Typing: The Most Important Skill Your Child Can Learn
OK, so it is actually called “keyboarding” today, but when I learned how to “type” twenty-five years ago it was on a typewriter. But the basic skills are the same and they're even more important now than they were then because so much of today's work is done at the keyboard.
Learning how to keyboard properly is critical for several reasons. One, the Business and IT Standards for Wisconsin state that students demonstrate the touch method of keyboarding on an alphanumeric keyboard at acceptable speed and accuracy levels. (Recommended minimum: five wpm x grade level). Two, with most of the state testing gravitating to timed, online, short answer format, we do not want the students searching for certain keys and only keying two words per minute (making them unable to finish the test). And three, while most kids and adults can learn to hunt and peck on their own, real keying speed depends on proper technique and PRACTICE.
So, what can you do to help your child improve?
Please reinforce proper keyboarding technique. Are they sitting up straight? Are their hands in home row position? Their eyes should be on their screen or copy NOT on their fingers. Are their wrists and fingers slightly curved? Their elbows should be at a 90° angle at their sides.
Make your child practice! If you don’t have a keyboard at home, have your student ask for a paper image of the keyboard at school. Students can practice by keying newspaper or magazine articles. They may key words from a story book or even the closed captioning from their favorite television show.
Finally, model the behavior. There are great free online typing courses that you may want to try such as: typingweb.com, powertyping.com, or typing-lessons.org.
Submitted by: High School Business Teacher Tracie Crowley