15 Minutes of Typing.com Per Day Translates to Lifelong Skills
As an educator, it is my job to equip students with the skills and competencies they will need to succeed in the future workforce. In today’s technology-driven society, I can think of few careers that do not involve a basic understanding of how to use a computer or internet-enabled device. And because typing is the foundation of online communication, equipping students with the proper keyboarding techniques is critical for success in the classroom and beyond.
Typing is Required for 21st Century Communication
In my current role as the Instructional Technology Teacher for two elementary schools in Michigan-based Owosso Public School District, I have more than 900 K-5 students visit my classroom once a week for 45 minutes of technology-focused instruction. As part of the curriculum, I have allocated time for students in grades 3-5 to work on keyboarding skills and progress through a variety of exercises appropriate to their age and skill level.
Students spend the first 15 minutes of each class working through the lessons on Typing.com. Starting in the third grade, they start with the beginner sequence to learn correct fingering techniques for each key and then work their way up to more complex exercises where the focus is on accuracy and speed. I use the reporting feature on Typing.com to measure growth between the three benchmarks I require students to complete using Typing.com’s 3-minute typing test at the beginning, middle, and end of each year.
Keyboarding Challenge Takes Typing Practice to New Heights
This year, I initiated a new project to challenge my more advanced fifth grade students to gain additional practice by reworking the beginner and intermediate lessons, but, with a twist. They have to use a protective sleeve to cover the keyboard so they are not able to see the keys as they type! Through this exercise, I have noticed a meaningful growth for students as they advance through the lessons again, building confidence, speed, and accuracy along the way.
Not only are computer skills important for the future workforce, but as Michigan increasingly transitions to computer-based testing, these skills translate into classroom success. In fact, we have witnessed a significant gap in scores based on students’ typing proficiency. Those who are able to type more efficiently have less anxiety about the test and are able to produce longer passages for the different writing tasks involved. By equipping students with this foundational 21st century communication skill, my students are able to better express their answers flexibly and quickly rather than simplifying their ideas due to laborious typing.
With the rapid advancements and widespread adoption of technology across almost every sector, efficient typing skills are critical to success in the classroom and beyond. And I’ve found through years of experience that even 15 minutes of dedicated practice once a week can dramatically improve students ability to type, and therefore communicate, in the 21st century.
About the author:
Rebekah Gute is the Instructional Technology Teacher at Bryant and Central Schools in Owosso, Michigan. She has been working in education for 17 years, and was previously a first and second grade teacher.