Why Should I Learn Proper Typing Posture?
Hey everybody it’s Mike Gecawich Co-Founder of Teaching.com, Typing.com and Edutyping.com. We basically are so proud to bring this show #AskEduTyping to you every single week through Facebook and it’s also available on our blog. What we do each week is we provide teachers and students with creative lessons and ideas to start the show. Then we’ll field questions from our user audience from teachers and students from around the United States and around the world. We hopefully will be able to answer those questions and make keyboarding more engaging for our teachers and students alike, as well as different views and fun in the learning of how to keyboard which is, by far the most important technology skill you’ll ever learn and once you learn it, it is something you will use for life.
So if we don’t get to answer your questions live on this show please know that you could reach us through #AskEduTyping through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And if we don’t get to your questions live someone will definitely respond to your e-mail questions and I personally review every single one of them and may answer it myself as well.
So we start each week with a keyboarding tip or a lesson of the week. This lesson I’m about to describe to you was just recently posted on our blog. Here’s a print out of a PDF off the lesson and it’s titled ‘Creative Manuscripting’. My students use to love this! I taught keyboarding at the High school middle school level for 17 years and this allows students to take a break from the keyboarding program, being online, and you know the day to day routine of doing lesson by lesson. This allows them to really take a break from that.
Now the one thing to point out is that this lesson requires students to know the 26 letters of the alphabet so it’s more appropriate for probably older students who are a little bit more advanced but it is perfect for this time of school year. We’re reaching the end of April where most of your students who may have started keyboarding in September have become pretty proficient. So that’s why I picked it this week because it allows the students to use all the keys and symbols that they’ve learned thus far.
So here’s what you’ll need to play ‘Creative Manuscripting’. Basically ask your students, as a homework assignment, or you could do this during class, to scour newspapers and magazines as well a the Internet or news feeds and pick a news article that is of interest to them. So could be on pop culture, could be on fashion, could be on planets, whatever their interest level is. Just make sure you stress that the content within the article that they have to bring into the classroom is appropriate for the classroom. We all know that we have those students once in a while that bring in inappropriate materials. We want to make sure you as the teacher practice this exercise to make sure that that doesn’t happen.
Then once your students bring in an article, they will open up any word processing program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs and if you’re using Edutyping we have a built in word processor inside the program as well called Open Type. So any of those will work and to begin the exercise just ask students to type the title and then they’ll do a byline so it’s by the student’s name and then we get typing the article. Now here’s the secret to making sure that not only the students are reinforcing their keyboarding skills but also are reading the article so it really reinforces reading and keyboarding at the same time. As they complete each paragraph and you want to put a minimum, you want to ask the students to bring in a minimum of at least a one page document so that you can cater it to the students who are really efficient at keyboarding as well as those who may be a little bit slower but you want to have enough content to them to work through it.
So after each paragraph what you will ask students to do is they’ll add their own custom sentence that makes the paragraph make sense. So if they are just reading about the nine planets and they were reading about the sun and how far away we are, they’ll need to add some kind of a sentence that helps that paragraph make sense in context. And this forces them to have to actually read what they’re typing and then when they’re completed with the assignment you can have them print it out. So they’ll print out their keyboarded news article and then they all staple the article itself to that so that you can double check for keyboarding accuracy as well as that they have added the custom sentence to the end of each paragraph. So that’s called ‘Creative Manuscripting’, I hope you will all employ that into your classroom. Students love it and it gives you a great opportunity not only reinforce keyboarding but also to have them do some reading and keeps them interested and engaged in the program. So we will take our first question of this week on #AskEduTyping. I am joined off camera by my colleague Rennie, so Rennie if you would read me this week’s first question.
Joan Williams asks “Why can typing with accuracy and speed be difficult?”
Well Joan, I mean that’s a pretty general question, why can it be difficult to keyboard quickly as well as accuracy. I’ll bring it back to the basics basically. It’s just like when you learned how to ride a bicycle. You started with training wheels learning how to keyboard quickly is something you shouldn’t even be concerned about especially in the beginning of learning how to type. Most important thing you can focus on is accuracy because in my previous show I used the same analogy, If I can pitch a baseball 150 miles an hour but I throw a ball every time. I’m really not of any value to baseball team. But if I could throw a pitch 80 miles an hour which isn’t as fast obviously as 150 but I throw a strike 75 or 80 percent of the time I’m very valuable. So focus on accuracy first because that really lets your mind begin to do what we call muscle memory which is your mind will begin to tell your fingers where they need to be placed at all times and in time that memory and that kind of connection between the brain and your eyes and your fingers will all start to work in harmony and then the speed will begin to pick up. So that’s a great question. But try to keep that analogy, that idea of a baseball pitcher in mind as you continue your journey of learning what I consider the most foundational, basic and important skill which is keyboarding. OK let’s take our next question Rennie.
Diego Bravo asks “Is there any reason to learn proper typing posture if I already have a good words per minute?”
Great question Diego and I’m going to rephrase that. Basically to summarize Diego’s question, he is already considered to be a pretty good typist, has a good speed and good accuracy, I’ll make that assumption, so he asked “Is it important to have good posture?” Well first of all it is very important no matter what, whether you’re keyboarding or just sitting at your desk in any classroom and eventually when you’re in an office it’s very important to always sit with your feet flat your back arched and if you’re at the keyboard you want to have your palms resting near the spacebar but not touching it so that you get that fluid movement. The main reason to have good posture and technique not only for keyboarding but just any time you’re sitting down is that your lower back can begin to become very slouch which over time can actually fuse it so it’s bending the wrong way and that my friends is very painful. It doesn’t happen at a younger age because your bones are much more flexible but through life you really have to stay focused on that. You always want to have your feet flat on the floor as well. And the reason for that is that it forces your back to keep that nice arc in it when you’re sitting.
So basically we call that ergonomics and many chairs especially in schools are not designed ergonomically correct and made out of that solid plastic and they don’t have a nice support for your back but if you remember to kind of always sit up straight, arch your back, keep your feet flat you’ll stay injury free. Your posture will be when you’re standing and walking or running or playing sports will always kind of be in great alignment. So that’s a great a very different kind of a question Diego so thanks for submitting that this week. So we have time for one more question and I’m going to have Rennie read that and again if we don’t get to them on air you can reach us as #AskEduTyping through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. So final question Rennie.
Maia Romano asks “What is the average typing speed for a 12-year old?”
Maia I saw your question come in and I thought it was really important to field this, so I scoured the internet and I tried to find some type of answer for what the average words per minute is. I mean at this time the fastest typist in the world keyboards at about 150 to 160 words but the world record is actually 220 words per minute done by a woman known as Barbara Blackburn. She broke that record in the early nineties but to answer your question for a 12 year old, what I did do was I looked at our data that we have available and we can’t really see everybody’s age in grade level but I was able to look at a fifth and a sixth grade set of statistics and it looks like the average is about 18 words to 20 words per minute which is really really good. So depending upon where you are you can kind of set that as your benchmark and remember that’s just a number that I picked up. I have no idea if those students had learned how to previously type in years before that. I was assuming that you know they started at the beginning of the year and then somewhere around halfway through the year were the the statistics that I looked that. So you could easily expect as a 12 year old to reach and exceed 25 or 30 or even 40 words per minute. So I hope that helps. It’s not the exact answer you were asking for but I was able to come up with some type of range.
So that’s all we have time for this week folks and again you can reach us at #AskEduTyping on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Submit those questions, visit the blog and download these cool activities that we take the time to upload every single week. And I will see next week on #AskEduTyping. Take care everybody.