BY WENDY PETERSEN
Has your child recently been granted ‘word-processing’ as a reasonable adjustment at school and in examinations?
Although young people are using computers more than ever before, many still tirelessly struggle with ineffective methods of typing when transferring their thoughts onto paper.
Whilst touch typing is a universally important skill, for those youngsters with additional needs such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia who are expected to type as their usual way of working, learning to touch type is vital.
As a teacher of touch-typing, I see how this one easily learnt skill can transform how a young person feels about, and experiences, school, learning and also importantly, examinations.
I launched Type IT! Touch Typing Courses in 2011 when I realised that my own children were struggling to type up their schoolwork. The ‘hunting and pecking’ for keys was just frustrating and slow for them to experience, and for me to observe!
Since then, I have worked with many children, young people and adults to learn this valuable life skill.
What is touch typing?
Touch typing is a handy technique where your hands instinctively know how to type without needing to glance down or even feel for the letters on the keyboard.
On the basis of legibility, or speed of writing, typing or ‘word-processing’ is often granted as an access arrangement as a usual way of working and in examinations.
There are three stages to learning touch typing. These are:
(1) Learning the home row for the keyboard, followed by the lower and upper rows (then including capital letter and numbers mastery).
(2) Mastering commonly used syllables by attempting words containing them.
(3) Typing actual text, applying this intuitive method.
Why is touch typing important?
Touch typing really is a ‘key’ to ensuring that our children have the necessary resource to meet their digital world with agility and skill.
Often by the time they come to me, youngsters are lacking in confidence in transferring their thoughts onto paper.
But imagine how a child’s academic reality and joy in learning can be enhanced if they were able to type at a rate of 65wpm rather than hen-pecking the keyboard at 20wpm! In my experience, typing speeds can accelerate from two to five times their routine pace with this skill.
A simple yet powerful life skill to master, touch typing can enable young people to look forward to transferring their thoughts onto paper because it can become so effortless. Typing at the speed of thought, opens up a whole new world of possibility, and it can be an invaluable tool to help structure thinking in a more coherent manner.
By Wendy Petersen
Type IT! offers distance-learning, touch-typing courses geared toward children and teens. Unlike other online touch-typing courses, this course is uniquely tutor supported, meaning that actual individuals review your child’s work for accuracy and speed and encourage them to stay on track while offering suggestions for improvement.
Find out first-hand how touch typing can benefit your child in their classwork, exams and beyond with a complimentary Type IT! consultation about their specific needs and abilities today! www.touchtypeit.co.uk. 020 8434 7111.
Image Credit: Artwork by Ria Mishaal