Keyboarding

Learning to touch type on a standard QWERTY keyboard is still an important skill, but things have changed recently with on screen keyboards, autocorrect, speech recognition technology and mobile devices. Whilst it has commonly been taught in IT or digital technology classes it could be argued that it is probably needed in almost every subject and should not be limited to the time a specialist subject can provide.

Students can learn efficient keyboarding skills from an early age. Once habits get established they are very hard to change. Many older students and adults find it very difficult to unlearn typing habits that they have developed over many years. A concerted effort must be made to start from the beginning and take many steps backward before they can go forward again.

The website I discuss in this post is one of many that provide a game like experience for learning efficient keyboarding skills. The free version of this website does not allow you to login and track your progress, but the activities are still excellent especially for younger students. Ads will be displayed on the site but you can enter the code ‘red panda’ to remove these or you can use an ad blocker extension for your browser. The website is: https://typetastic.com/learn.html

You can enter the code ‘red panda’ to prevent ads from displaying for students.

In the past when I’ve tried to teach this in the lab it was very difficult for students to take in all of the information and then remember it when practicing. This game based learning approach is better as it is self-paced and provides lots of visual and audio feedback to help individual students to practice the many skills required to become proficient. The other problem was noise. Unless every student had a set of working headphones then the lab quickly became very noisy which made it difficult for students to concentrate. The main challenge is time.

When I learnt to type in high school (back in the 80s) it was for a whole period each school week for the whole year. That is a major investment in time. I think younger students can actually learn faster given the right opportunities. I am amazed at the musical talents that kids can master if they are dedicated to practice regularly. Click on the Unit 1 section as pictured below…

We will start with the Keyboard Builder activities

These activities are designed to help students become familiar with the standard keyboard layout. Students can use a computer with a keyboard (preferred) or a touch screen to do these. There are 5 activities (all very similar) as picture below…

All 5 of these activities are very similar – with slight variations
You can see how they have grouped the letters and some punctuation on the keyboard.
These are the basic instructions. You tap the letters or use the keyboard to pick up the letters from the truck. Then once you have completed the set you tap the arrow keys on the screen or the keyboard to move the crane and drop it into the correct location on the keyboard.

Here’s an example from the first activity…

There’s the truck with the letters. Which ones do we need to pick up with the crane? Tap the letters on the screen or press them on the keyboard.
I found the first letter. The order isn’t important – but you must pick up all 3 letters.
Once you have filled the crane you can now position it over the correct part of the keyboard then drop it (tap the down arrow) so it drops into position.

This is actually a very clever way of familiarising students with the keyboard layout. It’s a bit like learning scales on a musical instrument. With practice you will be able to remember which group it belongs and where it is on the keyboard.

I don’t expect students to complete the unit in 1 session, but it is quite fun. Once they become familiar with these type of games they will get more fluent and fly through them quickly.

15 Comments

    • Anonymous

      hey!

      Reply
  1. Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      I don’t know

      Reply
  2. Sophia Li😋

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Reply
  3. Ledison

    I does not work for me

    Reply
  4. Samuel Tang

    LOOK The website I discuss in this post is one of many that provide a game like experience for learning efficient keyboarding skills. The free version of this website does not allow you to login and track your progress, but the activities are still excellent especially for younger students. Ads will be displayed on the site but you can enter the code ‘red panda’ to remove these or you can use an ad blocker extension for your browser. The website is: https://typetastic.com/learn.html

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Mr Ong what do we do when we’re finished all 5 levels?🤨

    Reply
  6. Chiara

    What’s the code

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    You click the first Picher

    Reply
  8. Samuel Tang

    red panda

    Reply
  9. Samuel Tang

    do not get you guys

    Reply

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