It’s an IT-rich world out there! With an increasing number of schools moving their learning resources online, and relying on devices like laptops for learning, there is a growing reliance on the keyboard. And while using a keyboard may appear relatively easy, bad typing habits cannot only slow them down but also lead to muscle stress and other health issues. I believe schools are making great headway with integrating technology into classrooms, however one area I believe we need more attention is “typing 101”. However, it is not just the responsibility of the schools to teach touch-typing, you can direct your child in learning this skill as well!
Below are my answers to some common questions I’m asked by parents about this topic
What is the right way of typing?
The best way of typing is through the method of touch-typing. Through this method, people focus only on what they are typing (by looking at the screen), without having to look down at the letters on the keyboard. This is not only a faster way of typing, it makes balanced use of all the fingers and allows a person to focus on the content rather than the alphabet. Being a faster method facilitates the finishing of homework quicker and means they can keep up in social conversations online!
How does touch typing work?
In this method, the user rests the fingers of the left hand on the ASDF letters and those of the right hand on JKL;. They then move to the adjacent letters with specific fingers, using this line as the home base. Both pointer fingers should always be resting on the f and j keys (that’s what those little bumps on those keys are for!) and the thumbs on the spacebar.
When should a kid learn to touch-type?
I feel that when kids are old enough to use smart devices, they are old enough to start learning to touch-type. In fact, once they have mastered the alphabet and are learning small words, they can begin learning to touch-type as well. Learning early ensures that they learn faster as well.
For example, I began touch-typing when I was 7 years old. I can thank my mum for that! She purchased a touch-typing software game that taught me all the basics. It’s like riding a bicycle – you never forget how to touch type once you’ve learnt! This skill has seen me through years of school, university and admin-type work (such as writing this blog!!).
Besides increasing speed, does touch-typing have other benefits?
Of course, it does! It improves hand-eye coordination, letter recognition, builds muscle memory and helps translate the speed of thought into the written word faster.
How can we make the best of touch typing?
To get the best benefits from touch typing, it is important that kids do it moderately. Using a keyboard means they are staring a screen and we want to ensure that that isn’t occurring too often throughout the day! They are still children, meaning they need balance and time away from the screen. Maintaining a good posture while typing is important, such that the entire body weight does not rest on the wrists. Also, just as learning early is important, learning the right technique is vital too. So resources such as ‘www.typingweb.com’ should be used to ensure that they learn the right techniques. Maybe you could even join in with them as well!