How to Teach Typing Correctly

A Unique Solution to a Common Problem

 

Many schools aren’t teaching typing anymore because they figure students already are proficient at using keyboards. That’s a wasted opportunity.  MIT Technology Review

 

Over the years, I continue to observe that most students struggle with their typing skills, and thus take so much more time getting information and ideas from their head and paper into the computer when more of that precious time should be spent figuring out what to say, how to say it, and making corrections to their work to get their point across even better.

This is especially true when a research paper deadline is coming due or taking an online exam.

And then there is college and work.  Teaching your students how to type correctly now will save them an incredible amount of time and frustration over the course of their life.  It is one of those skills that they will never appreciate having until they see their peers struggling with two finger typing in a college or high school class while they are sailing right through their projects.

With more and more high schools eliminating typing classes, how are students going to learn this incredibly valuable skill?  You!

A while ago, Ben Hunt had this to say about learning to type:

Learning to touch-type is one of the most valuable skills you’ll ever learn as a designer or developer.  If you want to increase your productivity and have more success, bite the bullet and learn to type properly now!   http://webdesignfromscratch.com/blog/learn-to-type/

 

These Proven Techniques Work

I also think it is VERY important for students to learn how to type and is why I have recently revamped The Typing Coach to make it even easier to follow along and learn how to touch type in a much more effective way than those programs that create dependency to look at the keyboard and monitor. 

Think about it this way:  when was the last time you or your students had to type something that was on the screen?  Of course, the answer is never.  If it is already on the screen, then it does not need to be typed!  So, then why learn how to type this way?  Silly.

The Typing Coach is an updated version of the traditional learn how to type model and is by far the most effective and efficient way to learn.

Well, you may say, "David, we use Mavis Beacon, Typing Tutor, Typing Club, or something similar, and my students seem to progress quite nicely.  What is so special about The Typing Coach?"

Great question! Give your students a paragraph or page to type and then watch.  If they are constantly hunched over, staring at the keyboard, moving their two fingers to find the keys, then I can almost guarantee you that typing takes take a LOT more of their time and they will have a LOT of errors needing the delete or backspace keys then if they learned how to type correctly.

In addition to monitor independence, using The Typing Coach also provides students with accountability, fewer errors, and greater focus.  As the teacher, you provide the visual assurance, verbal correction, gentle nudging, and checklist progression needed as the student progresses at his or her own pace.  This is differential, standards based learning, technology integration, and meeting individual instructional needs all rolled into one.

Does it matter how we type? Yes. Touch typing allows us to write without thinking about how we are writing, freeing us to focus on what we are writing, on our ideas. Touch typing is an example of cognitive automaticity, the ability to do things without conscious attention or awareness. Automaticity takes a burden off our working memory, allowing us more space for higher-order thinking. (Other forms of cognitive automaticity include driving a car, riding a bike and reading—you’re not sounding out the letters as you scan this post, right?) When we type without looking at the keys, we are multi-tasking, our brains free to focus on ideas without having to waste mental resources trying to find the quotation mark key. We can write at the speed of thought.    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/425018/out-of-touch-with-typing/

 

The Pizza Party Challenge

How much more effective is The Typing Coach than those other programs?  When I first started teaching typing two decades ago, the veteran typing teacher next door said that using the book and program the way he had been for years is the only way to go and kept bugging me about it for a couple of years.  I finally challenged him.  At the end of the semester, we would give our students the same exact page to type and see, on average, whose class outperformed.  I used The Typing Coach method and he stuck to his “tried and true” book and software program.  As you have already figured out, my students greatly outperformed his students and he never mentioned it again.

And I give you the same challenge today. Take your class through one of the typical programs of choice for one or two months and another teacher will use The Typing Coach.  Whichever class scores the highest will win a pizza party.  Or, if you want to skip all of that and simply give your students the best typing skill learning available, head over to The Typing Coach website and use the Guest login to use it for free.  Email me for the password.

 

Are you Ready to Succeed?

The regular, self-paced lessons are easy to follow and any student twelve years and up can succeed if they are diligent.  Testing and Grading is easy with the Practice and Testing Center that automatically scores, prints, and emails results.  For the younger ones (8-11 year olds), there are slower paced lessons that involve teacher guidance a bit more.  All instructions are provided in the Teacher Resource Center and full email support is available. 

Once you get the hang of using The Typing Coach, you will wonder why you have not been teaching your students typing like this the whole time! For more information, visit ttcc.lindenusd.com/teachers/typing-coach.