At What Age Should A Child Learn The Correct Typing Technique?
Hey everybody it’s Mike Gecawich, Co-founder of Teaching.com, Typing.com and Edutyping.com here with another exciting episode of #AskEduTyping which is a weekly show where we field user questions from around the United States teachers and students who use Typing.com or Edutyping.com and anybody who is learning keyboarding at large who has general questions.
Each week we start with a tip of the week and this tip I really love, I usually do this in my classes and it’s a great visual motivator for your students. It’s called ‘Soaring Words Per Minute Scores’. Basically it’s an incentive or a visual motivator for your students to visually see how their progress is coming along in the keyboarding classroom. It also motivates them to achieve higher and higher WPM scores.
Real simple to set this up, first thing you’ll need is either a whiteboard, a chalkboard, a bulletin board or place on a wall that you can create the bulletin board and you start by creating a construction paper cliff or mountain and above that, out of construction paper there will be white clouds. On those clouds will be different levels or intervals of words per minute scores that you’ll want your students to try to achieve. And of course these will vary the number of words per minute will vary based on the skill level of your students in each separate class that you are teaching typing and keyboarding.
On the clouds you will draw in different intervals. The example I have here on my white board is 30 words per minute and then a little bit above that is 40 words per minute. Below that you would do 25 or 15 or 10 depending upon the grade level. So once the bulletin board has been set up what you want to let your students know is, once they achieve different levels or soaring to new heights hence the name. Using their WPM and accuracy scores they will actually make a paper airplane signifying a hang glider on the paper airplane they will actually put their name and when they achieve a different level on the bulletin board they will actually tac their papery or fly into that signifying where they are as far as WPM and accuracy.
So each week or whatever time designated that you desire to be every day just to achieve a new level you actually move their paper airplane, and students love to do this because it lets them see not only how they’re doing visually but everybody else as well. So that’s this week’s tip!
Each week we field a user audience question, so I’m joined off camera by my colleague Rennie Sullivan who will take and read this week’s first question for #AskEduTyping, Rennie.
Alexander James from Michigan asks “How long would it take for a 60 year old to learn touch typing using a good computer program.”
Great question Alexander. First of all it’s never too late to learn anything new and it doesn’t matter what age you are. You could always learn how to type. It’s a great foundational school for all things technology and today’s different generations are all becoming familiar with using iPhones, iPads and different devices, laptops for surfing the Internet and the better their typing skills the more efficient they will be using all this technology.
So to answer the question it’s never too late. The key to learning keyboarding is that it does take time. Just like anything new when you learn how to ride a bike you start with training wheels for several weeks or months and then when you felt comfortable those training wheels came off and you may have been a little wobbly at first riding without the training wheels but sooner rather than later we were riding a bike and it’s something you never forget. And keyboarding is the same. So the key is consistency.
Our recommendation is a minimum of practice about 10 minutes per day. Somewhere to the equivalent of about 50 to 60 minutes per week. Do realize that learning how to type it’s a whole new process for your brain and your motar dexterity skills, so give it a good three to six months before you actually start to see good progress. And what I mean by that is you’ll see consistent progress where getting to a point where you are no longer having to look at the keyboard learn where the keys are located and you should be typing pretty efficiently. At 60 years old my expectation would be that you could achieve somewhere between 40 and 60 words per minute. By practicing every day for somewhere about three to six months so hopefully that helps Alexander and good luck with learning how to keyboard, and remember any age is a good age.
So let’s take our second question of the week. Rennie. Annabelle Jones from Florida asks at “What angle should the fingers replaced while typing.”
Great question Annabelle, we get this all the time is what is the best technique. First of all to answer your question what angle should the wrists be when at the keyboard. First thing is you want to make sure that your fingers are slightly curved and always anchored on the home keys. The ASDF, J K L Semicolon keys. And then you want to have your wrist slightly curved as I’m demonstrating here, where your palms are slightly resting on the keyboard just above it so only about an eighth of an inch or so and that’s a comfortable position but we’re all built differently so realize that a comfortable rhythm could look a little bit differently based on somebodies coordination skills and how high they are sitting. That’s another important thing is make sure that if you are at a chair where you can adjust the height that’s super important. You always want to be comfortable so there’s no strain on your wrists and your fingers can move comfortably on the keyboard. So hopefully that helps Annabelle.
And we have time for one more question. So Rennie so if you’d read our last question of the week please.
Great question Julie. So first of all keyboarding or typing skills is now being introduced at a much younger age so your question is right on point with where things are a lot of the achievement tests when I used to take them, I used to take a number 2 pencil and bubble in answers. Today students are asked to take achievement tests online using some type of computer based assessment so the need and requirements for them to be able to keep keyboard is really really important and keep those achievement scores nice and high.
So to answer your question ideally it’s about second grade or third grade students don’t know how to really spell or even know the alphabet in Kindergarten and first grade so they’re just learning how to do that. But our curriculum is designed in such a way that we introduce the keyboard in correlation with how the English language is introduced. So students are learning how to spell and learning the alphabet our curriculum correlates with that. So second and third grade is really ideal and it doesn’t have to be you know a taxing task for students at that age. Obviously they’ll get frustrated and lose interest in a short amount of time span. So we recommend lessons somewhere between 3 to 5 minutes and it gives them a break.
Definitely second and third rate right in line with how they are learning the English language is a perfect time because studies have already shown that students are actually typing more than they are writing so the earlier we introduced it the better. So hopefully that answers your question and helps you out with a decision on that Julie.
I just want to give a shout out to the Western Business Education Association located in the western region of the United States and their quest is to always make career and technical education better. And last week I had the opportunity of keynoting there in Boise, Idaho and got to speak to hundreds of teachers about the importance of technology skills and especially keyboarding and stressing that all students should have that foundational skill of typing so just wanted to say thanks to the invitation. I had a great time.
That’s all we have time for this week folks. Please you can know that you can reach us and ask your questions via Facebook #AskEduTyping as well as Twitter and Instagram and please make sure you visit Edutyping.com or Typing.com and take a look at our blogs which are packed with hundreds of tips on making keyboarding fun and engaging for students. So until next week we’ll see you soon folks and remember if you come to a fork in the road, Take it.