Over the past 3 weeks I have been busy building a soapbox. Today I would like to stand on top of it and shout out my issues. (well I will start with 1 of them) I have a few so I am thinking this could potentially become a whole series!
My soapbox item for today is….Kids and typing
*Steps up onto newly created soapbox, straightens shirt, clears throat and lifts megaphone to mouth*
The first issue for my newly created soapbox is the issue of kids and typing. In my current role as an elearning coach I have the privilege of working with loads of different kids in different classrooms and different schools. A common issue that I have struck recently is our students’ lack of ability to touch type. (And by touch type I simply mean typing with more than 1 finger). As I glanced across the classrooms I was working in today I noticed the most common approach to typing sentences on the student netbooks was with 1 hand either on the seat or on the desk or supporting the cheek and the other hand, index finger extended, ever so slowly pecking away at the keyboard. I was continually asking students to place 2 hands on the keyboard and at the very least try and use their 2 index fingers to type.
Observing this across a range of schools makes me wonder if we need to add explicit teaching of touch typing to our curriculum. With the emphasis we are now placing on use of technologies in the classroom surely it makes sense to teach our students the most efficient methods for this style of communication and expression.
Teachers need to start acknowledging the importance of this key skill. We place emphasis on teaching handwriting and as an innovator (aka tech loving teacher) I constantly come up against teachers who whinge about students’ poor handwriting or the old worry about kids ‘not being able to handwrite anymore because they spend all their time on computers’. Seriously, how often do we handwrite in our modern society? On the other hand, how often do we type in our modern society? Aren’t we doing our kids a disservice by not providing them with the skills to become more efficient at this vital skill?
I know our curriculum is already overcrowded but I think this is one skill that needs to be taken MUCH more seriously. And by much more seriously I don’t mean telling students to go on Tux Typing for 15 minutes every now and again.