Recently, while having a debate with my son who insists that now that iPods and cellphones are on the scene, the need for keyboarding is unnecessary, I read an article from a business teacher, no doubt, whose sentiments on this subject were closely aligned with his.
My questions then is, should business teachers still require students to learn to key by touch? I say YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! Maybe I’m of a dying breed of business teachers, but I think students should learn to key by touch so that they are able to increase their productivity while typing. Sure, you start out slow, but with practice your speed increases. I can’t say the same for what I call–”hunting and pecking.” My son would say he differs with that because he no longer uses eight fingers and one thumb to type and his typing speed rivals mine, but I say to him–”You are as fast as you are because you learned where the keys were located before you adapted to your new style of typing.”
I agree that you don’t hang a child because he/she types “c” with the “f” finger; or “r” with the “d” finger, but hunting and pecking is just not the way. The problem with keyboarding today is that students are being introduced to the keyboard at such a young age, they develop the hunt and peck method and then when they enter middle school or high school where keyboarding shows up in the curriculum, they are convinced that they already know how to type because they are satisfied with how they’ve been doing it up to this point.–A headache for a diehard business teacher like myself.
I’m convinced that touch typing should be introduced at the Kindergarten and/or first grade level. Why, I taught my son to type on a typewriter when he was four years old–computers were not as prevalent then. After 30+ years of teaching business on the secondary level, this year I taught at an elementary/middle school. There my patience with teaching touch typing was put to the ultimate test. To maintain my sanity, I went with something my sister told me years ago–”not all children want to learn to type; but don’t hinder the ones that do.” So I required them all to learn the touch method, not getting upset when I noticed some doing their own thing, and worked diligently with those that did. When it came time to work with my first graders; however, my heart melted. Those babies took to touch typing like ducks to water. Just look at my babies typing. Now I know where to put my efforts.