What's the Best Way for Kids to Learn Keyboarding? | Edutopia
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What's the Best Way for Kids to Learn Keyboarding?

What's the Best Way for Kids to Learn Keyboarding?

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With the introduction of STEM in the middle school and high school, our district is looking at how to reconfigure the tech arts, keyboarding and family and consumer science curriculums. Currently, kids get essentially three years of keyboarding in middle school, with different levels of challenge. My thought is that now, teaching keyboarding by middle school is really too late- most kids have developed "bad" keyboarding habits by that time if they did not learn touch typing, and re-learning will be difficult.

I took a poll of HS juniors today to see what they thought, and they all hated typing class in middle school and said it was hard to learn because they already knew how to get by on a keyboard, for better or worse. This makes me think we really need to move our keyboarding into the elementary school sooner rather than later.

If so, what programs or advice might you offer? Are the cute, online computer games that teach home row typing good enough? Should there be an investment in software? Should we encourage parents to teach kids to type at home?

What do you think about keyboarding? When should kids learn to type, and what's the best way? And how would you change the middle school class to reflect needs? We're open to any and all ideas! What's worked in your school or with your kids?

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Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Whitney,
Just a different perspective: we don't teach keyboarding at all in my school, or in any school that I know - primary or secondary. It's just assumed knowledge. I'm conscious of the bad habits you mention, though, but I'm not sure that teaching them earlier is going to fix those problems.

Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

I do VERY basic keyboarding with my elementary students. I use a few games like Keyboard Climber with my younger students, and then I introduce them to TypingWeb starting in third grade. I spend a few classes helping them get the ropes of that and establishing the basics of keyboarding skills.

Here's my Symbaloo Webmix with basic keyboarding/mousing games that I use with my students: http://edu.symbaloo.com/mix/keyboarding8

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