Why Teach Typing at Primary Level?
The ability to quickly and confidently data enter on a computer is vitally important in today’s keyboard-driven society. Studies reveal that students who have learned the complex process of touch typing not only demonstrate faster, more accurate keyboard skills, but also reading, vocabulary and spelling improve.
Learning touch typing when young will save hundreds of hours throughout a child’s educational years.
WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN LEARN TO TYPE?
A child can learn to type as soon as they have access to a device with a hand-sized keyboard. A touch-screen device can even be used, although this isn’t optimal for the “feel” of touch typing.
Even very young children can be taught beginning typing skills before they learn to read such as using both hands on the keyboard and the thumbs to make a space. However to truly learn touch typing a child needs basic literacy and the fine motor skills that occur around the age of 7 or 8 years.
Learning to touch type early reduces the risk that children will pick up bad habits as they get older (which can be difficult to correct).
DOES IT MATTER HOW CHILDREN TYPE?
Yes. The “hunt & peck” method is time consuming and clumsy. Touch typing allows a child to write without thinking about how they are writing, freeing them to focus on what they are writing, their ideas. Touch typing is an example of cognitive automaticity, the ability to do things without conscious attention or awareness. Automaticity takes a burden off your working memory, allowing more space for higher-order thinking.
When we type without looking at the keys, we are multi-tasking, our brains free to focus on ideas without having to waste mental resources trying to find the quotation mark key. We can write at the speed of thought.
Touch typing is an essential 21st century skill and helping children master it early provides a fun and useful activity for a child’s future. Even with the increase of tablet devices, auto-correct and voice recognition technology, keyboards are going to be around for the foreseeable future.
The Typing Tournament comprises a series of booklets designed to guide students through the program and enable them to record their results. In keeping the the ‘tournament’ theme, students progress through the program by completing ‘races’, ‘events’ and ‘grades’. Points are earned for completing each typing activity, or ‘race’, and are awarded by the teacher for accuracy and fingering, not for speed.
Students work at their own pace and can compete independently or as part of a team. This fun, competitive program keeps children engaged while they learn.
Book 1 includes all the lessons to teach correct fingering with many practice games included. It is very important that students follow the fingering as it is taught and the best way to really remember finger placement is to use a keyboard cover. A light towel, such as a tea towel, can be placed on top of the hands, or commercial keyboard covers are available in Australia from Speedskin.
Book 2 onwards focuses on improving accuracy, which in turn improves speed. Each lesson begins with a paragraph of typing and is followed by typing games. Random rewards appear throughout the booklets as an incentive.
TRIED AND PROVEN
The Computer Kids Typing Tournament has been developed following over 15 years of teaching touch-typing to children in face to face classes and remotely online. Results have been proven time and time again with students able to quickly and accurately complete typed computer activities.
When and How Should Kids Learn to Type? Lisa Nielsen, The Innovative Educator. (accessed 31/5/2014) http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/when-should-students-start-learning-to.html
Touch Typing Lessons in Primary Schools, Typing Test.com. (accessed 31/5/2014) http://www.typingtest.com/blog/touch-typing-lessons-in-primary-schools/
Out of Touch with Typing, Anne Trubek. (accessed 31/5/2014) http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425018/out-of-touch-with-typing/