Learning to type is more important than ever in today’s computer-oriented society. Kids need to learn proper keyboarding skills before bad habits such as the “hunt and peck” system are formed. Keyboarding games are one way to help kids learn this important skill and have fun at the same time. Typing and computer skills are also essential for most jobs today. One study focusing on computer use in the school system estimated that students would spend more than 400 hours on microcomputers before they reached the ninth grade (Kidney, 1985). Who knows the impact keyboarding skills may have on productivity in school, personal, and future work environments.
Touch keyboarding is the goal. The child who can keyboard by touch is able to enter data using all ten fingers. This means that students are free to concentrate on composing text or copying material and not focusing attention to their fingers moving across the keyboard. Losing one’s place in the copy material is eliminated when students are proficient in touch keyboarding. The alternative to touch keyboarding is the use of the “hunt and peck” keyboarding method where children develop their own random and incorrect finger patterns for accessing the keys of the keyboard. Creative ideas are lost as students “hunt and peck” in search of the correct letter on the keyboard. Frustration sets in and often students fail to produce a cohesive and fluent paper.
Keyboarding also helps relieve stress for students who have dysgraphia or other handwriting challenges. Being able to “create” and correct at one time can make a huge difference in some students actually finishing a project.
Though most work is produced on the computer these days, handwriting is still an important skill and must be mastered. There are times a laptop, iPad, netbook… is not handy and you have to make handwritten notes. Print is learned first, then cursive. You can print handwriting sheets in the style of your choice–print, cursive, D’Nealian, with arrows, without arrows… You can even create handwriting sheets with your current spelling words.