After the Burbank Unified Board of Education approved the purchase of mobile Chromebook carts, the members unanimously agreed to put the UltraKey 6 keyboarding program at the fingertips of students at every district elementary and middle school.
“The other thing that our students need to do is to not only have access to a computer but be able to use that computer,” commented Sharon Cuseo, BUSD Director of Instruction and Accountability, after the Chromebook carts were approved. “We haven’t had keyboarding, really, in our schools as a regular part of the curriculum, so our students need practice.”
The UltraKey 6 keyboarding program approved for BUSD is web-based, so parents can help students at home or the library. Students will be able to practice keyboarding outside of school.
All 11 elementary and three middle schools are slated to incorporate UltraKey 6 into the school program.
Burbank Unified had nearly half a million dollars in Microsoft Voucher Funds, explained Charles Poovakan, Director of Information Technology and Educational Support, after a lawsuit resulted in Microsoft paying out vouchers to school districts that could be redeemed for Microsoft software or similar such programs.
After purchasing the Accelerated Reader program and UltraKey 6, BUSD will still have more than $200,000 remaining in voucher funds.
“I know we have a lot of consternation, especially at the elementary level, of how the students are going to be taking these tests and typing,” commented Board of Education President Dr. Roberta Reynolds, referring to the Common Core Smarter Balance testing scheduled for spring 2015. “So, this is a good thing.”
UltraKey 6 keyboarding program is a highly-rated tutorial, ranked as one of the top programs for teaching keyboarding skills and isolating various types of errors in order to help students learn. The manufacturer states that students as young as six can effectively use the program and it emphasizes proper typing technique and accuracy.