When should people learn how to touch type? Should it be compulsory in schools? Should it take precedence over handwriting?
These questions can raise some interesting conversations, but as a secondary school teacher I have never managed to do much more than introduce pupils to touch typing, always in the knowledge that it was not enough to get them interacting with the keyboard through muscle memory. They would practice daily for a week or two but only some of them would actually improve their speeds to a beneficial level. But now, I can offer something more…
“Learning to touch type was the best one thing I ever did at school” A Colleague
It’s half term. A week off the usual timetable but not a holiday for me because I’m running a touch typing course for our pupils and teachers morning and afternoon sessions for a week. Each participant attends five two and a half hour sessions and receives a certificate at the end of the week. This morning we have 18 KS3 pupils.
The software we are using is Touch Typing Reading and Spelling (TTRS online) which has a cost. It is specifically written to help dyslexics. It takes a slightly different path through the keyboard and every fifth training exercise is dictated, encouraging spelling as well as typing skills. I am working with the SENCO from our Progress Centre (thank you Mrs Gorard, for making it all happen) who has targeted children she feels will benefit from learning to touch type because they use laptops in class. We also have Mrs Price on board, a dyslexia specialist and a registered trainer for TTRS.
The course is open to anyone in our community – even two teachers signed up. The pupils are very excited to be turning up at school during a one week holiday – NOT! I am, though, very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to them. I hope to hear good things in the future and be able to get more pupils through a week of muscle memory induction; for me, it’s not dissimilar to learning to play the guitar.