While schools are moving from the computer lab environment to integrating computers into the classroom, many teachers do not consider teaching the art/science of keyboarding.
Teaching keyboarding is not fast and simple. Years ago many high school students took typing classes. Typically taught by a business education type teacher, students learned correct typing technique and posture while trying to increase speed and accuracy. Some passed with flying colors, some got by only to use the hunt and peck method.
While keyboarding skills are necessary, many children are learning to manipulate keyboards at an early age. First graders are still learning to put together words and sentences. In addition their fingers and fine motor skills haven’t developed for properly learning to move about the keyboard, so it really doesn’t make sense to try and teach them real keyboarding skills. Yet unfortunately, students simply develop bad habits by the time they are developmentally ready to really learn and understand keyboarding. Keyboarding is an important psycho-motor skill that all students need to learn, but that fact is not being recognized. Years of research have been done on the correct way to teach keyboarding skills. There is a reason for those aaa sss asa asdf drills. There is also a reason those high schoolers went to class on a daily schedule to learn typing. It simply doesn’t work when you only seem them once every five or six days in a rotation in an elementary setting. Certainly introducing children to the home row keys, showing them video clips of “typing” class and facilitating dialogue about the importance of proper keyboarding is a great start in the elementary classroom any where from 3rd-5th grade.
The sites listed on this page are great for helping introduce your students to the fundamentals of keyboarding at the elementary level and a great resource for center time if you have computers in your classroom. Keyboarding software programs such as Mavis Beacon would be used for older students that attend a regular scheduled keyboarding class.