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Re: DISCUSS: Why Should We Teach Keyboarding?
by Kostas Bogdanas - Friday, 13 January 2012, 08:51 AM
I have been debating this for the last year or so, since students have started using touch-tablets and laptops at home and suddenly I am noticing students jabbing the monitors on a regular basis at school.

I want to be brief, but what is your take on teaching keyboarding to elementary age students?  When do you want them to be proficient with keyboarding?

Basically, my approach for years has been: start in Kindergarten with letter-identification, keyboard layout (but,really, most of the focus is on psychomotor skills-- using the mouse, starting to learn to log in/out, basic computer navigation). in 1st grade we really start to use word-processors and children start to spend time doing actual keyboarding drills and getting used to the keyboard layout and beginning home-row key placement.  2nd and 3rd grade are much more intenense with routine practice, up to 40 minutes twice a week with specific keyboarding practice, speed-tests, and the like.  I used to be quite adamant with teaching keyboarding to Kinder and 1st grades, but now have adopted a more open 'play' mode for learning.  I push keyboard-safety (posture, hand-positioning, time-management.... by 4th grade I expect them to be proficient and do not do much keyboarding with them after the first two months of school.

Lately I have heard from a few teachers and students regarding the impact of keyboarding on students that are struggling with handwriting (practicing cursive).  Are kids losing the ability to write in cursive but gaining the ability to keyboard without formal training?  What's the ongoing p.o.v. on this in elementary teacher circles?