Is Accuracy or Speed More Important in Typing?

December 11th, 2017 Mike Gecawich

Hey everybody. It’s Mike Gecawich, Co-founder of Teaching.com, EduTyping.com, and Typing.com. Super excited to bring the Ask EduTyping show live to you this week from Nashville, Tennessee at the Association of Career and Technical Education Conference.

Really pumped, I got me associate here, Joshua, who is our national education sales consultant, who will be helping me out today by reading the questions from our user audience from Typing.com and EduTyping.

So, Joshua, let’s get going right away. I’m going to skip this week’s tip because there’s a lot of buzz and activity going on here. I’m not going to have a lot of time today, but let’s get that first question Joshua.

Sounds good. OK, so Maggie from Georgia has this to say– My students often struggle between accuracy and speed. What is more important in typing and how should I emphasize it with my students?

OK, great, thanks Maggie from Georgia. First of all, it’s a great question. And very, very possibly asked all across the globe as far as teachers who teach typing goes. What’s more important? Speed or accuracy?

Remember, slow and steady always wins the race. So what you want to do with your students is stress to them that especially in the beginning accuracy is far more important than speed. I give this analogy all the time, or I used to give this analogy when I used to teach keyboarding. And I share this in many of my presentations that I give.

So, here it is, if you have a pitcher that pitches baseball and that person could throw a hundred fifty miles an hour and breaks the world record for speed. But 99 out of 100 pitches he throws a ball. Is that person going to become a professional athlete and very well paid? Absolutely not.

If I have another pitcher who throws it about 85 to 90 miles an hour, it’s still pretty quick. But he throws a strike 99% of the time. That person is gonna make the big box in the pro leagues.

So with your students you want to stress that accuracy is more important than speed, and again it’s about repetition. In the beginning of a course especially in the first say– quarter of first semester. I highly recommend that you weigh the accuracy grade much higher than speed.

Therefore, by default you’re already putting more emphasis on that. Thank you Maggie. So Joshua, let’s take our second question.

Sounds good. This one simply comes from D in Virginia. How do you teach students symbols on the keyboard?

That’s a great question D from Virginia. How do I teach symbols? Now this is different than punctuation marks like the question mark, backslash, and things you see on the bottom row of the keyboard. But if we take a look at our keys right here, what D is referring to are the symbols at the top.

Those are very difficult for students especially at younger grade levels, middle school and elementary level. So what I recommend is this is the one time I actually recommend– allow your students to look at the keys while they’re learning them. It’s just a far reach to go from the home row key, skip a row and then actually hit the top row.

So again, let your students take a look at the keys that they’re learning. And again, one of the things that they also have to do to make the symbol keys strike properly is to hit the shift key at the same time. It’s a lot of motor dexterity going on a lot of cognitive know how.

So I’d recommend let them look down at their keys. And then eventually with time, hopefully they’ll master those. But those are difficult. I type at about 85 words-per-minute and still struggle with some of the symbol keys. So don’t fret it too much, D. And our final question of the week, Joshua.

Sure it comes from Rebecca in Mississippi, she has this to say– A number of students struggle with the repetition of the lessons. What advice do you have for explaining to them the need for this and to motivate them to keep on going.

OK. Well, first of all, repetition is definitely the number one strategy that you can employ inside of a keyboarding classroom. It’s just like muscle memory. The mind and the body have to work together. And the only way that’s going to happen especially with all these keys for them to learn is daily repetition.

So part of being a teacher is kind of just dealing with the fact that students will get frustrated, they will complain. It’s just part of the program. So you just got to kind of stay the course. What I also recommend is that you take a break from the monotony of the day-to-day keyboarding lesson. You can play keyboarding games. And one of my favorites that is great to reinforce the keys is called keyboarding speedway.

Here’s how to play, it’s very simple. First you set up a race track on your chalkboard or whiteboard and mark off little tickers around, at the starting line and the finish line symbolizing words per minute. So you would have a starting point that might start with zero.

And then 5 wpm, 10 wpm, etc. Have each student make a construction paper car, and then put their name on it. And as they earn wpm in each lesson, whether they use EduTyping, Typing.com or even an offline activity that could give them word processing, move their car across the board. That’s super motivational for students and again it will help break up the monotony.

And visit our Blog at blog.EduTyping.com. There’s tons and tons of outside activities and creative lessons that you can use to help kind of foster and energize your students to kind of keep and stay the course. So that’s all we have time for this week. I need to get back here to the ACTE Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

Thank you, Joshua. We’ll be live again next Thursday at 4:15 P.M. Eastern Time. Today we had to shoot a little early because of the schedule conflicts that we have. So, everybody take care, happy keyboarding everybody!

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