middle School Computer Lessons
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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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