- What is touch typing?
Touch typing refers to a style of typing that uses a sense of touch rather than sight. Through structured repetition, students will strengthen muscle memory, learning which fingers to use for each key based on hand placement.
- Why is touch typing better than other typing styles?
Using two or three fingers to hunt and peck takes much longer and allows for the development of bad habits. It is much better to keep your hands still and allow for efficient use of all fingers. Touch typing involves the specific placements of all eight fingers and both thumbs; once muscle memory is strong enough, this style allows for the typist to focus on the screen rather than the keyboard.
- How are typing skills assessed?
Keyboarding ability is measured in both speed and accuracy. Typing speed is measured in the total amount of words per minute (WPM) written. Accuracy is measured as a percentage of words typed correctly or incorrectly.
- What is the average WPM?
In general, the average typist can type 41 WPM; typing at or above 57 WPM is deemed above average. It is important to note that a high WPM with low accuracy is not a desirable goal; the amount of time needed to correct typing errors should be taken into account when testing a true WPM.
- What is the average accuracy rate?
An average typer should be maintaining an accuracy rate around 92%, about 8 mistakes per 100 words. To improve on accuracy, students should slow their typing to focus more on typing correctly rather than quickly. As the amount of mistakes lowers, only then should students be pushing for a higher WPM.
- Why do my students need to learn typing?
As presented in key national standards, keyboarding is deemed an essential skill. Many states have converted from paper- to computer-based tests, meaning students must have a solid foundation of keyboard learning in order for test scores not to skew. As the world continues to rely more heavily on technology, the ability to type has become a necessary skill for any and all entering the 21st-century workforce.
- Why can’t students learn typing on their own time and devices?
Between texting and posting, young people today are more familiar with keyboarding than any generation prior. With the ubiquity of personal devices, many students are more than proficient when it comes to typing with their thumbs. This is why it is perhaps more important than ever to ensure our students are developing the correct typing skills. The longer a student goes without formal keyboarding training, the longer they have to build bad habits.
- What if a student is already proficient in typing?
When it comes to typing, there is no such thing as too much practice. If a student has already developed proper touch typing technique, they can utilize class time to improve their accuracy, increase their WPM, or even offer one-on-one help to classmates who may be struggling. If a student has developed their own method of typing, test their speed, accuracy, and ability to type without looking. In all likelihood, relearning typing skills with the touch typing method will improve the student’s overall typing ability.
- What age should I start teaching typing?
Practicing good keyboarding skills is good for any age, but it is recommended to start students no earlier than age 7 to allow for full development of the motor skills necessary.
- How old is too old to start teaching typing?
With enough patience and practice, anyone of any age can learn to touch type. That being said, the older a student, the longer they have had to develop bad habits. Younger students will develop muscle memory skills quicker, but older students will be more comfortable with reading and writing, thus more able to spell correctly when typing. It is advisable to first introduce structured keyboarding lessons before the middle school years. That way, students have developed the literacy and motor function skills needed but have not yet had too much time to develop bad typing habits.
- How long does it take to learn typing?
If practiced consistently on a daily basis, typing skills are bound to improve dramatically in a matter of weeks. With Typesy, since each lesson is customized to its learner, the length of time needed for mastery varies. Typesy is designed to monitor each student’s progress and adapt to their skill level, and there are over 4,000 lessons available to ensure every learner has the time they need to succeed.
- How will I know when my students have mastered keyboarding?
When learning to touch type, reaching initial mastery will mean a student can type with a relatively high accuracy rate without having to look at the keyboard. Of course, students will continue to improve in their typing skills for as long as they continue typing which will likely be the rest of their lives.
- How much time do I need to dedicate weekly to teaching typing?
Proper typing requires the strengthening of muscle memory which is best achieved through repetition. Therefore, teaching needs to involve repeating many skills-building lessons over time. Instead of dedicating one hour of instruction to keyboarding per week, it is much more beneficial to offer shorter bursts of practice time daily.
- How much time is needed for students to fully master keyboarding?
Students are bound to progress at varying speeds, but the fastest route to mastery is recurring practice. Developing muscle memory requires time, patience, and repetition. No student will master keyboarding after one lesson, but with about 20 minutes of daily practice, most students should be more than proficient in touch typing within 2 or 3 months.
- How can I fit a typing lesson into my curriculum plans?
Typing skills can be enforced in stand alone activities or by adding keyboarding into core curricula already in place. Any assignment involving the use of computers can easily serve as a chance to review and reinforce good typing habits. In the English Language Arts, typing also helps to strengthen spelling and writing skills. Typesy has over 2,500 common-core standards-based lessons, so your students will be learning to type while engaging in fun, differentiated lessons in science, social studies, ELA, and math.
- What do students need to learn first in keyboarding?
When teaching touch typing, begin by teaching students finger positions. Each finger has assigned letters based on the positioning of the hand over the keyboard. The middle row on a QWERTY keyboard will serve as the home row, the starting position for each finger. Students should first learn to become comfortable with this starting position which is made easier on many keyboards with a raised ridge on the F and J keys. These markers indicate where the index fingers should be placed on the home row, so students can feel their way back to home row rather than needing to look at the keyboard directly.
- How does finger positioning work?
Students will start with each finger positioned on the home row - the left index finger can feel for the bump on the F key, and the right index finger can feel for the J key. The remaining fingers rest on the adjacent keys - the left hand fingers resting on D, S, A, and the right hand fingers resting on K, L, and semicolon key. Both thumbs will rest on the space bar. When typing, each finger has an assigned zone of keys, each requiring a movement of one or two keys away from home. After a finger has moved to type a letter, it will return to its home position.
- What is the most important rule when teaching typing?
No matter what level of typing mastery a student has, the most important piece of learning touch typing is consistency and repetition. Touch typing relies on developing the muscle memory needed for typing without looking at the keys. After enough practice, all students will be moving their fingers across the keys instinctively.
- What keyboard do I need for touch typing?
Touch typing can be taught on any keyboard, QWERTY or otherwise. However, since the core of touch typing is developing muscle memory, mastery on one keyboard will not directly transfer to another as the keys will be placed differently. For this reason, it is important that students use only one keyboard type when initially learning keyboarding skills.
- If I require my students to type their homework, will their typing skill improve?
While there may be a slight improvement in some students’ typing, spending time typing is not the same as practicing typing. Without dedicated practice time, students could develop bad habits or work at a speed much slower than what they would ultimately be capable of. Once accomplished, the ability to touch type will yield positive results for students for the rest of their lives and is therefore decidedly worth dedicating time to.
- How does keyboard size affect typing?
The size and relative layout of QWERTY keyboards can vary; desktop keyboards may be larger than laptop keyboards, for example. The important thing to remember when teaching keyboarding skills is to maintain consistency: if a student starts learning on one keyboard, have them continue to practice on the same keyboard. Transitioning to a slightly different keyboard layout will be much easier once a student has mastered the muscle memory required for touch typing.
- How do I manage a typing class if student proficiency varies widely?
It is likely that students in your class will be at differing levels of typing proficiency. There are many ways to keep your advanced students engaged while you focus your attention on your struggling students. Consider hosting competitions for highest WPM or accuracy, allow your most advanced students to tutor less experienced classmates, or challenge your adept typers by blindfolding them or covering the letters on their keyboard. Having a few ideas up your sleeve will ensure your skilled typers don’t become bored and distracting to others who need time to practice.
- How do I keep students focused on both speed and accuracy?
The measure of a proficient typist does not rely solely on the speed of their typing. There are many ways of illustrating the importance of this fact for your students who may be focused on being the fastest typist in class. Consider imparting rules for calculating typing proficiency. In times past, when typewriter typists were tested on their ability, their WPM score was reduced by 10 for every mistake made within a minute long test. So a speedy typer may clock in at 50 WPM but make 3 mistakes, dragging their overall score down to 20 WPM. Establishing rules such as these in class will entice your more ambitious students to take their time, thus ensuring good typing practice habits. You can also dictate what students should be typing rather than have them type out words on the screen. This will force students to stay at the speed you’re speaking, allowing them to focus solely on accuracy.
- How can I make keyboarding lessons more engaging?
Typing practice does not need to be a mundane task. Utilize typing games to keep students engaged, and before you know it, students will be begging to practice their keyboarding skills. Aside from keeping lessons fun, typing games allow students to track their progress, happily focus on areas of weakness, and practice their hand-eye coordination, a skill much needed in touch typing.
- What is the best physical position to avoid typing fatigue?
As with any physical movement, too much can cause strain. While students should never be typing long enough to cause issues, there are ways to ensure they maintain proper posture when typing. Students should be instructed to sit with their feet flat on the floor and their backs straight. Shoulders should be relaxed and elbows bent no tighter than 90°. Always check that your students are holding their wrists in a neutral position, with the thumb running parallel to the forearm, the wrist bending only slightly upwards. Warn students that if they feel their wrists hitting the keyboard or desk, they should reposition. Teach students healthy habits like taking typing breaks and how to properly stretch their hands and fingers.
- Should I raise my students’ keyboards? Should I provide wrist pads?
Many detached keyboards have extendable legs, but it actually makes more ergonomic sense to keep keyboards flat against the surface of the desk. Wrist pads may come in handy when it’s time to rest, but their presence may entice students to develop bad posture when typing. For proper hand placement, the wrist should remain neutral, bent slightly upwards. Having the keyboard tipped up or having a wrist pad may cause your students to angle their wrists too harshly. Repeated misuse of the keyboard may lead to discomfort and should be avoided.
- How can I reinforce typing lessons outside of computer time?
You may not have access to computers the entirety of the school day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the lesson going. Consider creating a blank keyboard on the whiteboard to see how accurately the class can fill in the missing keys. Hand out individual copies for a quiet activity or present the task as a competition to maintain levels of engagement. And remember, the core of touch typing is muscle memory, so any lesson or activity that involves memory will be beneficial to typing skills.
- How does Typesy benefit teachers?
As a teacher, you will have access to and control over every aspect of your students’ experience from lessons to assignments to assessments. Monitor class and individual student progress, assign customizable tests, and relax as Typesy does the grading for you!
- How does Typesy keep students engaged?
Students are engaged through a variety of gamified lessons in which they earn rewards, up their game status, and work towards custom goals. Students build their own avatars and practice typing through fun, interactive lessons. Additionally, Typesy adapts to each learner, so no student will ever find themselves with lessons too easy or too difficult.
- Does Typesy integrate with other educational programs?
Typesy is available across most devices and platforms and is designed to work with technologies you may already have in place at your school. Typesy integrates with Google Classroom, Clever, and Classlink; for those without an existing program in place, Typesy allows for CSV imports or manual entry of student data.