Hi newfound friends,
I would like to ask you for and would really appreciate your comments or, even better, would love you to try a lateral-thinking method I have devised that, I believe, could solve the current keyboarding problem in elementary schools. I found Deb's post "Teaching Keyboarding" a couple of days ago and was heartened that others feel too that keyboarding is a vital but neglected skill
Using my method, Grade 1 children learn the correct finger positions on the keyboard in four lessons of 30 minutes each (each lesson can be split into two 15-minute lessons) playing a fun game on a body-sized keyboard on the floor (using quirky association words and actions to memorize the keys). Grades 3-6 children learn the keyboard in two lessons of 30 minutes each, using computers and overhead slides
Unlike current typing software programs that use mindless repetition and typing random letters and force teachers to teach keyboarding in isolation because children are stuck in their software programs, it’s fast, fun and amazingly easy and, best of all, this new skill can be integrated in a fun, no pressure way into any class that uses computers AND any class that does not have access to computers, eg, children can play the game to spell their names and other familiar things
Other benefits of children learning the keyboard in Grade 1 and using this skill in other classes are that children wouldn’t get into the bad habit of two-finger typing and middle school keyboarding classes would no longer be required. NO special teacher training is necessary and parents can verbally reinforce the quirky association words at home
I have had feedback from two teachers so far: 1) “The benefits are the kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learner all get to learn their way. It uses all the senses and anytime a child can see as well as do, they remember better. I will teach my keyboarding classes this way from now on. It is fabulous” and 2) “I am already using the lessons with them during their projects. It is helping them to find the correct keys much more quickly”
Children love computers and, if they learn the correct finger positions, I don’t think they’d even want to type with two fingers. I can just imagine them going home and telling their parents, Mum or Dad, you are using the wrong finger. One teacher who tried the lesson plans with her Grade 1 class said the parents of the children were thrilled
I actually think the subject of keyboarding is going to hot up soon. I found this comment online recently: In some Districts, middle school and high school students are already doing all their writing assessments online. One teacher commented "They keep talking about wanting our fourth graders to do this too, but I think it would be a nightmare!!! They still hunt and peck at this age!!!
For months, I have been looking for ten innovative, non-bureaucratic School Districts that are enthusiastic about trying new ideas, especially lateral-thinking ideas, and would be willing to try the four lesson plans and only two have expressed interest (one in New York and one in Arizona). I even came up with the below special deal
If School Districts would like to try Lessons 1 and 2 and, then, give me feedback (and, down the track, a School District testimonial), I offered them a School District Licence for the price of a Single-School Licence, ie, Aust$420 (US$334 on today's exchange rates)
This District Licence would give every school in the School District access to the four lessons plans (for Grades 1-2), the Children's version, using computers and overhead slides (Grades 3-6) and the Adult version (which I have sold online in over 50 countries for the past 8 years), so everyone at every school in the School District could learn to type (even the teachers)
I, also, offered to throw into the deal my Microsoft Word Tutorials 1, 2 and 3. My Microsoft Word Tutorial 1 "Getting Started (CONFIDENCE Builder)" is free and has links to it from many educational sites, including Yale University. In return, again, I asked for a School District testimonial
Thanks for reading this post, and I would dearly love to hear from you
PS The mother of an 11-year-old had this to say (this was before I came up with a Children’s version and the four lesson plans):
"I just taught my 11 year old (who gets BORED with ANY repetitious task and gives up or whines and even cries wanting to stop). But after about a minute on your preview sample, HE CONTINUED effortlessly, for the first time. WE BOTH enjoyed each other, me teaching him and him learning it! I kept looking at other typing tutors the internet had to offer, but they did not compare to your method!"