It is quite obvious that learning to use ten-fingers on a computer keyboard is a low level skill. Most teachers know that such skills are best learned in short lessons, and that the skills should be practiced over time. Research tells us, too, that practice is best when it takes place in the context of use. That many teachers continue to debate both the when and how of keyboarding lessons, suggests that the subject is still not quite understood in spite of known principles and the substantive research available. If you do have doubts about what should be done, it is worthwhile to look at the research…
Before computers, keyboard skills were taught by Typing Teachers in typing classes…
At the time formal keyboarding lessons are introduced, it has also been shown that software generated lessons are just as effective as teacher developed and directed lessons…
There is other research evidence to suggest that primary children are not ready to learn ten-finger keyboarding, but that they can still use keyboards productively…A good overall reference is the report titled Teaching Process Writing with Computers…
Keyboarding is an important skill for all students. Keyboarding involves using correct finger placement and building speed for optimal typing accuracy. When students develop a keyboarding proficiency at two to three times their average handwriting speed, it becomes an aid to the improvement of writing skills.
It is recommended that all students begin to learn correct placement of fingers on the keyboard as soon as they begin to use the computer. However, mastery is most efficiently attained at the fifth- to sixth-grade years. We highly recommend that students master keyboarding before they enter junior high. Here are some interesting facts regarding learning to keyboard:
- The Learning Disabilities Network Exchange, Vol. 14, No. 1, Spring/Summer, 1996: Keyboarding: Keys to Success–Especially for Students with Dyslexia” by Diana Hanbury King72 Sharp St, Suite A-2, Hingham, MA 02043 (Also check out Diana H King’s book, “Keyboarding Skills,” available through Educator’s Publishing Service, 1-800-225-5750.)
- Children’s Software Review, Volume 4, No 5, Oct/Nov 1996: “Five Myths About Kids Writing with Computers”
- Internet Resource: PM Keyboarding Knowhow: Research Overview Keyboarding. This cites research by Wetzel (1985) and Stoecker (1985) among others. . .
Keyboard Research References… research from typewriting to computers dating from the 1920’s to the mid 1990’s. Refrences by researchers, teachers, etc., about teaching keybording skills.
Instructional Strategies of Teaching Keyboarding was taught at the State University of West Georgia during the Winter Quarter, 1998, as an on-line course. Twenty-four graduate students were enrolled in the course that was scheduled to meet for 10 class periods from 5:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. on Monday evenings. Three of these classes were held on campus at the university; the remaining seven classes were conducted on the Internet, with students and the instructor “attending class” from a home computer at a remote site.
All schools are introducing the proper techniques of keyboarding in the early elementary grades and are encouraging students to work on developing and using proper technique at every opportunity – in the classroom, computer lab, and most importantly, at home – that’s probably where they spend the most time on the computer, so parent involvement is very important. This site shares information for parents and teachers on keyboarding so everyone working with students will use every opportunity to help students learn keyboarding. It’s a valuable skill for every student in this technological world. Parents – do your kids a favor and encourage them to learn proper keyboarding technique.
With the widespread use of computers in schools and homes, keyboarding instruction has moved down to the elementary grades. Younger and younger children are becoming fluent computer users and it is important for them to learn proper keyboarding techniques early so that they do not develop bad habits that are very hard to break.