Full name: SpongeBob SquarePants
Occupation: Fry cook at the Krusty Krab
About: He lives in a pineapple under the sea with Gary, his pet snail.
Combines Traditional Drills with Silliness
The passage above is a sample of what kids might type as they learn to keyboard in the new SpongeBob SquarePants Typing. The software also includes traditional drills such as typing, "jkjk fdfdf jkl; fdsa," but the mundane is interspersed with amusing passages about SpongeBob and his friends.
5 Typing Games
The program lets kids play five typing games, practice typing nautical nonsense, or focus on sequential typing instruction. The sequential instruction, which teaches home row keys, keyboard familiarity, common letter combinations, capital letters, numbers, and punctuation, is part of the "Bikini Bottom Typing Tournament." SpongeBob has entered the tournament but, unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to type. To keep SpongeBob SquarePants from becoming SpongeBob LoserPants, players compete for him.
The competition takes kids through 17 sequential typing lessons. Each lesson consists of a tutorial, a drill, keystroke practice, an activity (which can be one of the five typing games), and a quiz. The lessons track the child’s progress in terms of "words per minute" and keyboard accuracy. You can’t skip a lesson, although you can test out of it.
The five games provide kids with crazy ways to play with SpongeBob and his friends, including typing through mazes and races.
At times, the characters’ chatter can become annoying because their comments repeat too frequently, but that chatter can be turned off.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the bottom line: SpongeBob SquarePants Typing isn’t as comprehensive as Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing or Typing Instructor, but it’s more fun. It’s an entertaining way to introduce kids to typing.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.