Hebrew Keyboard Tutor is a tool for learning the Israeli Hebrew keyboard. No Hebrew fonts or other Hebrew applications are needed. However, your native keyboard must match one of the supported keyboards pictured on the Hebrew Keyboard Tutor home page. Hebrew Keyboard Tutor was designed for beginners, particularly those who may never have seen a Hebrew keyboard. Using animated cartoon-style graphics, the Hebrew keyboard layout is introduced step-by-step, with clear feedback to help you at your own pace.
This document fully describes how to use Hebrew Keyboard Tutor. You may print a copy of it for your own reference.
Hebrew Keyboard Tutor may also run on other Java-enabled browsers that support Java 1.1. In all cases, we recommend that your underlying hardware be rated at 200Mhz or better, that you use a screen resolution of at least 800 X 600 pixels, and that you use color settings for "thousands of colors" (16-bit color) or higher.
Overview of Exercises
A picture showing the of layout of the letters on the Hebrew keyboard is shown below. It may be helpful to look at it while reading the following description of the exercises.
In the first stage (level 1), you practice typing the letters on the home (middle) row of the keyboard. The exercise begins with the home keys (the two large ones), and gradually extends to the other fingers. The letters covered (in order of appearance in the exercise)are: khaf, khet, gimel, lamed, daled, khaf sofit, ayin, yod, shin, fe sofit. Once the exercise has introduced all of these letters, the software will repeat random sequences from the exercise to allow you to continue to drill at this level.
In the second stage (level 2), you continue to practice typing the letters on the home row of the keyboard, while adding the six letters in the center of the top row of the keyboard. The additional letters covered (in order of appearance in the exercise) are: resh, vav, tet, alef, kof, nun sofit. As in level 1, once the exercise has introduced all of these letters, the software will repeat random sequences from the exercise to allow you to continue to drill at this level.
In the third stage (level 3), you practice typing all of the letters from the first two stages, while adding the six letters in the center of the bottom row of the keyboard. The letters covered (in order of appearance in the exercise) are: he, tsadi, nun, mem, tav, bet. As before, once the exercise has introduced all of these letters, the software will repeat random sequences from the exercise to allow you to continue to drill at this level.
In the fourth stage (level 4), you practice typing all of the letters of the previous three stages and adds the last five letters to complete the full twenty-seven letter keyboard. The letters covered (in order of appearance in the exercise) are: samekh, zayin, mem sofit, pe, tzadi sofit. Again, once the exercise has introduced all of these letters, the software will repeat random sequences from the exercise to allow you to continue to drill at this level.
In the fifth stage (level 5), you practice typing all of the letters as they are randomly generated by the software.
The repetition and reinforcement of seeing the Hebrew letters many, many times is an added benefit for beginning Hebrew students. Such students may be encouraged to say the names of the letters as they appear.
Using the Software
On the Hebrew Keyboard Tutor home page, you will see several keyboard layouts commonly found around the world. You begin by comparing your keyboard to the ones pictured to find an exact match. When you click on one of the keyboard pictures, your browser will load a new page with the version of Hebrew Keyboard Tutor which matches your selected keyboard.
Only a subset of the keys are labelled, since Hebrew Keyboard Tutor is only designed to offer practice in typing the Hebrew letters. Learning to touch-type punctuation, numbers, and so on, is a more advanced skill, outside the aims of this program.
Hebrew Keyboard Tutor is delivered through your browser as a Java applet. While it is loading, you will see brief instructions for using the applet. The time needed to download the applet may vary considerably, depending on your Internet connection speed, overall web traffic, and other factors. The download time may range from less than one to more than five minutes.
If you are looking at this document while the applet is loading, you can begin to familiarize yourself with the Hebrew keyboard shown below. The two large keys on the center row are the home keys. On most keyboards, the home keys have small bumps molded into the plastic as aids to touch-typing. You can match the home keys on your keyboard to the enlarged keys (khaf and khet) shown in the middle row of the picture.
Once the applet loads, you will see a light green area on the lower right of the screen with a selection panel indicating the five levels of exercises. With the mouse, click on the level number (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) you want to use. An asterisk below the number indicates your selection.
To review the abbreviated instructions that were displayed while the applet was loading, click on the "?" symbol in the light green panel.
Note the two gray keys shown in the keyboard image. They indicate the home keys for touch-typing.
To begin the exercise, click on the "GO" button in the light green panel.
Once you click the "GO" button, an animation sequence displaying Hebrew letters will begin, and the light green panel will be replaced by a score tracking panel. Using the on-screen keyboard image as a guide, type each letter as it appears in the animation. The letter which must be typed is highlighted in yellow in the animation. If you do not know which key corresponds to that letter, wait until the letter stops moving; the on-screen keyboard image will then highlight the correct key in yellow.
Your score is displayed in the score panel. Three different measures are constantly updated:
Practice the exercise for as long as you wish. It will not stop until you choose to stop it.
To pause an exercise, press the ENTER or RETURN key on your keyboard. The animation will stop, and a "sleeping clock" icon will be displayed. You may continue the game by pressing the ENTER or RETURN key again.
To end an exercise, use the mouse to click on the "stop sign" (red octagon) at the top right of the score panel. The screen will return to the level selection display. Your score for the level will also be displayed. You may now select a new level, or restart the level you were on, and continue to practice.
Tips and Troubleshooting
Macintosh HD|Apple Extras|Mac OS Runtime For Java|Apple Applet Runner. Start Apple Applet Runner and then go to "Open Location" on the File menu and enter the URL for the Hebrew Keyboard Tutor page that supports your keyboard. These URLs are as follows:
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