What makes a successful typist

Touch typing is a technique that creates a structure where you have to place different fingers on specific areas on your keyboard. You are using all your 10 fingers, and each one is in charge of a section or a column on the keyboard and it all starts with the home row.

Typing is something that is becoming more and more prominent nowadays and remains a foundational life skill so getting your child to learn this skill properly is extremely necessary and will be of benefit to them for the entirety of their life. It can not only help them with their school work but can also set them up with an advantage in later life when it comes to exploring job opportunities. Many jobs in the modern world of work now require quick typing skills, but with advances in technology that’s set to become even more important.


The things which make a successful typist are:


Repetition and routine, posture, home keys, covering keyboard with skin


The first key to learning to type is learning the correct hand position. Starting with your pinky on the A key, your left-hand fingers rest on the A, S, D, and F keys. The right-hand pinky goes on the; key, and fingers rest on the J, K, L, and; keys. These keys are the home row keys. Your thumbs should either be in the air or lightly touch the spacebar key. Once you have the hand positions down, you can practice touch typing – typing without looking at the keyboard. By doing so, your muscles will memorise the movements and even key patterns. 


For example, when you type frequently used combinations such as “the”, your motor system will pick up on this. With muscle memory, you can type at a much faster speed. In addition, when you type in looking at the screen, you are able to catch errors faster. This frees up cognitive attention and processing power for the content of the task, so writers can focus on the work they are producing vs. the mechanics of recording it in electronic format.


You probably know roughly where the keys are located on the keyboard, but the goal of improving your typing skills is to do it without looking at the keys. Set yourself up for success by putting your body in the proper position for comfort and avoiding injury.


 Follow these seven steps to improve your typing posture and positioning:

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with the keyboard or laptop at a comfortable height on the table or desk.
  2. Put your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Place the screen so it’s 15 to 25 inches from your eyes, and in a position where you are looking down slightly.
  4. Keep your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and try to expose your shoulders, arms, wrists and elbows to as little strain as possible. You want to avoid developing any habits that would cause repetitive stress injury long-term.
  5. Place your left and right pointer fingers on the F and the J keys. Many keyboards have a little raised tab on those letters so you can orient your fingers without looking. Let the rest of your fingers on each hand fall on the remaining keys in the home row (D, S, and A for the left hand; K, L, and the “;” symbol for the right hand). Both thumbs rest on the space bar.
  6. With your fingers positioned on the home row, you’ll train your hands to reach all the other keys without having to look. This is called “touch typing.” Essentially, each finger is responsible for the keys just above and below the home row key it sits on. Try to imagine vertical dividers around each finger. The right pinky is responsible for the return, shift, and delete keys, and the left pinky is for the shift, caps lock, and tab keys. It may feel awkward at first since our pinky fingers aren’t always strong, but with practice, it will feel more natural.


It is recommended to use a cover to cover the keys to build up a repetitive routine and to boost your confidence when touch typing

Typing keyboard
How long does it take to learn how to touch type?

Key ingredients needed to be a successful touch typist – Motivation and concentration


People often quote Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas on how to make something a habit. In his book ‘Outliers’, he says “It takes 10,000 hours to master anything.” 10,000 hours translates into 416 days, or over a year of your life—if you practice 24 hours a day!

While that amount of time applied to typing practice might seem much too daunting, neuroscience research suggests that our brains don’t develop based on an inherent set of preprogrammed patterns. In other words, our brains are always ready for new skills. Practice leads to learning in the developing and the mature brain, and the resulting structural changes to the brain encode that learning. Once you learn the basics of finger placement and where they move on the keyboard, practicing with intention gives you lifetime mastery that will make every instance of typing easier.


The Typewiz bot helps your child to remain engaged by providing help and tips to learn how to touch type. Our bot analyses your child’s performance and encourages them to type better.


Typewiz offers a report showing how your child is progressing on the course. The report shows the following information:

  • Exercises Completed
  • Highest Score
  • 100% Scores
  • Excellent Scores
  • Average Accuracy
  • Coins Earned
  • Average WPM
  • Top WPM

Information can be shown weekly, last six months, last year, or all time. Our report has both accuracy and wpm graphs. So it can easily be viewed. Reports can be printed off. Course certificates are available to print as well. These reports often motivate children as they want to beat their wpm or exercises completed from the previous day.


Touch typing program – need to be fun and gamified like Typewiz!


It is vital when learning how to touch type it is an engaging and interactive experience. Typewiz allows children to earn an avatar as they complete each lesson in Typewiz. Thus motivating your child to learn how to touch type. Typewiz has fun and interactive typing games for your child to enjoy. Your child can compete with other children and see who is on top of the leaderboard. A virtual coin is used for each game. This is earned by your child’s performance on the Typewiz course which prompts them to achieve high scores or improve their wpm. Thus motivating them to complete exercises fast and accurately. These incentives stimulate children to complete more exercises and improve their wpm which improves their accuracy.

Best uses of Laptops for Exams

Best uses of Laptops for Exams

Using a laptop for studying and exams can have a lot of different advantages, such as faster writing; leading to more detailed and efficient note-taking, easier organisation, and easier editing. Laptops in class can also foster better collaboration with other students inside and outside the classroom. It encourages sharing information and better collaboration on group projects. A computer can also help with keeping students engaged, as it can be vital in maintaining a child’s interest in classroom topics.

Laptop for exams



Advantages to revision on a laptop are; better access and organisation of notes, easier editing, access to online study guides, and instant communication with other students if having difficulties. Students can use Google Docs or Microsoft Word docs to type up their notes and later use the search key to find specific dates and words in order to make revision easier. Both Microsoft Word and Google Docs allow students to create as many documents as they want without the fear of losing any information. All of these things can also be helpful with the student’s confidence, as it encourages them to write their own notes and to do independent research on the topics.

They can be a great help to anyone who misses school i.e. sickness.  Laptops give students access to online resources such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, and other video messaging sites, that allow them to join a class from the comfort of home, or wherever they might need to be. Zoom is incredibly handy nowadays with isolation and illness and can help keep students on track with their education. It also allows for easier access to one-on-one tutoring or even group tutoring as you can join a zoom from anywhere.

Laptop for exams



Laptops also give you access to other sites, such as YouTube, where you can look up informational videos, lessons, and study guides. YouTube is great and has some very educational videos, such as the crash course videos. As it can be a worry that students will be distracted by other videos while in school, YouTube has the option to download videos so that the videos saved can be monitored and watched offline for educational purposes. This is also helpful as videos containing very important information can be saved in case the original content poster decides to delete the video from the app. YouTube can also be a great way to access documentaries for free.

Music is another good study aid, which can be accessed for free on YouTube. Studies have shown that music actives both sides of the brain at the same time and this activation can help to maximise learning and improves memory. This can differ from student to student as sensory issues can come into play, but music can be a good way to focus, block out surrounding distractions and make tasks more fun and engaging to do. Music also stimulates and engages your brain which can modify the moods of those studying and leave them in a better position to concentrate. Music also provides a rhythm to work too that keeps you alert and on track. It can also be a good way to time how long something is taken or how long until a break.

Using technology for studying can also be a big help to those who are dyslexic. Technology can make this easier on them. Notes can be more easily written, and they can be re-read using the text to speech option. Another use for the text to speech option is for better pronunciation during the Oral exams, so you can use this function to help your phrasing and sentence structure. Audio recordings on apps such as voice memo and audacity can also help with learning and studying for the Orals, as students can record their own voices saying their pre-prepared answers and re-listen to it over and over again as practice as this is useful for retaining a language. Some students also find it helpful to record information and listen to it while they are sleeping as they believe it helps them retain the information better. Laptops can be a great way to store notes. After notes have been written you can use different sites it saves them such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc. You can also add an external drive to save the documents onto it well so you can safely back your data up.

Some helpful sites:

  • Google Drive
  • Khan Academy
  • Study Clicks
  • Spark Notes
  • Quizlet / Flashcard caps
  • Grammarly
  • Zoom
  • Audacity
  • YouTube
  • Duolingo
  • Forest / Todoist/ Tomato Timer, etc.

Some of these apps transcend to the mobile.


Minimum Laptop Requirements:

It is recommended that when getting a laptop to use for these purposes you should follow the minimum laptop requirement of having a 500 GB Solid-state hard drive and 8 GB of Ram, as a normal spin drive laptop might be too slow to process what you need. To be efficient with notetaking, your laptop needs to be up to sufficient standards. It is also recommended for your laptop but nothing less than Windows 10, though the preferred update would be windows 11.

How to best protect your laptop:

You can protect your laptop in lots of different ways but getting antivirus software is a great start. You can access some of these for free online. Backing up your computer onto a flash drive and keeping it regularly updated is another way to keep your laptop safe. Never click a link on an email from a sender you don’t know. You can also download pop-up blockers and add-blockers to allow you to set your own security measures. Google itself is also very good at filtering out bad websites; if you search the site and it does not come up then the site is potentially unsafe.

Why Touch typing?

Touch typing is a huge benefit to a student who is dyslexic. Touch typing can greatly improve predictability. It is a way to type faster and more accurately, without having to constantly look at the keyboard. Here at Searsol we have lots of camps and course centers for your child to learn this skill, as it is encouraged to learn during childhood as it can have an effect of the Lord of the Rings. A recommendation from Searsol is to try to get up to 25 words per minute (really good typing speed for exams for students with laptop extensions). Searsol offers typing courses to help you with this. A free trial assessment at any of our course centers can be booked at https://searsol.com/

Laptop for exams


New after school typing course centre in Mounttown Community Facilities, Lower Mounttown Road,Dun-Laoghaire, Co Dublin starting on Thursday 12th January 2017

Searsol is pleased to announce the opening of our new after-school typing course center in Mounttown Community Facilities, Lower Mounttown Road, Dun-Laoghaire, Co Dublin which is starting on Thursday 12th  of January 2017. There will be two classes, with the class starting time at 3.15 pm and the other at 4.15 pm.

Jackie Andrews is currently offering a free introductory first session trial of Searsol’s after-school typing courses for any child who is eight years old or older that may be interested in trying out our typing course. Our typing course is specifically designed to develop typing skills for children. Searsol has provided after-school typing courses over the last eight years in Ireland and has a high success rate of students that have successfully learned how to touch type.

During the course, the student will learn how to type correctly assisted by a qualified tutor. This course would suit children that have learning differences like Dyslexia or Dyspraxia but also suitable for any child that wants to learn how to touch type and have gained an exemption to use a laptop for exams.

The after-school typing course is starting at Mounttown Community Facilities, Lower Mounttown Road, Dun-Laoghaire on Thursday 12th of January 2017 at 3.15 or 4.15 pm. The course lasts one hour per week and the course schedule follows the school term.

To book your free trial place  click on the following link: https://searsol.com/location/monkstown-co-dublin/


What is the best online spelling and grammar software available on the market today?

In any word applications such as Microsoft Word, Google docs or Open office there is spelling and grammar checking built into the program. So why would you need to supplement this with a purchase of another product that does the check for you?


The reason why you would use a separate program to check for errors on your document is that the program you is better than the one


Features that online spelling and grammar software that offer :

  • The software can corrects entire sentences automatically as opposed to slower method of each word being checked.
  • Corrects spelling mistakes with a higher degree of accuracy compared to traditional spell checkers
  • Misused words and be added to dictionary so that the program can remember these.
  • Grammar errors are checked against a sentence to ensure that it is correct.
  • The correction is based on context and so the words provided are extremely reliable.
  • Users can work quickly and efficiently ensuring that work produced is highly accurate.


The program that we have used over the last several years has been the online spelling and grammar software called Ginger. Ginger software is an award-winning productivity-focused company that helps you write faster and better, thanks to grammar checker,punctuation, and spell checker tools which automatically detect and correct misused words and grammar mistakes. Ginger works with whichever device or platform you prefer to use. Just install the productivity app on your phone or tablet, or install Ginger on your desktop to improve your communication skills automatically.


Write unique text and enrich existing sentences with the help of Ginger’s sentence rephraser, and utilize the synonyms tool to replace boring words with script that’s much more exciting.

Avoid embarrassing typos with the spelling book, and use all the features found on Ginger Page to improve your writing skills. Write fast without fear! Whether on your computer or using the keyboard app on your phone, Ginger will correct your mistakes for you.


Any time you’re writing for business, sending an important email, or completing school assignments, you can use Ginger’s writing tools to improve your vocabulary and prevent errors. Whether using the mobile keyboard typing app or your computer’s keyboard, Ginger is the best writing solution and productivity tool available.


Use our grammar rules to ensure that your writing is as accurate as it can be. Once you’re finished, use our proofreader to check for mistakes with a single click or tap.

Improve your communication skills with our dictionary, translations, and text reader, no matter what you’re writing. Ginger Software products are suitable for both native English speakers and speakers of English as a Second Language (ESL). Write with confidence, enhance your language skills, and never worry about mistakes again.


Ginger is the only software able to correct whole sentences in a single click. It goes beyond other spell checkers, analysing the context of sentences to automatically correct unusual spelling mistakes, misused words and grammar errors. Ginger Software is not only a text correction tool, but a powerful learning platform. Ginger provides valuable writing support to its users and statistical guidance through its reporting features for educators and parents.

To purchase a licence of GInger software, click on the following link http://searsol.com/typing-centres/