Typing Pal’s annual update was rolled out on August 25, 2022, just in time for the back-to-school season (see Druide informatique’s press release). Have you tried out all the new features? In this article, you can learn about the perks they offer you and your students.
Reviewing Language with Typing Pal
Why not take advantage of the practice texts to improve your understanding of grammar and language? Thanks to the addition of a new section of 12 texts to each collection, you can now do this very thing. The texts are inspired by the writing assistance software Antidote’s language guides, and their complexity varies depending on the collection.
Collection of Easy Texts: Plurals This section is about how to form plurals, from the general rule to the exceptions. The texts go through the different ways to transform a word from a singular into a plural. They address what to do with years like 1920s and talk about the unusual way of pluralizing some words, like children. These texts contain uppercase letters and several types of punctuation.
Collection of Intermediate Texts: Homophones and Frequent Confusions Then/than, weather/whether, your/you’re … these texts dive into the most common homophones and confusions in the English language. They explain the grammatical principles (not principals!) behind each word and illustrate them with examples. They even provide some mnemonic devices to help students remember the subtle details, like when to use to instead of too. These texts contain complex punctuation symbols like dashes, quotation marks and parentheses.
Collection of Difficult Texts: Idioms and Figures of SpeechThis collection of texts is about idioms and figures of speech. Each text focuses on a different literary device and we illustrate our theoretical explanations with several examples taken both from literature and everyday language. These texts contain the same punctuation symbols found in previous collections but use more complex vocabulary.
Where to Find the New Texts
In the student interface, the practice texts are found under the Move On tab. The new texts are at the very end. You can access them directly by clicking on the last section of the heading.
How to Change Collections
You can change the collections of texts for a given group in the admin interface. In the Activities tab, select the group and edit the collections in the drop-down menu.
Unlocking Limited Edition Badges
After the progress, performance, persistence, and mystery badges, a new type of badge is coming to Typing Pal: limited edition badges. They are the only ones that you can unlock exclusively within a specific timeframe corresponding to a particular event. For example, Typing Pal’s very first limited edition badge for your students, Back to School 2022, can only be unlocked from August 25 to September 15, 2022.
Once a challenge has been successfully completed, the badge will be displayed in colour at the top of the list. If the challenge is not completed, the grey badge will disappear at the end of the relevant timeframe. Given their fleeting availability, limited edition badges are not counted in the progress bar.
The appearance – and disappearance – of these challenges is designed to sustain students’ interest all year long. We will announce them in advance on our Facebook page. Follow us so you don’t miss anything!
Locking Panels to Redirect Your Students’ Attention
We always take educators’ requests into consideration. So, it’s thanks to you that teachers are now able to lock practice texts and improvement activities. Since game locking was already in place, you can now independently manage access to each type of activity in the Move On tab. This way, you can focus your students’ attention on the type of activities of your choosing for each of your groups. For example, you can block access to the texts and unblock them once your students have completed the exercises on the letter keys in the Learn tab.
You can modify these settings in the Group Summary. Click on the Edit button next to Configuration, then check or uncheck Allow students to access games, Allow students to access texts, and Allow students to access improvement activities. Finally, click Save.
Before we wrap up, we would like to inform you that we have started a complete redesign of Typing Pal’s computer code. These advanced efforts are already bearing fruit. We rolled out several updates this year without a single service interruption, including the addition of the features presented here. We also added new smart security measures and strengthened the algorithm that generates content for the improvement activities and the Monkeys in Jeopardy game to better prevent the accidental spelling of inappropriate words in an educational context.
We hope you enjoy exploring the new features and we wish you a great school year!