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Keyboard Skins vs. Covers: The Best Tool for Learning the Keyboard

One of the biggest challenges for keyboarding teachers is to get students to stop looking at their hands when they type.

Even if one knows the keys, the temptation will always be to look down.

One great strategy is to cover the keys, hiding them from students’ eyes.

But what’s the best tool to do this? Skins? Stickers? Covers?

While each of these tools has its merits, the criteria for the best tool is that it should sufficiently cover the letters on the keys, that it’s removable, and that it feels natural while typing.

Read on for some of the pros and cons to each of these approaches.


Keyboarding skins are an easy option for covering the keyboard.

A cinch to install, skins are merely a rubbery sheet that sits directly on top of your keyboard. Each individual key is still distinguishable with a skin, but the characters are invisible.

Skins are just as easy to remove, making them useful for giving students multiple ways to practice even with a limited amount of time.

There is one major downside to skins, however, in that they don’t feel natural to the touch.

The rubbery texture can make it harder to press down on the keys. Additionally, sometimes they might disguise the bumps on the F and J keys that students use to find their starting position.


Stickers are another relatively easy way to hide the characters on the keyboard to help students learn to touch type.

In addition to being easy to use, stickers are cheap and provide a totally natural feel.

Teachers can even use color-coded stickers to remind students which fingers go where.

Another perk of stickers is that teachers can choose which keys to cover and which to expose. Unlike skins which offer an all-or-nothing approach to covering keys, stickers provide plenty of different levels of support.

The biggest downside to stickers is that they are not removable. Once you’ve applied stickers to a keyboard, they are there to stay.


Finally, covers are a fan favorite for supporting students in becoming touch typists.

A cover is merely a bench shaped structure that sits atop a standard keyboard with room for students’ hands underneath.

With a cover in place, students will be able to type away naturally on their keyboard but without being able to see where each key is situated.

They are even faster than skins to install and remove, and they still provide a totally natural feel.

The only thing to be wary of is that covers need to be high enough that students can type freely, but low enough that students can’t look under them.


Our Pick

As the easiest to use and remove, and the provider of the most natural feeling typing experience, keyboard covers are our favorite choice for a touch typing tool!

Tip: Don’t want to invest in covers for your typing class? You can also take the cover from a box of paper and cut open the sides.


10 thoughts on “Keyboard Skins vs. Covers: The Best Tool for Learning the Keyboard

  1. I am a computer lab manager in our school, and the entire student body utilizes the lab each week so I am not at liberty to cover our keyboards. What I do with my typing students is place a piece of paper over their hands with just a bit of tape at the top. Then at the front of the classroom I project a picture of a keyboard for their reference. This, at least, slows them down when they’re tempted to flip their paper up to peer at their hands. WORKS FOR ME!!

  2. I have found that the stretchy fabric book covers make excellent keyboard covers. You can feel the bumps through the fabric, but I allow the students to type underneath the fabric. Once school has started, you can purchase these on clearance for as little as 25 cents apiece! Just make sure that you buy a large size book cover.

  3. We are using some material, such as a dish towel to lay over the students’ hands. One downside is that I bought fleece and some students complain that it makes their hands hot and sweat.

  4. Although I am not an Instructor or a teacher, I think I would prefer the cover because it can be easily removed, and I would still be able to find my starting point with the F and J keys. By the way, typing.com is an excellent program for people like me who only need to improve and refresh typing and data entry skills.

    1. Colored stickers are much more useful in this situation as a teacher i know this because i use this for my students, they very much like it but also help them know where the letters are at and they don’t have to keep looking down at the keyboard I recommend Colored Stickers

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