OK, I know I am repeating myself, but I seriously need detailed anecdotal evidence/descriptions of successful elementary keyboarding programs - if such a thing even exists. An administrator today told me that he wants to start keyboarding in kindergarten by teaching them to recognize letters in the alphabet and relating it to letters on a keyboard. I was trained as a business ed teacher so this is a bit of a stretch for me to envision. It kind of goes against everything I learned about keyboarding being a psycho motor skill requiring consistent, repetitious practice. OK - I'm trying to be open minded - it's not 1985 - I'm not teaching keyboarding on IBM Selectric's, I'm not in charge, etc. etc. This is a subject that I have ranted about for years. I think there was a decade or two in the land of technology education where many chose to completely forget about boring old keyboarding. It seems to be making a comeback but I don't think this wasn't on my band wagon agenda. I'm not sure what I have or had in mine - any suggestions?? Positive and negative stories welcome - it's always nice and less costly to learn from others mistakes! :)
Deb

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I'm still laughing. N.
Deb -

If you'd like to contact me about my 4th grade keyboarding program (I teach at 10 different elementary schools in 25 day rotations, 30 min with each class/day) I'd love to help you out, although I know this discussion is over 4 months old by now! Just send me a note on my page or email me at kolson29@gmail.com - I'd love to discuss further. I'm just not prepared to write out my entire curriculum in a forum posting :-)
Knowing how to get around the keyboard and complete a useful task, assignment, or sentence is my goal with my 4th graders. I let them "play" with a Mavis Beacon typing program for short periods in learning centers, during which they get a lot of basic pointers on where to put fingers, using thumb for space bar, and so forth. Beyond that, I simply remind them to put both hands on the keyboard and spread their fingers, which they do while typing blogs, newspaper stories, email, wiki writing, or any other assignments. Other than that, nothing formal in the way of keyboarding. The kids will encounter keyboarding when they reach middle school in our district.
I've mentioned this before in this discussion but I think it is very important for kids to be able to type by the end of 4th grade, their written output will improve considerably.
my class love "spongeBob Typing" really cheap software to learn typing skills
Deb,

I know that I am a couple of years late, but have you seen the stories, videos and research on my Keyboarding Research and Resources blog? http://keyboardingresearch.org

I try to make it a valuable keyboarding resource for educators around the world. I would be interested in your reaction.

Leigh Zeitz
University of Northern Iowa
Deb, We in North East ISD, San Antonio, use AlphaSmarts, Neo's and Neo 2 portable keyboards for both keyboarding instruction and for writing labs. This link describes in detail how we implemented the keyboarding program, beginning around 2001/2002 - http://research.renlearn.com/research/pdfs/255.pdf. I will be happy to share more about the challenges and rewards with you either by email or through this conversation. Keyboarding/typing is no longer offered at the high school level in our district due to course requirements and the elimination of several electives. For those teachers who follow the model, we see significant improvment in words per minute and accuracy which translates into students who can actually finish a task when given time on the computer or laptop. Middle school teachers have commented on the improvement over prior years when very few campuses included elementary keyboarding in a lab setting.

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