I received a tweet asking me for suggestions on keyboarding programs for students. I didn’t respond. I couldn’t respond. I am not a fan, and when schools are saying that they are either a) in a time crunch or, b) having limited use of technology, I struggle that we use this precious amount of time focusing on keyboarding programs.
Think about it…Have you ever seen anyone in their teens on a mobile device, furiously typing away? What “iPhone Keyboarding” class did they take to learn that?
You know the answer…they didn’t. They learned on their own. They were compelled to learn on their own because if you can’t type fast enough, you might be left out of a conversation.
So, instead of looking for “keyboarding programs”, why not find compelling ways where students will want to learn to type? I asked my wife, an amazing educator, if she ever taught her grade four students “keyboarding”, and she said “never”. What she did share though was using chat programs to have conversations with topics, and that students learned that the old “hunt and peck” method would not be good enough; they had to adapt. Her reasoning was that she never learned how to type in high school, but by using ICQ (uh oh!…Please tell me someone gets that joke).
Simply put, if I am in a position where I need to learn something to be able to do something that is meaningful to me, I might actually learn it in a much more powerful way. Create something compelling and the students will learn to type.
As I am writing this, I am thinking about the questions we ask. There are two different ways that this question could have been asked:
What is the best keyboarding program that has worked for your students?
What are some of the best strategies that you have used for students to learn how to type?
The first question leads you to something solving the problem for you. The second pushes creative and innovative thinking.
Once we start hoping the technology will solve our problems, the more trouble will be in as educators, for a plethora of reasons.
Mindset will move us forward, not any technology.
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