Desktops to laptops to tablets and smartphones, we’re exposed to all sorts of different input devices. The debate over teaching typing in schools is ongoing. My first computer course in the 8th was a typing class. A whole period. An entire 50 minutes dedicated to typing in computer lab. And I’m thankful for it now. High school and college, I know realize, were easier for me because of learning to touch-type. No doubt it’s a critical skill to be taught at schools.
But now, unlike 20 years ago, computers have become more of a house-hold product. Common enough for school children to share just with their siblings, or even have their own. Nowadays, 50 minutes of classroom time spent on touch-typing makes less sense to me.
I’ve thought a lot about this since teaching in the elementary school again. The 21st Century Skills vision has nudged technology integration into classrooms at earlier grades. Students are conducting their first researches in the computer lab as early as the second grade.
This is true at my current school, and I am working with my colleagues to make students better typists. My hope is to make touch-typing a skill that students learn outside the classroom. With proper incentives, kids can be pushed to take this responsibility into their own hands and keeping them rolling down that path to becoming life-long learners.
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