3 Ways Typing Makes Your Brain Stronger
There are plenty of “firsts” that parents eagerly await with a new child.
The first step, the first word, the first day of school, the first time reading.
What’s not usually on this list but should be is— the first time typing.
Sure, learning to type may not be as integral to early communication as learning to read and write, but a growing body of research shows that there may be important cognitive benefits to learning to type at a young age.
Typing from an early age not only is a useful foundational skill, but it can actually help the brain develop and create neural paths that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
Read on for three ways that learning to touch type can help young brains develop.
1) Strengthen connections between hemispheres
Most of us are either right or left-handed.
Activities such as typing and playing the piano, that require both hands to work together, challenge the brain to fight against this right or left-hand dominance.
As a result, scientists have found that pianists’ brains actually function differently than most peoples’, with a more symmetrical central sulcus (the part of the brain that determines right or left-handedness).
Mastering a skill like typing or piano at a young age, which requires the brain to fight against having a dominant hand, can actually strengthen the brain in ways that make it able to perform other challenging tasks more easily.
2) Improved hand-eye coordination
Anyone who suffers from poor hand-eye coordination can sympathize with the struggle of playing a game of catch or even writing legibly.
Well, good news— learning to type can help improve your hand-eye coordination as well!
Throwing and catching a ball against a wall is a common exercise to improve hand-eye coordination, but some scientists believe that typing is an even better way to strengthen the connection between eye movement and hand movement.
This is because typing is a continuous action. The lack of pauses while typing makes the activity a powerful way to practice hand-eye coordination.
Who would have thought that typing could improve your ball game?
3) Enhances memory
Consistently typing words correctly requires you to push your brain to simultaneously remember both 1) how to spell a word and 2) where the necessary keys are on the keyboard to form that word.
This continuous task of recalling two different sets of information at once can help strengthen the neural networks that control memory.
To get the most memory building power out of typing, correct spelling mistakes in the moment by deleting the misspelled word and re-typing it correctly (instead of right clicking to use auto-correct).
If it’s a word that you aren’t sure how to spell, keep trying until you get it right.
So the next time you want to reinvest your students in the value of learning to touch type, don’t just stress the usefulness for efficient communication, but let them know that typing can help make their brains stronger and more ready to tackle other tasks as well!