Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Type to Learn (and Have Fun)

Looking back, my typing class was one of the most valuable classes I took in high school. Being able to touch type is an important skill when it comes to effectively using a computer. Students at Charlevoix Elementary start to get to know the keyboard in kindergarten. They become familiar with the Enter key and spacebar, as well as the numbers and letters. First grade students use the Shift key and start to use both hands in the fall. By February they have learned the letters on the Home Row and are starting to type some other letters with their hands in the proper positions. Second grade students spend 10 to 15 minutes each week on the web site Dance Mat Typing. The classes spend at least two weeks on each of the 12 stages. Third and fourth grade students spend 15 minutes each week in the self paced application Type to Learn.

Although these things all help the students on their way to being good typists, the best in class are usually those students who practice at home. There are many software choices such as Typing Instructor for Kids for newer computers or Jump Start Typing for older ones. Households with Internet access can practice on the Dance Mat Typing web site mentioned above. Other sorces include TypingWeb, GoodTyping, and Learn2Type. Good keyboarding skills don't just come from typing. Students who play the piano are practicing the same eye-hand coordination "keyboard" skills.

1 comment:

  1. Typing was a required course for me in 9th grade and it certainly is one of the most valuable classes I had. Before that though, I loved Mavis Beacon Typing, I could spend hours playing with that software as a kid!