Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 10

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 10

Spring 2000 Software
Ages: 8 & Up
Publisher: Mattel
Price: $49.99
Review:
From the advent of educational software, “Mavis Beacon” has been synonymous with computerized keyboarding lessons. Now in its tenth edition, the best-known program to teach typing has added some key features to its time-tested and polished, instant-feedback approach. The graphic presentation is conceptually a classroom—and Mavis is the teacher in charge. Answering a few registration questions to start helps the program customize the curriculum for you personally (kids, teens and adults can use it). The new Ergonomic Checklist instructs in correct posture and positioning at your keyboard and workstation—and includes a video on proper ergonomics. But the heart of the program remains the practice lessons—most of them breezy and painless, mostly simple lines of letters designed to build speed and accuracy in using just a few keys at a time that evolve into sentences and paragraphs in later lessons. Mavis provides immediate analysis, nonstop explaining, encouraging you to move on to the next lesson, suggesting ways of improving on the previous one. When lessons get repetitive, this edition detours temperamental typists into the new Game Hallway where eight arcade-hybrid action games test typing skills in the program’s most graphically energized segments. Mavis tracks each user’s performance throughout the lessons, so you know as you approach your “wpm” goal. The box cover claims you’ll improve speed and accuracy in 15 minutes a day—but these lessons are so effortless you’ll probably work longer.
Don Oldenburg   ©2000 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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