Wish List: Keyman Typing Tutorial App

As if the Keyman team needed more to do… here’s a suggestion anyway.

I am having the experience for the first time of helping an elderly gentlemen learn to type, he is a first time computer user. His goal is to type in his primary language as well as English. Since the keyboard is QWERTY he is learning to type Latin letters first with freely available typing tutorial software.

When he is ready to type in his first language, we have a Keyman keyboard available for him to work with, but he loses the benefit of an engaging dynamic tutorial software. It occurred to me that the Keyman platform is probably close to making interactive tutorials possible. The tutorial software that I’ve found all apply a similar approach of presenting lessons which are simple key sequences to type in a UI, then the student is presented with scores at the end.

Simple right? :slight_smile: My wish list item for Keyman would be to support tutorials. I think these can be made generic where lesson sequences defined in lines of a file as simple as:

lesson[1] = f j d k f j d k f j d k f j d k f j d k f j d k
lesson[2] = ffjf jjfj fjff jfjj ddkf kkdj fjff jfjj kddk dkkd
: :
lesson[6] = r u e i r u e i r u e i r u e i r u e i r u e i r u e i

For many languages it may be possible to have an algorithm create the lessons based on the keyboard definition files.



Thanks for the suggestion! Have a look at the following site: https://www.learnthaiping.com/node/2298/practice?page=1

This site uses KeymanWeb to integrate an on screen keyboard for typing practice for Thai. It is a dual-purpose site: learn to type Thai and practice the language at the same time. But that sort of thing could be possible without necessarily needing the small Keyman team to implement :slight_smile:.

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A sample example will be very useful for developers to get a head start.

@dyacob please keep me in the loop. I would like to create a tutorial for my language in the same way. We can share ideas.

Thanks Marc and Mayura. For the person I’m working with I think I will define the typing lesson sequences and simply put them into lines of a Word file that he can duplicate on a following line. Its just better than nothing. The “lesson file” I might then include with keyboard documentation to help others practice.

Searching for an open source typing tutorial that could be simply extended leads to many results found. Unfortunately, most projects haven’t been updated in years and appear to be abandoned by their original teams. I’ve sent mail to a few though, as well as to some freeware providers to find out what hey would require for adding a new script. I’ll post back if I find a way forward.

A minor update here to say I did go further with developing a document for typing exercises that begin to distribute with the keyboards I maintain. A work in progress:


The experience has been eye opening to say the least. One realization I’ve had is that there are two student communities to target. One is the student learning to type for the very first time (first time using a keyboard of any kind). The other set of students are those who are experienced typists and are just learning a new input method (for a script different from the underlying keyboard).

Tutorials that I reviewed for first time typists follow a common approach of teaching keyboard skills row-by-row, and finger-by-finger. The student is then in the process of training their hand muscles to do something entirely new and are developing the muscle memory for letter positions. The way a student learns to type letters is then driven by the keyboard hardware and its key arrangements. Repetition is key.

For an experienced typist with trained hands, the same approach would be too tedious. Exercises tailored for these students could be much fewer in number I think would be best driven by the usual alphabetical order of the script that the student would already be familiar with. I think this is a more a more intuitive way to learn for this group -I am assuming mnemonic mappings.

In both cases a training software would be extremely helpful. Regarding open source projects that could be extended for lessons, “QuickQWERTY” is appealing and appears to be in the best position to build upon.

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@dyacob I have created web layout of my keyboard. I am free, start to work on the tutorial.

If you have any progress, please share it. We can work together.