George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Leadership

Keys to the (Online) Kingdom: Keyboarding and Word Processing Resources

    As a result of my recent blog post on keyboarding and word processing basics, there have been questions -- about methodology, hardware, software, and research. Many people have opinions about the proper way to teach keyboarding, including the use of software applications versus a teacher-led program where the teacher guides the students in learning the skills. My experience has been that the use of software applications many times provokes boredom and cheating, whereas when the teacher is actively engaged in the teaching process, students are also more engaged in the learning process.

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    Because most teachers who are now teaching keyboarding are not trained in the pedagogy, they feel insecure in their ability. But there is help. The Texas Education Agency created a keyboarding curriculum that has been updated by the Pasadena Independent School District, in Pasadena, Texas. Designed for grade three, Professor AWHFE Part I (download a PDF) is a teacher's guide with introductory pages, beginning lessons, and exercises. Professor AWHFE Part II (download a PDF) contains lessons, exercises, timed tests, and teacher handouts. Another piece of the curriculum is a Keyboard Awareness section (download a PDF) designed for grades K-2.

    Other resources for teacher-led instruction:

    Free keyboarding programs exist on the Web:

    Skill builders:

    Online typing tests:

    Perhaps among these resources you will find some helpful links to make your teaching easier. Also, consider that you do not need a full multimedia computer to teach keyboarding. Investigate other options such as the Alpha Smart Neo. A cart of thirty small Neo computers are portable, durable, and affordable and would free up desktop or laptop computers for other projects.