teaching tool, and because the family subscription price is less than dinner out, I would request to renew next year.

Are you ready to upgrade your skills (and those of your student) with TopTenReviews’ #1 typing software recommendation?

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