Thursday, October 9, 2014

Time, LOTS of time, for Typing

     I'm not trying to be critical of anyone or any school, but there is a glitch in our writing curriculum. Students are asked to 'publish' their work through typing, but kids simply don't automatically know how to keyboard, and are extremely slow at it. Often they learn typing the wrong way too, such as using the 'caps lock' key every time they need a capital letter.  It seems to me that in our quest to be a 21st century school system, we are forgetting that students need to know where the letters are on a keyboard, how to use two hands, how to use a shift key for a capital letter, and how to find the punctuation marks.

      In addition, students don't come to school on an equal footing.  One family may have laptops, desktops, and tablets so those children have prior knowledge of keyboards, while another family might be struggling just to keep a phone.  Personally, I'd like to see a renewed encouragement and time allotted to teach simple keyboarding to kids in upper elementary school so they can publish their work in a more timely, less stressful manner. 

     Keyboarding is part of the Common Core, by the way.  (Not that that matters to North Carolina.)
Here's a good article about keyboarding and the Core here.  The people who wrote the Common Core recognized the importance of this skill, but didn't dictate exactly how to get the kids to meet the standard.  My opinion is that we can't assume the students will learn it without direct instruction

Why do I care?  I'm only a speech pathologist you might say. However, I do have integrated IEP goals which involve me pushing into classrooms during writing time for those students with language difficulties.  The times when students are typing are a waste of time for me to apply skilled interventions.  I become a clerical assistant.

The girl in the above video is a typical kid.  She has handwritten a lengthy, four page story and is going to be typing a long time! Can there be a better use of instructional time other than hunting and pecking?


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