How fast should your students keyboard? It all depends.
You know that the main advantage keyboarding has over writing is that it can be FASTER (aside from looking nicer, be less fatiguing, easier to edit, and enters content into a digital medium 😉 ) . Our districts may have identified specific speeds for students of different levels to keyboard, but what does that mean to our students? Its a great way to assign grades, but it isn’t personal to the students.
IDEA: Have the students copy a paragraph by hand for one minute and then count the number of letters they completed. Divide by 5 and you have the WPM for them. Identify the number of errors.
Next, have them do the same thing with the same paragraph using a keyboard. Compute the WPM. Identify the number of errors.
NOW you have the gauntlet!! Now you have a way to challenge them to increase their keyboarding. They can work to beat their PB (Personal Best). Once they have conquered that, they can work to keyboard at 125% of their handwriting PB.
What do you think? Have you ever done anything like this? Sure, your district has probably identified minimum speeds for your students, but try personally motivating them using this method.
Love to hear your feedback or success stories.
Just found this Symbaloo for Keyboarding created by Mr. Dean. It is a wealth of keyboarding resources. Check it out.
Are you looking for a free online typing web site? How about the Typing Club?
I have shared a number of them on this blog (check the Online Keyboarding category in the right column.) The Typing Club is a good program for middle school and above. I say this because there are no animated characters like you would find in some of the other programs I reviewed.
The Typing Club is well designed. It has 100 levels for you to complete. Each level has about 100 keystrokes that you need to complete. It begins with the regular j & f lesson and ends with < & > The typing text is interesting. The final completion analysis is thorough. It will inform you of your Speed, Accuracy and Time. It will also tell you about your typing efficiency for each individual keystroke. (BTW I tried just pounding the keyboard to get through the lesson and at the end it told me, in polite terms, that I should redo the lesson.)
There is also a possibility for you to set this up for your whole class as well. I didn’t explore this part but you might want to see how it might help your class.
Both the individual and class flavors of the Typing Club are free but there is a note that says “There will be an optional paid version available on July 15th, 2013.”
I just received an email about a keyboarding book stand that you might need in your keyboarding classes. If your school is using keyboarding books, you might find this durable plastic stand a useful device for helping your students hold their books while they keyboard.
This is created by DisplayStands4You http://www.displaystands4you.com
Keyboard (Photo credit: orangeacid)
What characteristics make a better 4th grade keyboarder? Here is some research on what effects handsize, age, music experience, gender and athletic background have on keyboarding skills.
This study evaluated the effectiveness of using the Almena Method keyboarding program to teach keyboarding to 4th grade students. Student characteristics were evaluated to measure their effect upon keyboarding success. Seventeen Midwestern fourth grade students of a mixed sex, ethnic, and racial orientation were involved. Students participated in daily 30-minute keyboarding lessons for four weeks. Students tended to increase their keyboarding speed by 33%. Age affected success inversely. Younger students improved more than older students. Music Experience had a positive effect. Larger-handed students improved the most. Gender and athletic background didn’t have any effect upon keyboarding improvement. The specific student characteristics can make a significant difference in student success.
Keyboarding Camp!: Identifying the Effects of 4th-Grader Characteristics on Keyboarding Proficiency
Here’s another cache of keyboarding games. It’s your typical blow things up while you type selection, but I like the Type Type Revolution game. Take off of Dance Dance Revolution. You type as letters rise to the top and disco music plays in the background.
Which do you like?
Looking for new ideas for keyboards? Inc.com recently reviewed a keyboard foursome. They range from the Luxeed U7 Dynamic Pixel LED Keyboard which allows you to program a color scheme for each of the keys . . . to . . . the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard. One of the keyboards is even dedicated to provide an easier way for you to enter information into your iPhone.
Do you have an interesting keyboard that you use?