Why Touch Typing is Relevant Today
Is touch typing still necessary in the 21st century? With touch screen keyboards and voice recognition technologies becoming more prevalent, is using a QWERTY keyboard with all ten fingers something worth knowing anymore?
We won’t be doing away with keyboards just yet. Speech recognition is a great technology, but is still incapable of completely replacing the keyboard in general usage and can be much slower than using a keyboard when commands are added. When typing up a report, thesis or even a novel, no other technology available now can replace the ease, speed and accuracy of touch typing on a traditional keyboard.
The non-tactile keyboards found on touch screen mobile technologies are improving all the time and now it’s quite possible to touch type on a full sized tablet computer. You just have to get used to the different “feel” of the device.
But, the most compelling reason for learning to touch type is that it’s an example of cognitive automaticity, the ability to do things without conscious attention or awareness. 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. 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.
Trubek, Anne (2011) Out of Touch With Typing. (retrieved 01/06/2014) http://www.technologyreview.com/view/425018/out-of-touch-with-typing/
Schaaf, Sara, (2012) Typing or Automaticity and the Italian Octopus. (retrieved 01/06/2014) http://lunchboxmom.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/typing-or-automaticity-and-italian.html