Right back at the start of July, I blogged about returning to touch typing to try and up my speed. I'd managed 40.9 wpm previously, then after a quick bash on Mavis Beacon, I hit 43.0 wpm. It was my plan, that either at home or at work as part of my training, I'd beat that.
In both locations, though, I couldn't seem to log into the program. I downloaded it a few times, but it wouldn't work. I tried Klavaro again, another free package that I'd had some success with before. At work and at home, though, I couldn't get that working either. I put the typing on the back burner and hammered a few other blogging projects instead.
In a recent 1-1 in work, my new line manager and I agreed we'd look around for something else. She found BBC Dance Mat, a free typing tutor aimed at primary school age kids.
It's very bright, colourful and musical, with animated characters guiding you through the keys, but the underlying teaching is effective. I spent an hour each work day over the last couple of weeks working through the games and levels. The lessons get progressively more difficult, and include the full range of keys and letters. They come to a close before you can develop to a decent adult standard, though, so you don't quite get the full benefit that you might from Klavaro or Mavis Beacon. But it's free, so you can't complain.
By the time I'd finished the last level, I'd hit 47 wpm. If it works for me, it will for you!