This week I introduced keyboarding to my 3rd & 4th grade students. Later I will also introduce it to our 5th graders, who are right in the middle of creating their blogs, so I didn't want to interrupt their momentum!
Keyboarding isn't the most fascinating topic for me to teach every year. I find myself roaming around the lab, watching and addressing issues that arise with students struggling to keep their fingers on the "home row" keys. It doesn't feel innovative or creative, which is my favorite part of teaching!! But whether or not it is my favorite thing to teach, I always feel like I am really making a difference in the future of my students.
Keyboarding is a skill that will creep into every part of the lives of my students! Even when their thumbs are texting, they will be using a QWERTY virtual keyboard to do it! There are those who believe that our students will soon be able to completely voice activate their digital world, making keyboarding obsolete. I can't deny that this is certainly a strong possibility, but I still think there will always be the need to interact with text in some shape or form. Students who can effectively keyboard will have another tool in their toolbox for communicating well with their world, and that makes it a worthy goal! For now, it supports their learning which is why I will continue to introduce it.
For parents looking for ways to support their child's learning, I would recommend having their child use one of the myriad of free or paid online keyboarding courses at home too! I use Typing.com with my students. It is free and gives students feedback on their WPM (words per minute) and accuracy.