Can Your Students QWERTY?

Walking around my grade 8 classroom, I see just about all my students typing away on their cell phones.  Their speed is remarkable and I wish I could text as fast as they could.

Then, as they pull out their laptops, most of them slow to a crawl.  Some have mastered the two index finger typing technique and others have created their own version of touch typing that basically works. 

When a student struggles to get their ideas out on paper because their fingers just can't keep up with the pace of their thoughts, their work suffers. With transitions in mind, I worry about what they will do in high school and post-secondary school or even the workplace when they need to type quickly and accurately.  It's a skill I once took for granted but now I see the importance of it for productivity and student improvement.

Recently, I was introduced to an app in the Chrome Store called Typing Club.  It’s a free touch typing tutorial app that students can use to learn the basics of the QWERTY keyboard and eventually increase their speed and accuracy as they move up through the levels.

The hard part will be convincing students to slow down long enough to learn the proper way to type.  If they can be convinced to take a few weeks and practise, they will definitely benefit in the long run.

Scott Monahan gave me the idea to challenge my students to see how many can reach 50 words per minute.  I plan on doing just that!

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