• Keyboarding for Students

    With the advent of online testing, it is important that students be keyboarding. In a Washington Post article by Lyndsey Layton,entitled "Elementary students learn keyboard typing ahead of new Common Core tests," published on October 13th, she states:

    "The Common Core standards make frequent references to technology skills, stating that students in every grade should be able to use the Internet for research and use digital tools in their schoolwork to incorporate video, sound and images with writing.

    But the standardized tests linked to the Common Core make those expectations crystal clear because the exams — which will be given in 2014-2015 — require students to be able to manipulate a mouse; click, drag and type answers on a keyboard; and, starting in third grade, write online...Jaqui Murray, a California teacher who writes the popular Ask A Tech Teacher blog. “It’s a huge deal. You can’t have kids go into these tests and not do well because they can’t keyboard.”

     

    How Important is Keyboarding?

    "Children must learn touch typing — the ability to compose text without looking at keys — so they can focus on their writing, said Kathleen Regan, the director of curriculum and instruction at New Jersey’s Glen Rock Public Schools. She calls it a “fluency skill” akin to memorizing the multiplication tables in order to more quickly perform complex mathematics.." 

    While schools may be teaching touch typing because of the Common Core tests, the ability to use a keyboard is an important life skill, said Cathy Turner, a technology teacher at an elementary school in Greenville, S.C., who runs the computer lab used by 600 students every week at Welcome Elementary School.“A lot of jobs out there require keyboarding,” said Turner, mentioning that many service

    industry positions require computer use. “They need it for real life. We are becoming such a computerized world, and technology is changing constantly. For us to keep up with other countries, we have to get a move on it.”

     

    What About Voice Recognition Software such as Apple's Siri? 

    Jaqui Murray, the technology teacher and blogger quoted above, wonders how long it will take for new technology, such as voice recognition, to make typing obsolete. She mentioned Siri, the voice recognition software on Apple’s mobile products, as an example.

    “I use Siri on the phone and iPad, but it’s not good enough yet,” Murray said. “When that starts getting better, look out. That’s really going to change things. Again.” 

     But until then, we have to prepare our students for exams and life by teaching them the life skill of keyboarding.

     

     Free Keyboarding Sites

           Elementary Level  

    Typing Online
    These online games and tests can help you build up your typical skills and have fun at the same time. Learning how to type can also help you as you move up in skill level and take on harder assignments that need to be typed up on a computer.
    Thank you to Ms. Graves' kids at Morrow Community for suggesting this site.
    LearningGames
    Learning typing is the focus of these keyboarding games. Learning keyboarding skills is vital for today’s learners and tomorrow’s earners. These free typing games are a great way to build typing skills. Keyboarding games teach important skills through a variety of online typing lessons and typing games..... oh yeah, they're fun!
    ABC Ya
    Keyboarding Zoo is a fun and educational activity to help early elementary age students learn the keyboard. Children are encouraged to use their index or pointer fingers to match letters on the screen to their keyboards. Uppercase letters, numbers and symbols are coming soon!
    Recommended for Grades: K,1,2
    Dance Mat Typing
     From BBC Schools, this 4 level - 12 session typing course is more appropriate for upper elementary grades.
    Fun to Type
     This site has lots of typing games designed to make the student familiar with the keyboard. It is not a step by step site. It has games for all elementary grades.
     
     

           Prep and High School Levels

    Goodtyping  
    Sign up for a Free Account.
    Learn how to type correctly in just a few hours
    using all your fingers.
      You will soon be typing faster than you ever imagined.
    27 guided lessons to learn step-by-step from the beginning. 
    Typing Web
    TypingWeb is a free online typing tutor & keyboarding tutorial for typists of all skill levels. TypingWeb includes entertaining typing games, typing tests, and free official typing certification.
    Completely Free   Perfect for All Ages
    Lessons for All Skill Levels
    KBR  
    Keybr.com is very straightforward. You can choose from three basic lessons that start with a certain number of keys on the keyboard, and then, as you progress through the lessons, more keys are introduced to the mix to make things a little tougher. As an added bonus, our software keeps track of all your mistakes and your words–per–minute (wpm) — and even creates graphs of your day–by–day performance 
    Sensi-Lang
    Many ads, but there are keyboarding activities, tutorials, tests and games.
    Keyboarding  
    Keyboarding Education
    For The College Student
    It is a online college site, but it has many resources and activities applicable to prep and high school levels. It's a good site.