Nothing to download, nothing to pay, today's picks offer free online touch typing lessons and typing games. Whether you call it keyboarding or typing, are teaching yourself, or looking for supplemental practice outside the classroom, these sites fit the bill.
Dance Mat Typing is a fun musical introduction to touch typing for kids seven and older. Practice is divided into twelve lessons, and led by animated characters. I recommend the full screen version (this link is just below the lesson.) Parents and teachers wanting to know what keys are taught in each level, can click over to About this Site. For additional offline practice, print out the Worksheets (look for them in the left-hand menu.)
Despite the title, there is more than one typing game here. In fact, there are six arcade-style typing games, thirty keyboarding lessons and thirty timed typing tests (with printable certificates.) The lessons feature a keyboard that is color-coded to each our of ten fingers, and each lesson introduces two keys, and then reviews all the keys from previous lessons. I found the two letter practice ("ttu uuu ttt utt") to be much more difficult than typing real words, but I already know how to type, so I may not be a good judge here.
Although there are lessons you can try without filling out the free registration, you need to register with your email address to gain access to all the features here at Good Typing. One of those features is the ability to choose your country-specific keyboard layout. The clean, uncluttered interface gets a thumbs up from me. I also like the fact that it gave me recommendations as to whether I should repeat a lesson (based on my accuracy) but still gave me the option to move ahead. Good Typing has no kid-specific features, but its straightforward approach should work with all ages.
Learn to Type offers free accounts to students, as well as a free teacher console to keep track of student progress. I found the pages a bit busy, making it difficult to navigate from one page to the next. For example, I repeated the same exercise several times before I noticed the "Skip to Next Level" link just below the typing box. They do have a games section for breaks between lessons, but none of them involve typing.
Power Typing lacks an audio tutor and has no cutesy characters, but includes lots of keyboard practice set to radio music. "Purpose of the radio is to encourage rhythmical typing. Select WPM song which reflects your typing speed and type a lesson to the song's rhythm." In addition to the Qwerty and Dvorak keyboarding lessons, there are five typing games that make typing practice fun.