What would you say about learning the keys on the keyboard in an hour? The Almena Method claims that you can learn all of the key locations in an hour. It doesn’t claim that you will become an accomplished keyboarder in an hour, but they have a reference system for you to use to figure out which fingers you need to use for each of the letters.
The Almena Method is quite different from the standard style of mastering the homerow and then moving throughout the rest of the keyboard learning the keys. Almena King developed a series of mnemonic jingles to assist in remembering the key locations. Once you learn these
jingles, you can just recite them to yourself to remember where you’ll find the letters.
Notice the first jingle, Quiet Aunt Zelda, is for the three keys you hit with your left pinky. Want Something eXtra is for your left ring finger . . . and so on and so on and so on.
The Almena method is available as a server-loaded program that will run through your school’s network. It is also available through the Web so that the students can run it at school and at home.
Does it work? We used it with a class of 4th graders and had reasonable outcomes. Not all of the students used the jingles. When we interviewed the students, only about half of them said that they used the jingles to find the letters. I think that it had something to do with their learning styles.
The program is not limited to learning the jingles. The Almena Method also includes a number of lessons that the students use to practice keying the letters they have learned using the jingles. It includes assessment tests as well to gauge student progress.
Have you tried the Almena Method? How did it work? What did you find that made it useful?