33 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2013 7:49 AM by aruddteacher100 RSS

Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?

Jeanne Rogers Apprentice
Currently Being Moderated

Having attended numerous faculty and team meetings in the past, one thing is obvious, everyone feels very protective about their class time and what they feel is most important to teach.  With increased rigor in the classrooms and online assessments planned, is there time in the current school day structure to include skills once thought to be necessary?  There has been much discussion concerning the teaching of cursive handwriting in our schools today. Is there a need?   Cursive handwriting is not included in the Common Core.  Individual states may decide to continue to teach cursive. Take a look at one of the other discussions to see what educators are saying.


A July 31, 2013 post in the Conway Daily Sun assures us that cursive is on the way out.  "The national standards don't require children to learn how to read and write in cursive. They do, however, require that by the end of fourth grade, students demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to complete a one-page writing assignment."


Proper instruction for keyboarding was a life saver for me, although I had to have special permission to take it in high school.  I'm not the fastest typist and now a days, the delete/backspace key is my best friend.  Will schools include keyboarding instruction? Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill? Students can be encouraged to learn keyboarding on their own by using available online tutorials.  Try using Nimble Fingers, Sense Lang,or Learn to Type.

 

Perhaps you could include Basic Handwriting as a center activity, just in case you have the need to 'sign your name' in the future.



  • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    hlovejoy New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    When is the last time you printed your "signature" on a check?

    Maybe we could include cursive handwriting under ART.  <smiles> 

     

    Does every subject taught have to fall under Common Core Standards?

  • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    jfrederick New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Good question, Hilda. I don't think Common Core Standards should dictate all courses offered in public school.

     

    And as for typing.  It was the most practical course I ever took in school.  I think proper keyboarding skills should be stressed in grade schools, word processing skills taught in middle school, and advanced research writing addressed in high school.

     

    Some adults would appreciate a "thumb typing" course for purposes of texting. <smiles> What life courses do kids need?  Until we shift totally to voice activated computer research and products, typing is certainly one of them.

    • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
      Jane Brown Master
      Currently Being Moderated

      I agree with both of you, Hilda and Joe. We have to consider all K12 courses that prepare students with life skills.

       

      A four year college has always maintained a focus of teaching students to think critically and to be innovative... we have support of a vertical delivery of thinking skills with Common Core now in K12, but colleges also expect student to arrive with computer skills, able to use a database, a spreadsheet, and write a research paper with proper footnotes. When will students acquire these skills? Not in college, maybe in a community college, but most likely in public school.

       

      What other courses may need advocates to keep them being offered in public schools? And who should decide what these extended courses are?

      • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
        Kingston Apprentice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Jane and others,

         

        High school students are expected  to arrive with computer skills, able to use a database, a spreadsheet, and write a research paper with proper footnotes.  So it has to be taught in the elementary, starting in 3rd or 4th grade.  Research should also start in 5th and 6th grade so students have a good background knowledge by 7th and 8th grade. 

        I will be teaching 3rd to 8th grade keyboarding in Scottsdale, Arizona at ANLC (Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center) because we are taking the PARCC testing which is all done on the computer. The fourth grade must type/keyboard their writing assessment.  My worry is, if the child can't type, then are the results going to be valid. 

        What Say YOU?

         

        Kingston

  • Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    ecmscience New User
    Currently Being Moderated
    My state has dropped keyboarding from the curriculum and I think that is a mistake.  Because of the expectation that 3rd graders type an essay online for evaluation of writing skills in the spring, we need to allw first and second grade students time to learn some typing skills.  Because of their age, teaching them typing will look very different from when I was learning to type on typewriters many years ago.  There needs to be some research on how youngsters can best learn their typing skills.  We need to make research based decisions when designing curriculum and selection the typing programs. Right now we are shooting in the dark!
    • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
      Jane Brown Master
      Currently Being Moderated

      What a shame.

       

      If I were teaching in your school and students were facing that kind of an assessment, I'd xerox paper keyboards for each student and talk to them about proper hand position and reaches.

       

      Then I'd enlist parental support to have students use one of Jeanne's free online keyboarding programs at home on the family computer. Even a computer that has a wordprocessing program on it but no Internet connection would work if strips of text are sent home for practice time.

       

      Some students might even have an old typewriter or use their paper keyboards to practice.  Trips to the library can give students computer access. Shared practice typing at a friend's computer can be more fun than doing it alone.

       

      To assess progress you could go to the computer lab and test out once a week with two students to a computer, one watching the other for proper reaches and scoring personal bests. 

       

      Just because there isn't a computer teacher teaching keyboarding doesn't mean that students have to lose out on this skill.  Extending learning beyond the classroom has advantages. And if teachers and parents can make it fun, students are the winners.

       

      What do you teachers do to help students reach competencies for the 3rd grade assessment described?

      • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
        Jeanne Rogers Apprentice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Jane, I even saved old keyboards from computers that were no longer able to be used.  Only one teacher in the elementary school where I worked used them.  When I asked a teacher, "why not?", the response was that the kids need to SEE what they are doing.  But, I still think it is a good practice tool.

        • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
          Jane Brown Master
          Currently Being Moderated

          Now that is a good idea, Jeanne. Many schools and parents could contribute to your stash of keyboards. You could even cut off the cords to reduce tangles.

           

          I understand your teachers thinking students have to see what they type but one has to focus on the purpose of the exercise and always consider the available computer time for students.

        • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
          Kingston Apprentice
          Currently Being Moderated

          Jeanne,

          You are probably not going to like this next comment, but I use speedskins to teach keyboarding.

          http://www.speedskin.com/home.html  A friend of mine did a study on this concept, and it was proven that a child will learn to keyboard faster and with more accuracy while being taught keyboarding with a cover over the letters.  See picture on site. I have been using them for years.

           

          I have been utilizing them for the past ten years. I actually have a video of one of my 8th grade students typing over 90 words a minute with two errors using speedskins.

           

          Kingston

           

           

    • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
      Jeanne Rogers Apprentice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Very true, Elaine.  I read a few years ago that the Qwerty method was 'obsolete' and kids should be taught to move up and down on the keyboard...no need to 'slam' the carriage across like on our typewriters! I fear there has been so much focus on assessment and teacher accountability that the curriculum itself has been neglected.  I believe Joe is right when he says, " I think proper keyboarding skills should be stressed in grade schools, word processing skills taught in middle school, and advanced research writing addressed in high school." The middle school I was working at had a half day tech teacher.  She did cover word processing, even using Google Docs.  However, in a school with over 800 students and the class only open to grade 8 and only being able to service about 100 students in a quarter, well, you get the idea.

      • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
        Kingston Apprentice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Jeanne,

         

        Yes, I get the idea.  I will be teaching computers/keyboarding to 3rd through 8th grade students this year, but will only see my 3rd - 6th grade students once every sixth day.    I will see my 7th and 8th grade students twice a week.  Now try to integrate technology into core curriculum and teach keyboarding at the same time, and did I mention that there are 36 students in a classroom.

        If anyone has any suggesting on how to do this, please let me know.

         

        Kingston

  • Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    Jeanne Rogers Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Thanks for sharing, Kingston.  Covering the keys for practice is something I'd not considered. I will take a look at the link you provided.
  • Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    micejice New User
    Currently Being Moderated
    Common Core folks speak often of using primary source documents as much as possible. Turns out, most of them are WRITTEN IN CURSIVE. Riddle me that, Batman. Are students going to magically going to be able to read cursive?
  • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am a strong advocate of learning keyboarding skills.  In this age of computers, I can't believe so many people still use the "hunt and peck" method.  I think keyboarding should be a mandatory course for all students by grades 5 or 6.  I taught sixth grade keyboarding and enjoyed seeing the students increase their typing speed and accuracy.  They soon realized learning to type was definitely a good lifelong skill and easier than they anticipated.

     

    When I taught keyboarding, I introduced all my students to a website called Learn2Type.  It is free and you can set up a school account and see the progress of each of your students as they work through the drills.  See Learn2TypeforSchools.

     

    I also learned that it is helpful to have game-style activities to motivate middle school students. Here are some suggested sites:

    Other good keyboarding sites I recommend are as follows:

    Do you use some online resources for teaching typing?  Please share your experiences with us.


  • Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    aruddteacher100 New User
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oh, this is such a dilemma!  Push the microphone button as you're typing these days-talk to text-just used it to make this note.  Didn't need to know typing but needed to know how key functioned...so spending time to teach the keys...not sure how valuable this will be in the future...It's all so uncertain!
  • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
    Currently Being Moderated

    When I taught keyboarding, I introduced all my students to a website called Learn2Type.  It is free and you can set up a school account and see the progress of each of your students as they work through the drills.  Learn2TypeforSchools

     

    The program we purchased for our students was MicroType 5--"an alphabetic, numeric, skillbuilding, and keypad program with motivating graphics, games, and a word processor with built-in timer."  This software program teaches correct finger placement and builds basic skills, then works on speed and accuracy.  It is produced by South-Western Educational Publishing.  I've provided a link to the website where you can request an examination copy.  (http://www.cengage.com/search/productOverview.do?N=+16+11&Ntk=P_Isbn13&Ntt=9780538449809)  You can purchase individual or network licensing.  The Academic Superstore has pricing for it also (http://www.academicsuperstore.com/).

     

    Another popular program Mavis Beacon by Broderbund is available online as well as through a licensing agreement.  "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing® makes it fun to improve keyboarding skills  with typing practice and games that focus on speed, accuracy and rhythm.   Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing utilizes a  proven method of typing  instruction to help keyboarders, from novice to experienced, improve  typing skills."

     

    If you need typing software programs or typing lesson plans that teachers have used successfully with students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, you may want to consider Typing Tutors

    • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
      Kingston Apprentice
      Currently Being Moderated

      Lynne,

       

      My school district bought Microtype 5 and it keeps crashing, and of course, no tech can figure out why.  I have used it before in other schools in my district, no problem.  Did you ever have that problem with Microtype 5?

       

      Kingston

      • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
        Lynne Hoffman Apprentice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Kingston,

        My school never had issues with Microtype 5 crashing.  Perhaps the server in your school is in high demand and that causes an overload.  My experience with programs that crashed usually was resolved when I deleted the software and reinstalled the program on individual computers or on a server.

         

        I'm sorry I don't have the technical expertise to help you.  It's always frustrating to have a good product, but students can't benefit because the technology keeps failing.

         

        Best of luck!

        Lynne

      • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
        Jeanne Rogers Apprentice
        Currently Being Moderated

        Kingston, sometimes the product has necessary upgrades to "debug" whatever is wrong with the program.

        Current system requirements are shown below and if your equipment doesn't fit the requirements, you will continue to have issues:

        MicroType - What are the Microtype 5 System Requirements?

        The following requirements are necessary:

        -PC (or 100%-compatible) with 233 MHz Pentium II or higher processor

        -256 MB RAM (minimum 512 recommended), CD-ROM drive, hard disk with 500 MB free disk space

        -Windows 2000 SP4, XP SP2, Vista, Windows 7.

        -Microsoft Office 2007, trial version not compatible

        -SoundBlaster-compatible sound card and speakers

        -800 x 600 graphics with 256 colors or more

        -IE 5+, Internet connection speed of minimum 100 Kbps if wanting Distance Learning options. Dial-up/Wireless/AirCard Internet connections are not supported.


        I also found this comment and it leads me to believe there is a newer version:

        MicroType - I'm getting a MicroType 5 Slow Load error.

        Thank you for purchasing MicroType 5 or one of the MicroType 5 with CheckPro products. In the past, several customers have reported an issue with slow load time on these keyboarding products when students are logging in to a networked version. This issue was corrected in the most recent version of the program. 

        If you are an instructor or administrator with a site license for your institution, please contact your sales representative to receive a more recent copy.  If you need to locate your sales representative, go tohttp://www.cengage.com/rep/index.html.


        Also found a nice handout for MicroType 5 .

        Jeanne

  • Re: Will keyboarding be taught as a basic skill?
    aruddteacher100 New User
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks Jeanne and Lynne for sharing your expertise and resources on this topic.  I think it's helpful to know of additional keyboarding resources we can share with teachers.

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