Does anybody use Tux Typing to teach keyboarding to their students. I'm trying to find an open source typing program that will work on OS X machines and this is the only one I can find. Also, I'm not sure how user friendly it will be for teachers as you have to create your lessons by importing an xml file.

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I used it a couple of years ago so am unaware of any updates. I was unaware that teachers could create their own lessons. The only ones I was aware of were preset fun activities of shoot-e-downs but the kids quickly grew tired and the aim was to score rather than to type correctly. Consequently the kids just abused the keyboards in order to get a key to fire correctly - like monkeys writing Shakespeare.

It didn't encourage me to persevere with the software.
I don't know whether it would be the best (or only) program to use for teaching keyboarding. But I do know that a lot has been done recently that make it a lot better, some of these would include:
There is a lessons part where you can create your own lessons (I don't know of any premade ones yet, but there may be soon)
It was fixed so that words now have to be typed correctly (before letters could be pressed in any order, now it makes you type them in correct order).
You can also create custom word lists (we use them for spelling words) that are used in playing the game.
I would have to say that it is much better than what it was a year or two ago. The lessons part makes it better (there is a sample lesson included, and it is not that hard to use the sample as a template - maybe that could be a project for some adventuresome students?) I think maybe with some more work that it might be able to be used soon. All we need now is the lessons, and the nice thing about this program versus most of the other "closed source" options, is that teachers can actually create and modify the lessons and content!
While I don't know whether it would still meet your requirements for a keyboarding program, I think that if you look at the latest version, you might be pleasantly surprised at the progress that has been made. The project might also appreciate any feedback that you could give them to help improve the program for use in schools, and maybe someday it will be good program to use for teaching keyboard.
Although not open source, I did find this free one. TypeTrainer4Mac 2.9.2
Don't know if it is any good, but thought it might offer another alternative.
Regarding TuxType, from what I see of the xml file, it might not be too hard to make a template that a teacher could then edit to fit their needs. Might be a good project for some high school students? Once a few templates were made, it would be pretty easy for any teacher (with some simple instructions) to modify and create new lessons. Thats the big advantage of OpenSource software.
Great, thanks so much for your input and suggesting, I'll take a look at them, and present this to the rest of my tech team!!
We use Tux Typing here but just as a supplemental. Mostly we use MicroType Pro though its not open source. Depending on what your goals are and what type of program you are looking for I would like to suggest Gtypist ( ). This is a text interface program and only for *nix environments, though you could use remote terminals or cygwin for windows. It has good lessons and you can easily create your own as well. You can modify it in many ways with command line options, including changing the text size (for readability), changing the error limit, and some other goodies. If you are interested I can give you my command line options for it that increase the text size and increase the error limit. You can easily modify it to your needs. If you don't need lots of pretty pictures (distractions) and mouse control it works great and is very easy on resources.

- Petaris

"The World is Open. Are You?"
KTouch works great on linux. I am not sure how easy it is to get working on a Mac, but a quick google search suggests it is at least possible.



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