Doorway Text Type, the massively used Touch Typing Tutor for visually impaired (VI) learners has undergone a very important upgrade.
– Phase 1 is mostly a replacement for Text Type 2 with a few additions.
– All the same features are there except for Practice Talking Keyboard. This feature will be included in Phase 2.
– The menus look rather different, however, we think they are an improvement, as they make the available options clearer.
– The menu page shows the exercises that can be chosen. These are identical to the those in TT2 except for the insistence that leaners repeat a line establishing the home keys, in the early exercises. This was our best response to a request from our consultant Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired, who has been consulted at each stage of the development of Touch Type.
– In that menu, the exercises, as you progress, will be marked with an amber blob or a tick. This reflects the rule built into TT3 that you may progress to the next exercise having scored 90%. Having gained 94% or more you should definitely progress to the next exercise.
However, this system relies upon users being logged onto the computer or network with their own ID. Having multiple users of the same login ID may cause problems.
– There is now a rough Words Per Minute (WPM) score. This is only available after exercise 27. Accuracy is more important than speed, however, as our QTVI has reported, occasionally a young learner will continue to type at a very slow speed, once all the letters and common punctuation are established. WPM is a motivator but a very crude score and should only be used for comparing your own speed with previous scores.
– There are fewer display options in Text Type 3 stage 1. I believe the most commonly used options are available including a rather good inverse video. Only one “indicator style” is used. If there is a demand, some enhancements to the on-screen keyboard for VI learners will be re-instated.
– Please use the full-screen option. This is what the design is based around. The screen format is more “letterbox” than in TT2. This has led to a certain amount of pressure on the vertical presentation. This was felt to be the best solution to creating multi-device activities. Please note that full-screen option does not work as you would expect on an iPad. Apple have gone their own way.
We have tested mostly in Chrome on a Windows 10 computers. Please, try other platforms and browsers. If you find a problem in Internet Explorer alone, please report it but it will not be treated as a bug, as IE is not a target browser.
If you find something wrong or unexpected about a feature, do comment. All contact will be acknowledged. We shall attempt to rectify errors in Phase 1 and certainly by Phase 2. Please use this error reporting form. The details about the system used and browser are important.
Text Type 3 Phase #2 will include various features allowing low vision users to access Text Type more independently, including
- the use of Text to speech to read screen messages and the text in exercises
- the use of the keyboard rather than the mouse to navigate the program
- the on-screen representation of all the target keyboards, Windows and Mac, US and UK layouts and Bluetooth.