Students have a lot of experience with being told what they need to believe. It is rarer for a student to be allowed to discover the truth on their own. Many instructors agree that touch typing is essential for student success in the future, both academically and professionally. But the overall goal of teaching typing will be a pointless exercise if students have no personal experience that proves its usefulness.
For some students, it is hard to move from handwriting to typing. They think that education happens with handwriting, and typing is only for phones or video games. To prove that typing is a useful tool, and thus bridge the gap between technology and education, students can benefit from a little experiment. Is keyboarding more efficient than handwriting?
This question can be answered by performing background research where the students discuss why they think handwriting is faster or slower than typing. Some curious students could even decide to use Google to find out which method is faster. This fact can be confirmed by giving students a printed page from a book and allowing them to:
a) Handwrite the printed page on a paper for three minutes.
b) Type the printed page within the same time frame.
The data should then be analyzed, comparing the student’s handwriting speed to their typing speed to figure out which is more efficient. Later, the data should be discussed: Did they encounter any problems? Do some students write with a pencil faster, while others type more quickly than they write?
Did they face many issues while writing? Perhaps they had problems like wrist pain and tiredness. The students will find that most students at a specific grade type faster than they write, and suffer less physical pain as a result. Younger students may like writing more because, at that age, it’s a faster method.
As students advance in age, their ability to type quickly and without pain will only increase, and so will their understanding of the value of the skill. These differences are based on the fact that they are now more familiar with where the keys are placed, and their typing skills drastically improved. They can now type faster than they write.
This result is a great motivator for learning how to use the keyboard. Previously, typing was all about cumbersome looking computers and typewriters used in classrooms. Typing has undergone a series of evolutions beyond the use of QWERTY keyboards.
Although QWERTY is still in use today, keyboards and computers have developed to include voice pronunciations, predictive text, and even emojis.
People who hunt and peck to find their letters already find themselves slower than people who use touch typing. The extra step of looking for letters, rather than being able to type as you think, creates a barrier to fluid communication.
As keyboards become more complex, hunting and pecking will be an even greater liability for students and professionals. Hunting and pecking can help you learn the keyboard, but touch typing will take you above and beyond, and will help you integrate your typing with a technologically advancing world.
For those of you who teach touch typing, and want to bridge technology and education in your classrooms, below are some classic tips for teaching typing.
#8 Classic Tips for Teaching Typing
1. It doesn’t matter how old your computer is: You should learn to type on a desktop computer in a fixed location. Your computer does not need to be a newer model; all that matters is that the student can feel the keys and practice typing.
2. Schedule time for each week: A 30-minute keyboarding session each week can make the difference as students try to increase their typing ability. This time can be spread out over each day of the week, or you can allot the time differently. The most important thing is that your practices happen regularly.
3. Practice with good technique: You can teach the students how to place their fingers correctly while typing. If your student learns to type but ends up with bad typing posture, her learning will be incomplete.
4. Type outside of class as well: Students should be given constant opportunities to practice, and this should not be determined by the time you spend in a formal keyboarding class once or twice per week. You can type in Google Docs, emails and blogs to keep yourself interested.
5. Involve the parents: The resources and methods used to teach the students keyboarding skills in school should be conveyed to the parents. These resources will enable the students to practice at home under the supervision of their parents.
6. Track student progress: It is advised to follow the development of the students from the inception of the formal instruction of keyboarding skills. Assessments can be done quarterly to avoid constant stress, but regular testing will help students and teachers equally.
7. Boost their self-esteem: Student’s achievements should be celebrated, so they enjoy the work they are doing. Letting parents know when students are improving will reinforce good habits and good associations with keyboarding.
8. Make it fun: Fun activities should be part of the learning process for typing so that students want to practice their work. There are loads of games and resources online that students will love to play, which makes your job easier and their job more enjoyable.
Using typing programs can bridge technology and education in a number of ways. These programs can make assessing progress, incorporating fun, giving tests, and working from home easier for teachers, students, and parents. Tutors, parents, and students should focus on making effective use of these typing programs for positive improvements.
Let me know if you have any questions.