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Typing is a skill that many of us take for granted, but for growing children, it is important that they become proficient in word processing as early as possible. So much so that there are numerous apps now available to help children as young as three years old learn how to use a keyboard, even on the iPad. Keyboard Explore is a very easy-to-use app, providing a limited number of features, but it presents them well and is quick and responsive. It's a useful tool when helping a young child learn how to type.
The app starts by asking if you are using an onscreen or physical keyboard. By offering support for both, it also allows children to learn to type on touch-screen devices. The app interfaces with the child the same way regardless of the type of keyboard used. Type a letter and it will appear on the screen and the narrator will announce it. You can change between uppercase and lowercase and there is always an example to go with each letter or number. Other keys, like commas, question marks, and slashes are not explained (it will simply ding at you if those keys are hit), but the letters and numbers interfaces are both very well designed, and there is an option for a Spanish keyboard, as well.
Keyboard Explore is an easy-to-use app with limited features and a very basic interface, but it manages to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use tool for young children learning their letters and numbers, as well as how to type. If you are eager to find a simple tool for all three, this free app is a good place to start.
This app begins the process of teaching the letters on the keyboard. When a key on the keyboard is pressed, a fun picture is shown and sound for that letter is played (for example A for alligator.) Uppercase or lowercase letters can be selected for display. Either an external keyboard or the iPad's onscreen keyboard may be used. Touch the letter to hear its sound, touch the picture to hear the description repeated. With clear, uncluttered screens to accommodate for low-vision, this app can be used to familiarize the student with the keyboard before moving up to 'Miss Sues Keyboard Fun'.