• Ballyland enables safe and easy play and learning by all children
• The 'Any Key Goes' game is specifically designed to assist children who are blind to develop essential foundation keyboarding and keyboard ‘mapping’ skills that will benefit their future use of computer technology
• The Key Games gamify the formal use of Enter key, Spacebar, Escape key and Left and Right Arrowkeys. While useful for all children, these keys have particular importance for children who will in the future rely on the keyboard to navigate and control the computer by way of screen reading software. The keys that are used in the Key Games are the same keys that in the "Any Key Goes" Entry Level correspond with the signature sounds of the five Ballylanders, which makes it easier for children to memorize their location.
• It's important to note that the sounds are not based on an alphabetic structure, but certainly not randomly chosen either. In order to support young children who are blind in their efforts to ‘mentally map’ the computer keyboard without sight, categories of sounds/images correspond with categories of keys. Please refer to the list with sounds on this Ballyland Keyboarding webpage for more details.
• The inclusive design helps young children with general learning disabilities also interact more effectively with the computer.
English as Second Language support
Ballyland is widely used to support the language and speech development of students, including those who are from non-English-speaking background (the Any Key Goes level has optional spoken descriptions of each sound).
General skills development
The program enables young children to play independently for a short period of time, and to safely explore the keys of the QWERTY computer keyboard.
Ballyland Keyboarding supports:
• Active and experiential play
• Early keyboard awareness
• Preliminary keyboarding skills
• Spatial awareness and 'mapping'
• Cause & Effect concept
• Early literacy and numeracy skills
• Listening skills (also used by speech therapists, children with hearing impairment)
• Speech development
• Fine motor skills
• Sorting and Matching
• Understanding the world