Sunday, December 5, 2010

Keyboarding Skills

When students are growing up in today's world, they are learning many different things than we did. They are beginning to learn information and show information in many different ways as well. One skill that is becoming more and more important in today's world, is keyboarding. I know when I was in school we did a little bit with keyboarding in middle school, and then when we entered high school we could sign up for it as a class. I remember we started at square 1 with the home row and that was in high school. When is the appropriate time to actually teach kids to learn this valuable skill? Is there a such thing as teaching them to early?

Dr. Z writes a little about this issue in his blog,
Dr. Z Reflects. He discusses working with a group of great 4th grade students in an amazing teacher, Amy Lockhart's classroom at Price Lab. (I have had many opportunities to work with these same students and also have had the privilege of having Amy Lockhart as my very own teacher.) These two worked together and collected information on their findings. The students learned how to keyboard in a different way than I grew up. Instead of learning the home row, they learned using three word phrases that helped them to remember different fingers positions and what keys for them to push. The information that they collected showed that the younger students in the class were quicker than that of the students who were older and the students who had a background in music caught on quicker. The students overall improved 36% on their keyboarding fluency.

This is very interesting to see and makes me wonder whether this is a best way of teaching keyboarding. Does it work better just for younger students, or would adults learning to type benefit from it as well? Should students who are younger begin to develop these skills, or is 4th grade the perfect age to start to implement keyboarding skills into their classes? Are there other methods out there that would be even more beneficial? I would love to hear how others out there learned to keyboard and if they have any answers to my questions. Also, I found a game online that can be fun and help you to perfect your keyboarding skills. Happy typing! :)

1 comment:

  1. Emily,

    I attended a Catholic school and was correct typing skills in my early elementary grades. I feel that it has been a skill that I have improved on and used throughout my life. I think keyboarding is a skill that people need to learn, at what age, I don't know. The controversary about introducing keyboarding too young becomes: Should we even teach handwriting skills if we expect students to type? If schools are moving to the 1:1 laptop initiative, what is the purpose of wasting time teaching print and cursive? Many people have their own thoughts about this.