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"GIVE WINGS TO YOUR TALENT" is what they believe at ZAVO

At TypeTopia, we have been working with quite a few schools for years, offering the TypeTopia typing course school-wide to pupils. One of those schools is ZAVO, a secondary school in Zaventem, Belgium.  

ZAVO scholenactie

"GIVE WINGS TO YOUR TALENT" is what they believe at ZAVO and for 8 years now, TypeTopia has been doing its bit by jointly offering the TypeTopia typing course. You could say it has been a successful school campaign. High time to interview the management and ICT coordinator about how they go about it.

Typewing

Interview with ZAVO

Fabian Willems
Fabian Willems
Campus director
Ingrid Vermoortel Secretariaatsmedewerker
Ingrid Vermoortel
Secretarial staff member
Tom Peeters ICT-Coördinator
Tom Peeters
ICT Coordinator
What kind of school is ZAVO?
At ZAVO, we are convinced that the primary task of education is to give pupils both roots and wings. How do we do that? By approaching our pupils in a personalised way.

We are a school that is all too aware that we are educating the generation of tomorrow. We are always looking ahead so that we can offer you progressive education that will help you shape your future.

ZAVO is a progressive secondary school, in which technological developments have their place and sustainability is central. In a rapidly changing world, we invest in innovative education that responds to the specific needs of students and society.

We teach young people to take care of themselves, to freely express their needs and to take responsibility for their actions. We make them self-reliant by guiding them to make thoughtful, responsible choices.
Why do you think it is important that your pupils learn to touch type? How does this connect to your mission & vision?
At ZAVO, we decided to provide each student with a personal laptop 10 years ago. One of the reasons was that we felt it was important for students to learn to work correctly with a keyboard and also in an ergonomically responsible manner. Also for the future, we believe that not only fast and correct typing but also a correct posture behind a keyboard, screen or laptop is essential.

We also think it is important that children learn things independently. They can follow and plan the TypeTopia course very independently. If there is time left over at school, they can continue with TypeTopia there too.
How did you decide to choose TypeTopia?
We were looking for an online typing course in combination with our laptop and AZERTY keyboard where students can work independently. There was really no other option. And 8 years later, we see no reason to look for it either.

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All your pupils learn to touch type with TypeTopia in their first year at secondary school. How does that work organisationally?
Exactly, we have decided to have our pupils learn to touch type with TypeTopia at their first year in secondary school.
Every year, we supply a list of participants and receive a list of licence codes in return.  It is actually quite simple.

There is no further burden on our server or school systems as it is all done online.
Do your teachers have to guide the pupils a lot during the typing course?
No, not really. The programme has its own planning and personal online guidance that allows the students to work independently.

However, we have set 6 deadlines to check the progress of the students. The teachers also have a login and can access the student monitoring system. We check how far they have got and where necessary we give them extra encouragement.

Our teachers are thus more like a coach than a teacher in the classical sense and that suits us well.
How long do the pupils take to do this, and do all pupils succeed?
We give them a year to complete the course. Within that time, almost everyone passes.
How many of your pupils have learned to touch type in recent years and have passed the TypeTopia exam?
We started eight years ago and have been calculating backwards for a while, but by now we have taught 3250 pupils to touch type thanks to TypeTopia.
Does it also work for students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia?
Every year there are pupils with dyslexia. But we see no difference in whether or not they pass the typing course. TypeTopia has special dyslexia settings and these apparently work well for these pupils. The small percentage that does not pass the course is more likely to be due to a lack of discipline.
What do you think is the secret behind the design of the typing course at TypeTopia?
The programme is cleverly put together. The combination of the adventure, the gamification and the personal coaching allows the students to do the course independently, the tracking system... more coaching than traditional teaching.
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Are there any points we can improve on?
It would be useful if TypeTopia could be easily linked to systems such as Smartschool, Office 365 or Google Workspace. That would improve the initial registration even more.
Furthermore, we are a secondary school, the practice texts are a bit childish for some children. When the 13+ version goes live in Flemish, that could be something for us too.
Would you recommend other schools to also offer TypeTopia to their students?
Yes, indeed. Actually, students, teachers, management and parents are all very satisfied and we can recommend every school to do this. It requires little extra effort on the part of the teachers and we teach the pupils a skill that they can immediately use at school and later during their studies or working life.

Would you also like to offer a touch typing course from primary or secondary school so that your pupils are well prepared digitally for their future? Then the online touch typing course from TypeTopia is what you are looking for.

More and more attention is being paid to typing at or provided through school. The need is clear, because the computer has become an indespensable part of education. Children who can type well have a head start for the rest of their lives.

Kinderen die typecursus doen op de basisschool
  • Typing without effort.
  • 100% focused on formulating content.
  • Enormous time gain, the rest of your life.

It is the task of schools to prepare children well for their (digital) future, so it is a logical choice to pay attention to this important skill.

At TypeTopia, we have developed two options for schools to offer a touch typing course for their school. One option where the school pays for the licenses and the teacher follows the children through the student tracking system. And a second simple option where the school sends an offer on behalf of the school. But the parents themselves decide whether their child joins and orders.

Voor beiden opties hebben we tijdelijk een geweldige korting van wel 60 EUR per leerling. Van 159 EUR nú tijdelijk voor 99 EUR.