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Touch Typing - is it still being taught?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by asarchetwaller, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Touch-typing is something I learnt in primary school and as a result
    have
    become a proficient typist. Since I've become a teacher, I've noticed
    that
    touch-typing is generally excluded from the curriculum. I've currently
    been
    placed in-charge of the ICT curriculum for Years 1 - 10 and I notice
    that
    touch typing has not been taught. Although some students are able
    to
    "get-by" with the finger typing machinations they acquire, I'm still keen
    to
    teach touch-typing to my students.

    I've recently discovered an
    Australian company, Nail It Now (NIN) who
    believe in teaching touch-typing
    from an early age. Lessons are taught in 4
    brief 30 minute sessions and
    afterwards students are anticipated to practice
    through their day-to-day
    general computer use. The first two lessons are
    available free of
    charge:

    http://www.nailitnow.com.au/typingtutorlicence/elementaryschool/overview.html


    http://www.nailitnow.com.au/typingtutorlicence/highergradeelementary/overview.html

    There
    are two programmes for lower elementary and higher elementary. I've
    used a
    combination of the lower elementary and higher elementary in my
    lessons. The
    lower elementary lessons are fantastic as they engage students
    aesthetically
    and students are taught mnemonically to learn the home row
    keys. My students
    have responded to the Home Row Keys mnemonics: ASDF -
    Animals in the Snow Dig
    for Food (in the Grass). The students have even come
    up with their own tunes
    as they recite the mnemonic. I've used the upper
    primary power point slides
    to help my students follow along as the lower
    elementary lesson include
    students standing and jumping and many of my
    students have physical
    disabilities. It is a great visual cue and support to
    aid in the lessons. The
    lower elementary lesson plans do require some
    prepping to create a life-size
    keyboard while the higher elementary lessons
    is essentially power point based
    and does not require additional prepping.

    Due to the many challenges that
    my students face, touch typing is not the
    easiest task for them, but I have
    had class teachers tell me how valuable
    touch typing is for their students.
    Many of them struggle with handwriting,
    and keyboarding is going to be a way
    of life for many of them. I intend to
    have my students become comfortable and
    adapt with touch typing so that they
    can communicate the best they can.
    Students have enjoyed the "learning"
    aspect of the Home Row Keys. Touch
    Typing is still a difficult task for
    them. Students have said, "It's fun, but
    hard!" But I hope that through
    learning the keys of the keyboard in this
    engaging format, my students will
    become astute and independent typists.
     
  2. jweb2k

    jweb2k New commenter

    Awesome, sounds like a sales pitch but I'll skip over that.... I do actually find it useful to teach to lower abilities - saw a previous HoD do it and how much it helps general literacy skills and also completion of evidence in their later courses!
     
  3. I think it's a shame that touch typing has gone off the agenda as it is one of the best things I ever learnt as a kid. By 12 I could touch type thanks to some encouragement from my parents and it is one of the life skills that has saved me so much time. As a teacher I found I was spending half the time writing reports compared to colleagues.
    There are loads of websites our there with free tutorials, just type 'touch typing games' into Google. There's quite a good site here with tutorials and games: http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/
    Make sure you practice yourself as it's good to show students how the touch-type method is faster than the 2-finger method which a lot of them are very good at, but they always need to keep looking at the keyboard which slows them up.
    In conclusion, I agree that touch-typing is one of the most under rated skills in ICT courses and it even covers literacy and spelling... what more could you want?!
     

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