Why teach how to type? Because keyboarding is a way of life today. Not only in schools or in the workforce, but also as a means for communicating with others, sharing ideas, expressing thoughts, and even utilizing entertainment through computer games. Typing is the primary means of interfacing with a computer. Therefore, learning how to use the keyboard is an essential 21st Century skill that students must develop in order to type effectively and efficiently on computers.
Even young children are actively involved with using computers on a regular basis to type emails and play games that involve using typing skills. Research shows that learning how to type should be taught to students at an earlier age, before bad habits form. This early introduction of typing reduces bad habit development and provides additional benefits that include improvements in spelling, writing, and reading comprehension. Students who learn how to type develop writing faster through word processing because it facilitates the review and revision process. Efficient keyboarding skills allow students to emphasize concept development instead of focusing on key location. Students who become efficient on the keyboard "compose better, are prouder of their work, produce documents with a neater appearance, and have better motivation." (Nieman, 1996).
Language arts skills are further developed by the lessons, activities and typing games in Type to Learn 4. These keyboarding typing games reinforce phonics, grammar, vocabulary, proper usage of punctuation, sight words, frequently misspelled words, and other elements of written language. Cross-curricular activity payoffs provide grade-appropriate incidental learning in the areas of: science, literature, social studies, and other general knowledge topics.
Mastering typing involves learning technique (physical positioning and movement), ergonomics (safe and comfortable keyboard interaction), and key location. Learning how to type by key location requires a sequential introduction of the keys along with a great deal of repetition and reinforcement to develop the kinesthetic memory traces leading to keyboarding automaticity. Efficiency is expanded if keyboarders type short letter clusters and words as single units instead of groups of individual letters (e.g., er, ing, the, my). Type to Learn 4 calls these clusters Quick-Blends and Quick-Words.
With Type to Learn 4: Agents of Information, using the keyboard will become as natural to your students as writing with pen and paper. Its research-based, interactive learning environment will engage all K-12 keyboarding learners.