Why Teach Touch Typing in a World of Mobile Phones and Voice to Text?

February 19th, 2018 Mike Gecawich

Hey everybody, it’s Mike Gecawich, co-founder of Typing.com and EduTyping.com. Welcome back to another exciting episode of Ask EduTyping, where every week we fielded questions from our student and teacher user audience from around the United States. And we literally have tens of thousands of students using the product every day and thousands of teachers so we’re very excited again to be bringing you another episode.

We start each week with a tip of the week for keyboarding teachers to use in their classroom.

This week’s tip is called the Home Row Ruler, and it’s one that I used to use all the time when I teach keyboarding in high school and in middle school. Here’s how it works. Basically, instead of throwing away an old keyboard, hold on to it then what you do is remove the home row keys ASDF JKL; get some superglue or gorilla glue and flip a ruler on its opposite side, and glue the home row letters as you see here on the whiteboard behind me.

What you do basically is that gives you a nice visual to walk around your computer lab as your students are teaching especially when they’re just learning the home row keys. And it’s a nice visual reinforcement that’s easy to carry around and you can constantly reinforce that students should have their hands anchored on the home row keys while the keyboarding.

So we’re going to get to our first question of the week I’m joined off-camera by my colleague Rennie Sullivan. So Rennie, if you can read this week’s first question.

Sharon, submitted a question on Typing.com, and she asks “I’ve been away from a computers for a short time, but used them for years. I was given your link to brush up on my typing, which are more advanced than what I see in your studies. I’m not a teacher, should I look elsewhere for a brushup?”

Well that’s a great question, Sharon. Typing.com definitely utilizes a curriculum that introduces keyboarding and eventually grow to mastery.

Our other product EduTyping is considered a classroom premium edition of Typing.com which has a much more involved and robust curriculum for all levels— beginner, intermediate, and advanced. So my recommendation is that you either use EduTyping. And again, it’s really designed for classroom users, not for one-on-one.

So what I would do is get a hold of a good keyboarding textbook from something like Amazon and you can use your word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs and that will definitely bring you in to a more advanced level and hopefully you’ll find that that curriculum is more in line with the skills you already possess.

But definitely, I wouldn’t recommend using Typing.com if you’ve already had keyboarding skills in the past. It’s great for a refresher but it’s not going to bring you to probably the level that you are desiring. So great question, Sharon. So let’s hear from our second user this week, Rennie—

Our next question is from James, submitted on EduTyping.com, he asked, “Any tips or resources for a teacher new to teaching typing?”

Oh that’s a great question, James. And boy do we have a lot of resources available for anybody new to teaching keyboarding. So, first of all we have a link right at EduTyping.com. There’s a blog button right at the top. If you take a look at that that’s going to bring you into our blog history, which has hundreds of tips for how to teach keyboarding.

And you’ll notice if you scroll down a little bit and or do a find that we have two guides that are available that you will find very useful. One is How to Teach Typing at the Secondary Level and the second is How to Teach Typing at the Elementary Level.

So definitely check out the blog and also if you log into the teacher portal at EduTyping there’s also a blog link available there as well.

We also offer weekly webinars, they’re and they are presented by a former keyboarding teacher one of our great tech support specialists here who also does our webinar. Her name’s Patricia Hawksley. She taught for 35 years and knows keyboarding from A to Z. So you definitely want to hop on that. You can register also by visiting EduTyping.com and then there’s a register for webinar link there as well.

So that should give you more than enough resources and definitely tune in to Ask EduTyping each week, where we provide a tip of the week and answer many questions which then will help other teachers like yourself in teaching the keyboarding curriculum. So we’ve got time for one more question and we’re going to call it a day here so Rennie, if you would read our final question of the week.

Joan from New York, she asks. “I’m curious what your response is when people ask why kids are still required to learn touch typing. I’ve had parents, teachers, and of course, students ask. Why learn touch typing when kids are so fast with thumbs and index fingers because of game controls and handheld devices. They also question whether or not a typing is even necessary given the advancements in voice to text programs. Your thoughts?”

Joan, that’s a great question and I get this all the time in presentations that I do all across America from students and teachers and parents, basically with voice to text software available in today’s technology world, why are we still teaching keyboarding? And also when students are so used to texting and using other devices that basically don’t employ the traditional home row touch typing technique.

So there is a multifaceted set of answers to this but basically the main reason why the world has not switched over to voice to text and while we still teach keyboarding is the ergonomics of our workplace and our schools. So when you think about a computer lab. If we had every student who had to have a headset on and they had to speak for that speech to be converted into text just think about the disruption to the other students inside of the computer lab or computer classroom.

The other thing is in the workplace we don’t ergonomically have businesses set up for voice to text to really be employed and work throughout a company. For example, right here in my offices, if I had people talking into microphones or speaking to their computers it would not be conducive to kind of the workplace environment and flow. And until we replace the keyboard that’s pretty much still the standard on every laptop and every desktop computer.

So believe me, when the technology, or the day does potentially come, for there to be voice to text or a different methodology of how to teach typing and students to key in data into any device. We’ll be right alongside building a curriculum that will work for that.

But until then, students still definitely need to learn how to type using traditional keyboarding methodologies so that they arm themselves with the skills that are going to be required when they reach the workplace. That was a great question, Joan, and you know very provoking thought type of question.

So that’s all we have time for this week’s episode. But remember we will be back each week delivering a new episode of Ask EduTyping, so be sure to reach us and submit your questions. If we don’t get to them on the air, we will definitely do so by e-mail to respond to you and you can reach us through #AskEduTyping on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So until next week, happy teaching everybody! See you later.

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