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Yesterday I got into a heated debate with a student about keyboarding. In my Technology class we type for the first 10 minutes of class everyday. This serves two purposes, first it calms the class down after they come in from the hallway dripping from swimming in a sea of preteen anxt. Second, it is the prefect time to practice proper typing skills. I must admit that as I’m typing this I feel like a bit of a hypocrite because I am typing this on an iPad, testing style, with two thumbs. However, my keyboarding skills are solid and my students have a broad range of skill levels.

Typing today is more important than ever. Don’t kid yourself and believe that texting. Has taken the place of keyboarding. No, kids needn’t know the homerow more than ever. Funnynthing that every cell phone that I have ever seen that has a keyboard has bumps on the f and j keys just like every pc keyboard. Touch screens obviously do not. This is one reason touch screen typing is so difficult, you have to look at the keys.

Anyway, I was discussing keyboarding with a student he was new to my class, he had just moved in a and missed my first day speel about the keyboard vs. A PS3 controller. Where I make the point that if you can play videongamesnwithout looking down at your fingers, then you could learn to type without looking down at the keyboard. he wasn’t buying it. I told him that there are less buttons on a keyboard(I say there are 30commonly used buttons) than on a pS3 controller(41). He looked at me like I was crazy, but I didn’t give up and continued to explain. When I was, he did agree to give his typing skills another shot and start a new typing program from scratch. I am calling. This one a victory.

In my class I use 4 different programs for typing. Tux typing(open source), Mavis beacon(my fav), type to learn 4 and word. Each has it’s pros and cons. I want to try different things in class to give mys student the opportunity to find what works best for them.
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Comments on: "Middle School Computer Lessons; importance of keyboarding skills" (2)

  1. Alison F said:

    Thanks for posting this. I also am a middle school teacher of what used to be Keyboarding and Technology Applications. Now I am teaching Principles of Information Technology and Principles of Business Marketing and Finance. I just left a district meeting where a principle and asst. superintendent said the future for our kids doesn’t include typing on keyboards. They think the IPAD and touch screens are in their futures. I disagree! Touch screen technology today is still sensitive and not as reliable as our keyboards. Without keyboarding taught the right way prior to 8th grade, students have come to me typing an average of 12 words a minute and have been complaining of sore wrists and fingers when I have them type. I have dropped parts of my curriculum because the skills coming to me have been so poor. The assignments I’ve taught this year all had to be modified for a bunch of students. While I have students that can text fast — spelling, grammar, and typing on a keyboard are awful. How will they function? If they can’t use 10 fingers quickly on a keyboard how does this help them when they have one day to type reports in college or a business environment? I’m seething and looking for articles to document the importance of keyboarding in our futures. Any help you can offer is appreciated. Thanks!

    • Hi Alison,
      I loved to hear about your class! I agree typing is more vital now than ever. Touch screens have there place but I think a keyboard is the way to go. Just look at cell phones, I would say that the majority have keyboards rather than just touch screens. I hate typing on my Ipad. My district also wants to get ipods into the classroom. I feel it is using technology for the sake of technology. Just because something is out there, does it really have a place in the classroom? That is the question that needs to be asked.

      As far as articles on keyboarding, I can’t help you there but feel free to quote my blog, It may sound “official” enough. You could say something like “Middle School Computer Lessons Publishing’s” official position is that keyboarding should be taught in the early grades…this is true.

      What do you teach now? Are you in a High School? I am always looking for other classes to Skype with I teach 6,7,8 Technology. Also, I write this blog for http://www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com . I have to mention that. Thank you so much for your comments!

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