Hi. I attended a recent conference where the presentor shared expriences of teaching keyboarding to students. I asked the same question and he said that he has tried to teach keyboarding to students as early as 4th-5th grade levels. This is one site he recommended which I tried with my students: http://www.powertyping.com/
My sons started when they were in 3rd grade, second semester. One of them exclusively used a software that the school purchased and the other one used the software and his teacher utilized the website for them to practice during computer time and at home. Thus far, my 6th grade son can type pretty well and I mean using his "pinky" fingers. Here is the website.
I would say 3rd or 4th grade, depending on the students' eye-hand motor coordination... here is a great article about the topic that you might find interesting.
Our school did a ton a ton of research on this. Kids are not ready until around the end of third grade because maturity, hand size etc. We started a keyboarding Bootcamp at the end of 3rd grade for 12 days. We taught posture, technique, and why kids keyboard. We have songs activites, coloring pages aand much more. We piloted it in one school and have embedded it throughout the division. 4th and 5th grade both do a shorter bootcamp at the beginning of the year as a refresher, then keyboarding in embedded into thier curriculum throughout the year. We have seen a drastic imporvement. It is very important because our state written tests are now online. We use a program called type to learn by sunburst. It is good at sollecting and storing data and allowing kids to log in from any computer in teh school
Hi Harold. My school uses the program Type to Learn Jr and Type to Learn. Junior is from grades 3 and below. The students enjoy using the program. They start as early as 1st grade. The more exposure they have, the better. Especially for the students that struggle with writing. My students that have a scribe as one of their IEP accommodations are some of the best at typing.
While schools have worked hard to integrate computers into the classroom and many do a great job teaching students how they work, many schools do not even consider teaching the art/science of using a keyboard.
I think we need to take a hard look at eliminating cursive writing instruction and replace it with keyboarding. Keyboarding can't be taught one day a week for 40 minutes in a computer class. There must be repetition throughout the week. While i realize cursive writing will become a lost art and students will need to know how to read it (though sparingly) i believe they will benefit more in all academic areas by building proficiency in keyboarding. How often do you use cursive writing in your personal life besides signing your name?
For some useful online tools for students to practice
My suggestion is - 3rd grade.
2-3 times a week for 20 minutes.
Great choice for online exercises at http://www.ratatype.com/. After classes, you can test your students' typing speed there and provide them with certificate.