Thursday, April 12, 2012

Philosophies of Teaching Keyboarding in the 21st Century

I've long since stopped believing that students should be taught keyboarding.

I can literally hear people gasping right now.

Don't throw your lunch at me or call me a techno-heretic just yet! Hear me out, people, hear me out...

My reasons are four-fold:

1. Keyboarding skill-and-drill practice takes time that could be spent on more valuable experiences with technology. (Example: Instead of practicing home keys or finding capital and lowercase letters, let students-even 5 year olds!-type a list of words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. Have older students type reports, blog posts, comments on other blog posts, etc.) I'm not saying never give them a few minutes here and there on some sort of open-source software, but for the love of Pete don't take your 45-minute lab class to make students practice finding j-j-j, then h-h-h, and so forth. Oy vey.

2. My own personal experiences with technology has proven that it just takes time and consistent connections to real-world tasks to acquire ease on a keyboard. I am a digital immigrant who was never taught keyboarding, and I have survived just fine.I believe that it is much more meaningful to give students more opportunities to type in context of their course content.

3. New technologies don't even utilize the classic QWERTY-style keyboard. If we're keeping our kids up to date with tech tools, then we're putting iPods and iPads in their hands.  

4. There really is no one "right" way to type. Whatever makes the user most comfortable and gets the job done most efficiently IS the right way for that person.

But you know what, don't take my word for it. Check out what these experts have to say on the subject!

And if you hate this philosophy of keyboarding (or rather, philosophy of NON-keyboarding), you don't even want to hear what I have to say about cursive handwriting (Which, from what I gather, was left completely out of the Common Core Standards)! ;)

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