I recently presented on BYOD at our Grade 8 transition parent evening .  A few of the parents raised a valid point  – do we teach keyboard skills?  The answer was pretty easy – no we don’t! It does not fit neatly into any of the subjects we teach. However, every subject relies on the pupils having good typing capabilities.

I never learnt. I am self taught and have worked in a a variety of jobs, all requiring skilled and speedy typing.  Are we doing our children a disservice not teaching keyboards skill? Or should we allow them to develop their own approach is much the same way as I did?

“They feel that schools shouldn’t take the time to teach keyboarding at all — or they think keyboarding instruction should wait until high school. My response to that is this: We don’t expect our students to write until we’ve taught them handwriting; we can’t expect them to type if we haven’t taught them keyboarding.” Laurie Patterson

I feel I have a method that works for me and allows me to express my opinions. Would it be easier to do this if I had better typing skills? Pupils can obviously impart their ideas, as I read some outstanding work, however, there is some evidence that learning to touch type can help improve cognitive thinking power:

Does it matter how we type? Yes. Touch typing allows us to write without thinking about how we are writing, freeing us to focus on what we are writing, on our ideas. Touch typing is an example of cognitive automaticity, the ability to do things without conscious attention or awareness. Automaticity takes a burden off our working memory, allowing us more space for higher-order thinking Anne Trubeck

The research seems to suggest starting teaching these skills as early as possible. This can be done at home, as well as at school. In the same way as parents support their children with writing and reading tasks.

Here are some resources that can be used. They all rely on gamification – make it into a game to ensure children stay engaged.

Personally I think the following are excellent as they concentrate on finger placement and making it fun! The links to each of these are at the bottom of the image.

Dance Mat Party – From the BBC

I love love love this one. I am a big kid at heart and this just makes me laugh (as well as teaching me typing skills)!

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Dance Mat Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

Typing.com

This is more sensible but they have very good progression of skills and I like the material and commentary.

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Typing

 

Typing Club

This one has a very good structure and you can gain stars and awards, making it more competitive.

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Typing Club

 

For my part I will offer weekly lunchtime typing fun and we will see who comes along and how they progress. If you want your kids to do it why not have a go yourself and lets learn together.

HaveI missed any other resources? Please let me know and I will add them. Do you disagree let me know as I think it is a subject that should be discussed more as it is a skill that we all need for future (as it appears at the moment).

Image by Jared Sexton