Why Learners of Touch Typing Must Learn About the "Home Row Keys"

  In today's world, where the majority of offices are networked and/or supported by computers, the need for efficient touch typing skills is paramount. It is a skill that is required across the majority of professions, including those where typing is a normal daily routine.    Learning to touch-type correctly, along with practice, increases typing speed, improves accuracy, spelling and reduces in-efficient and time consuming ‘hunt and pecking’ (searching for letters, one at a time). If you touch type regularly, maintaining discipline, your typing speed will increases substantially.     To learn touch typing properly, you need to learn, familiarise and understand the importance of the ‘home position’ and the 'home row keys’.    ‘Home Position’ and ‘Home Row Keys’   The starting position for your fingers when getting ready to touch type, or when they are at rest and not typing is called the ‘home position’ and the keys you place your fingers on are called the ‘home row keys’. The ‘home position’ is situated on the middle row of your keyboard, as highlighted below.       F and J indicators    All keyboards have raised markers (bumps or grooves) on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys. These markers are where you should place your index fingers, followed by the rest of your fingers, to form the home position. The raised bumps and grooves allow you to place your fingers on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys by touch, without the need to look down at the keyboard.     On a QWERTY keyboard, the ‘home row key’ positions are as follows:    Left-hand positioning   Position your index finger on ‘ F’, middle finger on ‘D’, ring finger on ‘S’ and little finger on ‘A’.   Right-hand positioning   Position your index finger on ‘J’, middle finger on ‘K’, ring finger on ‘L’ and little finger on ‘;’ (semicolon).    Position of thumbs   In the case of both hands, your thumbs should rest on the spacebar.   Correct finger positioning for the ‘Home Keys’ on your keyboard     A helpful tip for finger positioning of the ‘Home Row Keys’    If you close your eyes and practice placing your fingers on the ‘home row keys’, you will soon memorise their location and the task will become automatic.    Why you should always position your hands on ‘Home Row Keys’ By placing your fingers on the ‘home row keys’ it is much easier to boost typing speed, as it allows easier access to the surrounding keys. How fast you type depends on how quickly each finger locates and presses their designated keys. When you learn touch typing you do not need to move your entire hand or look at the keyboard.   What are the accessible ‘Home Row Keys’?    To type a capital letter you should use the Shift key on the opposite side of the keyboard with your other hand. So, to type a capital 'G', press the ‘G’ key with your left index finger, and the right Shift key with your right little finger    To press the ‘H’ key, simply stretch over and tap it using your right index finger    To press the ' (single quote) and Enter keys, use your right little finger   Pressing and holding the left Shift key while pressing the ; (semicolon) key will allow you to type a : (colon) and similarly, holding the right Shift key whilst pressing " (quote), will allow you to type the (quote) key     How many keys and letters are there on the ‘Home Row’?       There are a total of 14 keys on the ‘home row’, including keys that are not letters: Caps Lock, Semicolon, Colon, Single quote, Ampersand, Hash, Tilde and the Enter key.    There are 9 letter keys (A, S, D, F, G, H, J, K and L) on the ‘home row’ on a QWERTY keyboard and 10 letter keys (A, O, E, U, I, D, H, T, N, and S) on a Dvorak keyboard.      Conclusion   To learn touch typing quickly, you need to train your fingers to instinctively locate the 'home row’ keys. Hopefully, after reading the above, you now understand the importance of the ‘home row keys’ when touch typing and that the more you practice typing, the more your speed and efficacy will increase.   A reputable touch typing software such as KAZ Type will teach you the importance of hand positioning and the ‘home row keys’ in their training.      https://kaz-type.com          

24/05/2020 12:43:34

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Learn to touch type with dyslexia

My child has dyslexia - how can I help?     For many parents, the moment their child is diagnosed with dyslexia, the whole world changes. A feeling of helplessness, of not knowing exactly what to do or how to support their child takes over and can be overwhelming. Teachers may have already outlined areas their child is struggling and falling behind in - reading, writing, spelling, to mention a few.                      ‘Where should I start, what should I do?’ are the questions normally asked.  Before you do anything, you need to have an understanding of what Dyslexia is.                                                                                      Dyslexia is a Specific Learning Disability/Difference (SpLD) and affects approximately 10% of the population   SpLD refers to difficulty with a specific area of learning and the most common SpLDs are dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia and dysgraphia.   Dyslexia is a life-long neurological difference, which usually runs in families and encompasses a wide range of challenges that can impact education, work and everyday life   It is however not an intellectual disability. Dyslexia occurs at all levels of intelligence - from average intelligence to highly gifted and although there is no cure for dyslexia, with the right help, support and skills, individuals can gain confidence and self-belief and develop coping strategies to overcome, achieve and succeed   Dyslexia affects individuals in different ways. Its challenges range from mild, to moderate, through to severe and it can present itself along with other learning differences such as dyspraxia and attention problems    It is often defined as a common language processing disorder which primarily hinders the learning of literacy skills such as reading, writing and spelling but can also affect other areas   Challenges include:   However, it is important to remember that individuals with dyslexia often show strengths and talents in other areas such as creativity and reasoning. Their ability to think outside the box can be entrepreneurial, allowing them to make a difference within their chosen career and in the world. The key is to encourage and nurture the positives of the dyslexic brain.   The first obstacle   The first obstacle has already been conquered – your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia. You and their teachers now understand why they have been struggling at school. So with the right help, support, skills and strategies from teachers and support organisations you can help your child with his/her challenges.   A life-changing skill   There are many different approaches you can take but there is one simple and fundamental skill you can teach your child that will produce results quickly, easily, within weeks and which can be life-changing – touch typing.   What is touch typing? Touch typing is typing using all your fingers and thumbs, without looking at the keys on the keyboard.   Why would touch typing help my child? Producing a piece of written work can prove extremely challenging for children with dyslexia. The level of concentration and effort involved can be exhausting and can affect the overall structure and quality of a piece of work. Additionally, this constant battle can cause frustration, feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.   Touch typing offers a new medium for getting thoughts on paper. Although there are other options available, such as dictation (using a scribe) or voice recognition software, these options can be very time consuming and difficult to master, especially for children with dyslexia who often struggle with short term memory.   Touch typing, as opposed to writing, uses a different process in the brain. Let me explain…   When you learn to touch type using all your fingers and thumbs, with practice, the physical and conscious skill is automatised and moves to your subconscious. (It’s the same as learning to play a musical instrument.) This reduces mental load and frees your conscious mind to concentrate on more important tasks such as planning, composing, processing, proof-reading and editing (often problem areas). It makes life a lot easier and it’s an area where children with dyslexia can excel.   Spellings Touch typing also offers a completely different and very clever way of teaching spelling. With the repetition of touch typing words, spellings are ingrained into ‘muscle memory’ and simply become a series of finger movements and patterns on a keyboard. The stress of trying to remember how to spell a word is eradicated. Children simply think the word and their fingers automatically type it (a phrase known as think type). They learn to recognise words by sight, saving the decoding process which often causes difficulty.    Thought process Subconscious touch typing and producing work on a computer also allows children to work in a non-linear fashion, where they can capture their thoughts first and structure them later.    Visual disturbances So now you’ve heard the positives of touch typing and decided to teach your child how to touch type, you need to choose a typing software. There are several available, both free and paid-for options and they all claim to teach touch typing skills – which one should you choose? Different brands use different teaching methods and some mainstream typing software claim to be inclusive and cater for children and adults with special educational needs but when you try them out, it is not always the case.    Remember, your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia and may be struggling with visual disturbances such as:   Light sensitivity Letters that double, reverse, flip, fade or blur Print which appears to jump, move, shake, shimmer - sometimes appearing to move off the page altogether Crowding of letters Sentences running into each other Headaches from reading   <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V-vYCpM0oQs?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>     If you think about it, can they learn to read, spell, write and type when the letters in front of them are blurred, jumping around or moving off the page altogether?   It is for this reason you need to choose a typing software that is truly inclusive and can help address visual disturbances and create a calm visual environment for your child to learn in.   Image © - Preference Screen - kaz-type.com     Additionally, ensure the software you choose is safe and secure for your child to use, developed through research, tried, tested and proven to work, includes exercises to build muscle memory but most importantly, is easy to use.   Why choose KAZ SEN/Dyslexia Touch Typing Software?    KAZ is an inclusive touch typing software, suitable for both mainstream and users with special educational needs    It was scientifically developed through research by a team of experts responsible for producing 55 RSA/NVQ level computer and office skill courses   It was trialled and tested by 18,000 students per year, over 3 years, in 300 private training centres across the UK before it was released to the market   It uses a proven Accelerated Learning teaching method, incorporating both ‘brain balance’ and ‘muscle memory’   All SEN aspects were developed with advice and guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust, including a unique preference screen minimising visual disturbances at the start of the course   It’s simple in presentation, easy to use and delivered in a light hearted-manner    It includes a special module for developing automaticity    It’s safe and secure - KAZ are members of ICO.org and ensure your child’s data is protected   It’s affordable    It’s available over all platforms: Download for Mac and PC, SCORM for LMS and Online, the new mode of learning, allowing practice from both home and school     Conclusion With gentle encouragement and perseverance, teaching your child the fundamental skill of touch typing can help build confidence, self-belief and help them achieve and succeed.    https://kaz-type.com/dyslexia-edition.aspx  

24/05/2020 12:15:41

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KAZ Type, BBC Schools Dance Mat Typing and others

  Choosing the correct touch typing software for students can pose a real headache for schools and teachers, simply because there are so many to choose from. At the end of the day, they should all do the same thing, teach students to touch type. So where do you start and what should you look for? A good typing software should be inclusive, safe and secure, record progress and have an effective and proven teaching method that builds muscle memory, producing results.   BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing                            BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing is a free resource and uses a similar method of teaching as several other typing software. Their teaching method includes videos, colour coded keys, games, badges, loud audio and bright moving visuals, etc.      Image – BBC Bitesize Dance Mat Typing   Does this method really work? Is there any science or research behind it to say it does? Does in build muscle memory and automaticity and most importantly, is it truly inclusive and suitable for the whole class? Some mainstream typing software claim to be SEN enabled but when you try them out, it is not always the case. Children get diagnosed with differences such as dyslexia at different stages of their school life. Until they are, they struggle to learn due to various challenges such as visual disturbances. If you think about it, how can a child learn to read, spell, write or type when the letters in front of them are blurred, jumping around or moving off the page altogether, accompanied with loud audio and continual onscreen distractions? As mentioned above, if you want to be assured of choosing the right typing software, choose one that is safe and secure for online learning, easy to use, developed through research, tried, tested, proven to work, industry recognised and one that is truly inclusive and caters for the whole class.   KAZ is an inclusive touch typing software suitable for both mainstream and special needs students  Scientifically developed through research by a team of experts responsible for producing 55 RSA/NVQ courses Trialled and tested by 18,000 students per year, over 3 years, in 300 private training centres across the UK Uses a proven Accelerated Learning teaching method, incorporating both brain balance and muscle memory Includes a special module for developing automaticity  All SEN aspects were developed with advice and guidance from the Dyslexia Research Trust Includes a unique ©preference screen, minimising visual disturbances before students start learning  Simple in presentation, easy to use and delivered in a light hearted-manner  Safe and secure - KAZ are members of ICO.org and ensure your student data is protected Teacher’s admin panel allows easy upload of student lists and monitoring of student progress in real-time  Affordable - prices to suit all school budgets Available: Download for Mac/PC, SCORM & Online, the new mode of learning, for practice beyond the classroom   The KAZ course has proven so effective that it was shortlisted as a finalist for several academic awards: Bett Awards in 2006 and 2019, Teach Primary 2019/20 and Teach Secondary 2019/20.                                   There are not many typing tutors which have been tried, tested, proven and used by the Open University   KAZ Type Vs Bitesize Dance Mat Typing A Comparison                                                Why teach children how to touch type?   Children are like sponges, they absorb information without even realising it and it has been proven that the earlier they begin learning, the easier it is for them to master a skill. As for neurodivergent students, touch typing offers a new medium for learning and communicating, building confidence and self-esteem. In some cases, it can be life-changing!   Helpful tips  Once you’ve mastered the skill, touch typing is the fastest way to write. It just takes a little dedication and practice but the most important things to remember are:  Don’t rush – work at your own pace Follow the instructions Always start with your fingers on the ‘home row’ and use the correct fingers Take a break when you’re tired of concentrating or when your eyes, hands and fingers are tired    Safety at the computer Take care of yourself and prevent Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Sit with correct posture and follow the guidance below.    Adult & Junior KAZ Bird – Posture Image ©kaz-type.com     https://kaz-type.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

24/05/2020 12:14:33

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How to Improve and Become an Expert in Touch Typing - A Complete Guide

  Typing fast is an essential element for completing your daily computer-related work quickly and efficiently, be it at home or the office. Typing at an average speed with just two or a few fingers is not sufficient. In today’s world of computers and technology, you need to be able to touch type fast and accurately.    What is touch typing? Touch typing is the subconscious skill where you learn to type with all your fingers, thumbs and without continually looking down at the keyboard, saving you time and guarding against Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). However, to become an expert in touch typing, you need to master certain techniques.  When touch typing, you need to use all your fingers and thumbs because each key on the keyboard relates to a specific finger or a specific thumb.   Follow these simple guidelines to learn touch typing: QWERTY All keyboards have a similar design, however in this blog we concentrate on the QWERTY layout (the same layout as a smartphone’s touch keys).     Image – QWERTY Keyboard Layout - kaz-type.com     Starting position - ‘Home Position’  The starting position for your fingers when getting ready to touch type, or when they are at rest and not typing is called the ‘home position’ and the keys you place your fingers on are called the ‘home keys’. The ‘home position’ is situated on the middle row of your keyboard as highlighted below.   F and J indicators  All keyboards have raised markers (bumps or grooves) on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys. These markers are where you should place your index fingers, followed by the rest of your fingers, to form the ‘home position’. The raised bumps and grooves allow you to place your fingers on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys by touch, without the need to look down at the keyboard.   Left-hand positioning Position your index finger on ‘ F’, middle finger on ‘D’, ring finger on ‘S’ and little finger on ‘A’. Right-hand positioning Position your index finger on ‘J’, middle finger on ‘K’, ring finger on ‘L’ and little finger on ‘;’ (semicolon).  Position of thumbs In the case of both hands, your thumbs should rest on the spacebar. Correct finger positions for the ‘home keys’ on your keyboard Image – Home Row Keys - kaz-type.com Memorise the keyboard structure To learn touch typing, you need to memorize the keyboard layout. There is no need to rush. With regular practice, muscle memory will build and you will quickly get acquainted with the layout of the keyboard. Remember the association of letters and fingers Again, with regular practice, you will learn the correct finger positioning for each key and its association with each letter on the keyboard. As muscle memory develops, you will find your fingers will automatically move to the correct keys, allowing you to type quickly. This is known as ‘think-typing’. A good touch typing softwarewill teach you this. Different software use different methods. Several use colour coded keys but KAZ uses a unique Accelerated Learning teaching method and teach the a-z keys using 5 scientifically structured and trademarked phrases. Their method has been tried, tested and proven to work and teach you the a-z keys in just 90 minutes.     Here is a list of which fingers to use to press specific keys Q, A, Z, Shift, Tab and Caps Lock - Press using the little finger of your left hand  W, S and X – Press using the ring finger of your left hand  E, D and C - Press using the middle finger of your left hand R, F, V, B, G and T - Press using the index finger of your left hand  P, ; , : , ' , ""), / , ? , { } , [ ] , \ , | , Shift, Backspace, Enter - Use the little finger of your right hand  O, l, ".", > - Press using the ring finger of your right hand I, K, ", ", < - Press using the middle finger of your right hand U, J, N, M, H, and Y - Press using the index finger of your right hand  Space Bar - Press using either your right or left thumb     Conclusion   The above are just guidelines to help you become more adept at touch typing but the best touch typing software will take you through each of the steps in order, provide additional information on the importance of correct posture whilst sitting at a computer and explain about the effects, causes, symptoms and preventative measures of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).    The KAZ touch typing course uses a unique and proven Accelerated Learning teaching method. Incorporating ‘brain balance’, its 5 scientifically structured and trademarked phrases teach the a-z keys easily and efficiently, in just 90 minutes.     Additionally, it offers structured exercises to develop muscle memory, promoting automaticity and a speed building module, increasing speed and accuracy. The course will help you meet your goal and become a touch typing expert.  https://kaz-type.com      

22/05/2020 13:32:26

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I learned to touch type with my 7 year old son, to further my career and prepare him for his!

Although I type with just 4 fingers (my index and middle), I've never considered myself a slow typist. In fact, I've always thought of myself as being fairly fast but after reading an article online on how touch typing can increase your productivity and workflow, it began to make me think. Could I get even faster?   First of all, what exactly is touch typing? Keying in the words and doing an online Google search, it said, 'type using all one's fingers and without looking at the keys on the keyboard'. Okay, I kind of knew that but what I didn't know was the following fact.  When you type with just two or a few fingers, you use your conscious mind, i.e. you think as you do. This creates additional mental load, which can hinder creativity and slow productivity.  However, when you learn to touch type with all your fingers and thumbs, the physical skill gets transferred to your sub-conscious, freeing your conscious mind to multi-task and concentrate on more important things, such as planning, composing, processing, proofreading and editing and so on. Wow! 'I'd never thought of this before. It's the same concept as learning to drive.   Think – Plan – Compose – Process – Proofread – Edit     Choosing the right touch typing software   On searching for the right software, I read about several different 'learn to type' product. One particular website caught my eye: kaz-type.com They use a unique Accelerated Learning teaching method, which supposedly teaches you to type the a-z keys in just 90 minutes and they made a point of highlighting the fact that their course was developed through research and science. I like research-based products, so I decided to give it a go. What did I have to lose? It was only £24.95.   Assessing my typing skills     On their home page, KAZ also offered a free online typing test, allowing you to gauge your typing speed and accuracy before you started the course. This was great, as it gave me a starting point. I was very confident that I would achieve around 35 - 40 words per minute, (the noted average) and so was totally gutted with my result of 22 words per minute, with 72% accuracy. I couldn't believe how slow my typing speed was. I never considered myself as a slow typer. I really thought I could type faster! Looking through their site for some sort of consolation, I came across a blog: Can you spare 90 minutes? What if I told you it will save you a YEAR in your working life? It gave me no comfort whatsoever. I needed to learn! I was very excited about my decision and so announced to the whole household that I was going to learn to type. Before I knew it, my 7 year old son William, who naturally wants to do whatever I'm doing, asked if he could learn to type too. I wasn't too sure if he'd be too young but looking through KAZ's website again, I was thrilled to find they offered a junior edition, suitable for age 6+. Perfect! I bought both editions. I thought if he learned young, he'd have the skill for life. It'll help him at school in future IT classes, when he starts to learn to code at code camps and in his future career. If he's anything like me and chooses to go down the IT path, be it a programmer, data analyst, coder etc., he'll have an edge!    Starting the course Considering KAZ was developed through research and science, I was rather surprised at how simple it was in both presentation and delivery. Apparently, this is intentional so that it's easy to follow, keeps user focus and according to research, doesn't overload the working memory. It also allows kids to work independently or with minimum help. It worked! William was quite happy to simply follow the instructions.   How the course works The course consisted of 5 modules and allowed me to work at my own pace and return to any module at any time if I wanted to.   Module 1 - ‘Flying Start’ 'Flying Start' was an introduction to the course and only took a few minutes. It explained how the course worked, the position of the home row keys (a, s, d, f and j, k, l,;) and about the tiny raised bumps/ridges on the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys you always wonder about. I never realised they were where you placed your index fingers when positioning your fingers on the home row. Finally, it taught you about correct posture when sitting at the keyboard. The animation for this in the junior edition was very amusing. Willian loved it and played it several times over.     Home row keys – Image © kaz-type.com   Module 2 – The Basics 'The Basics' was the most important module. This is where they taught the a-z keys using their 5 trademarked and scientifically structured phrases. Each phrase took approximately 15-20 minutes and although they recommend children work at their own pace and do one phrase at a time, they encourage adults to complete the whole module in one 90 minute session, which I did!  The Basics – Image © kaz-type.com   I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical at their claim of teaching the positioning of the alphabet keys in just 90 minutes, but they did! By the end of the session, I could type every letter, be it slowly, without looking at the keyboard. I have to say, it was a pretty good feeling. I'm not too sure how they get it into your brain, but they do. Reading through their explanation, it's to do with muscle memory and brain balance, teaching you to use the fingers of both hands symmetrically and simultaneously. I guess it may be a bit like 'chaos theory', where it all just comes together. Each phrase used certain fingers to press particular keys. I found the first three phrases quite easy, as they included the fingers I normally use. This is apparently due to finger dexterity. By the end of them I had learned the position of 16 letters! However, the last two phrases proved a little more difficult as they introduced my ring and little fingers, which weren't as dexterous. Even William was rather puzzled but excited to see his fingers automatically moving to the right keys. Being only 7, his attention span was naturally shorter, so progression through the phrases was slower, but that was okay.   Module 3 – The Just Do It The 'Just Do It' module contained exercises with additional vocabulary. Apparently, it's with the repetition of typing words that muscle memory is developed and it really does work. The more I practised, the faster my fingers moved to the correct keys. I felt rather cocky because I could feel it was really working!   Module 4 – And the Rest 'And the Rest' ran through the punctuation keys, such as full stops, commas, shift, numbers keys, symbols etc. I did this section in two hits. It was strange but I guess made sense that the shift key on the right, capitalised the left-hand keys, and the left shift key, capitalised the right-hand keys, huh!   Module 5 – SpeedBuilder  The last module 'SpeedBuilder' helped develop speed and accuracy. It covered the entire keyboard and offered a choice of touch typing either 20 sentences or 20 paragraphs. It recorded and graphed my word per minute and accuracy, allowing me to keep track of my progress. SpeedBuilder Module – Image © kaz-type.com   They recommended doing this module once or twice a day, which is exactly what I did but I also practised on my 'day job' work and emails. At the start, I was fairly slow and inaccurate. In fact, my word per minute had actually regressed. It was lower than before I'd started to learn to touch type and my 'day job' work was taking me longer to type than before. To be honest, it was rather frustrating but I was adamant I wasn't going to go back to my old typing habits, so I kept at it.     William also happily progressed through the course and is definitely developing automaticity on the a-z keys. Although the vocabulary is suitable for 6-11 year olds, there were a few words he wasn't familiar with. This, however, did not pose a problem because he only had to copy type. He now just needs to complete the punctuation module and practice, practice, practice!    Conclusion I'm pleased I stuck to my guns because after just over two weeks (approximately 9 hours and 20 minutes of intermittent practice), I'm now touch typing at an average speed of 57-62 words per minute, with an average accuracy of 96%. Incredible! I'm amazed I've achieved such a fast typing speed in such a short time and without seeming over-confident, I really believe I can further improve my word per minute once I truly master all the punctuation keys.  In conclusion, I think my £24.95 X2 investment to upgrade my typing skills and to teach William to touch type was one of the best investments I could have made regarding my career and his future. There really is a lot to be said about Accelerated Learning teaching methods. William now refers to us as the ‘touch typing heroes’.          Image © kaz-type.com Ready, steady, type… If this article was helpful, please share it.  

22/05/2020 12:57:34

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ERGONOMICS - How to work safely

  The word ergonomics is derived from the Greek words, ‘ergon’ meaning work and ‘nomos’ meaning laws. According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘it is relating to or designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment’, be it in an office environment or within the home. Simply defined, ergonomics is a science and is concerned with the design or arrangement of workplaces, equipment, furniture and systems, so that they suit the people who use them, enhancing their comfort, safety, efficiency and productivity.   Poor ergonomics   Poor ergonomics subjects the body to awkward posture, repetitive/sustained movement over a long period, localised pressure to a body part, forceful exertions or extreme temperature.  These can all lead to numbness, tingling, cramp and pain of the hands, wrists, shoulders, neck, back, head, eyes and lower limbs, causing inflammation or irritation of tendons and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).     Ergonomists, also known as human factors specialists, analyse the interaction between people and machinery/equipment. They have an understanding of the musculoskeletal function and apply their knowledge to ensure correct workplace setup and furniture and make sure equipment is safe and as easy to use as possible.  Poor ergonomics can be seen in many professions, including those where typing at length is required. Slaving over a ‘hot keyboard’ can be as dangerous as using heavy machinery. Research shows that if you work with computers, you are more likely to develop Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) at some point in your career than be involved in a car accident. Indeed, Philip Virgo, editor of the IT DPM Skills Trend Report says, “the demise of traditional keyboard skills is the main cause of RSI”.  Legal and safety experts fear that the health problems caused by an estimated four million keyboard users will grow without proper safeguards or training. Pressures on employees can only increase, as executives are forced to take over responsibilities formerly covered by secretarial and clerical staff. More and more are having to do their own typing because of economic necessity, the lack of support staff and the speed of response that is required in most businesses today. This trend, when coupled with the constant danger of RSI, means there is a need for employers to offer keyboard skills training. This silent threat in the office is real and must be addressed.    KAZ typing software   KAZ typing software addresses these issues by delivering a tailored Accelerated Learning course, teaching the a-z keys in just 90 minutes. The program includes a specific module on correct posture, typing technique and RSI. Image - Posture ©kaz-type.com         Graham Coath Ergonomic andassistive technology consultant   Graham is a professional ergonomic and assistive technology consultant and has been working in the area of workplace assessments, adjustments, assistive technology and training for over 15 years. He has built his reputation providing assessments to the DSA and workplace and is hugely respected with clients ranging from individual home users to the largest financial institutions. As a master trainer, he can demonstrate the benefits of products at your desk to ensure you make the right choice.     For a virtual home assessment or further advice contact: graham.coath@dseu.co.uk     Review by Cat Hase - Feb 2020 - Absolutely brilliant!     “I'd been experiencing some back and neck pain and suspected it was due to my desk set up. I had an idea of things I could try but no real clue as to whether they were the right things to do or not.   Enter Graham….      Graham did a virtual assessment with me, asking about the type of work I do, how I'm currently set up and all sorts of related questions in order to get a good understanding of where my issues might be coming from.      He then explained the different solutions along with WHY each one would help me. Knowing the ‘why’ made a real difference to me.  I've always wondered why on earth a chair would slope forwards and now I understand it's about positioning your pelvis and back correctly.  Suddenly it makes sense!     He gave me tips on how to use my current equipment better (like my sit/stand desk) and gave me recommendations for equipment that would help me further. I've already acted on his advice. As he said; "you only get one back", so it's crucial that we do what we can to support and protect it.     Massive thanks for helping me find the right solutions for me - ones I can use not only at my desk but also when out and about.”     https://kaz-type.com  

19/05/2020 10:39:18

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Can you spare 90 minutes? What if I told you it will save you a YEAR in your working life?

  If I were to ask you that question in general, you would immediately take notice, but if I then told you it was to teach you to touch typing skills, you would probably respond, ‘I don’t need to learn to touch type, I can type just fine with 2 fingers. I’ve developed a method which works. It’s good enough’.   A Skill  Typing is a skill - just like driving. When we learn to drive, we take lessons, followed by a driving test to confirm proficiency. However, in today’s IT-led world, filled with laptops, desktops and chrome books, we seem to be expected to automatically know how to type. Many professions require us to use a keyboard in some way or another. Some require us to spend several hours a day on the computer. How are we expected to type efficiently without training? Just like driving, if we want to become proficient, we need to take lessons.   Save Time As we spend so many hours of our life at work, we should look for ways to improve our skills, to become more efficient, work faster and with less stress. It would make a huge difference in our daily life.   If the average working life is until around sixty-five years of age, it is relatively easy to work out the hours /days /months of our lives we can potentially save by learning to touch type efficiently.   The stats  First, let’s get the facts and stats on which to base our calculations.   From 2000 free typing tests taken on our KAZ website, 71.6% of the ‘typists’ typed at an average speed of 19wpm. That’s more than 7 out of 10 people unable to type efficiently. (The first 1000 tests averaged 69.7% - which shows consistency in the statistics).   Image – Free Typing Test - kaz-type.com   (Click on the tab above and try our free typing test - it will only take you 90 seconds. You will then be able to accurately calculate how much of your working life you can save with efficient typing.)   If you fall into the above 71.6% category and spend 2 hours per day in front of your PC, typing at a speed of 19wpm on emails, work, essays etc. your stats will be:   19wpm x 60mins x 2hours = 2,280 words in 2 hours.     However, if you fall into the latter 29%, you will be typing faster, more than 50 wpm:   50wpm x 60 mins x 2 hours = 6,000 words in 2 hours.   This is an additional 1,860 words per hour or a real-time saving of 1.2 hours per day.    You’ve more than doubled your word count in the same time!   (Out of interest, from the typing tests taken, the remaining 29% typed over 50wpm).    So now let’s work out how many hours of your life you can potentially save…    From the above stats, you have saved 1.2 hours per day or 6 hours per week, by learning to type properly.   Current age: 35 (retire at 65) Wpm: 19 (taken from KAZ free typing test) Working 5 days per week and spending 2 hours per day on the computer. 6 hours x 52 weeks = 312 hours saved per year   312 hours x 30 years working life remaining = 9,360 hours (used up or saved) - You decide!   9,360 hours / 24 hours per day = 390 days of your life    That amounts to more than a year! How would you spend this extra time?   Are you are one of the 69.7% typing at 19 wpm or less? Would you like to be one of the 29%?     The KAZ method was developed through years of research and with huge investment from the 3i group. It was designed through innovation, using an Accelerated Learning teaching method and was tested in over 300 education centres, over 3 years across the UK. It was only launched to market when 93% of learners learned to touch type the a-z keys in less than 90 minutes.        Image – The Basics ©kaz-type.com   It was then further trialled and tested by the Open University, who was so impressed with the results, that they produced a white paper and deployed KAZ to all 90,000 + students, per annum for over 14 years.   It is still the only typing software available on the UK’s Learndirect site and the US’ OpenSesame.   Missed out on learning this skill in the past, don’t miss out on learning it now.    https://kaz-type.com    

19/05/2020 09:51:57

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8 Reasons why touch typing needs to be on the school curriculum

Touch typing is a precious life skill and once learned undoubtably makes the most significant time saving contribution, whilst sitting at a keyboard or computer. Teaching keyboarding skills should start at primary school. The younger a child is taught, the easier it is for them to learn, gaining an invaluable skill which will help them excel in their chosen career path. Some forward thinking countries include touch typing within their school curriculum. These countries are more likely to outperform others in terms of productivity and the preparation of their students.   Touch typing - Why students need to learn?   Develops speed Regular practice is key to developing speed and accuracy. A touch typist does not look down at the keyboard as they type. They look straight ahead at their computer screen.  With little or no time wasted repeatedly looking from screen to monitor and then in correcting mistakes, it is hardly surprising that students who can touch type deliver far more work than those who follow the 'hunt and peck' method.   Improves accuracy Alongside speed, accuracy is greatly increased. Touch typing trains the fingers to press the correct keys automatically. Students develop a sense of what feels right. They know immediately when they have keyed in the wrong letter. Children who can touch type well and at a good rate per minute automatically create a positive impression on their peers and teachers. In learning to touch type students spend less time reading texts or fixing errors.   An edge over their peers Students who learn the skill of touch typing at an early age stay one step ahead of their peers. They will always complete their computer-based tasks far quicker than students who ‘hunt and peck’.   Ideally suited to learn at primary school Although touch typing can be learned at any age,  it is ideally suited to teach students whilst at primary school. Why? At the age of seven, children’s hands have grown and developed sufficiently. They possess good hand / eye coordination and sufficient concentration levels. They love computers and are naturally inquisitive and hungry to learn. However, learning should be restricted to approximately 20 minute modules.   Preparation for secondary education and FE/HE In many secondary schools assignments are now submitted in typed format. By learning to touch type students can save countless hours over the duration of the year . It is a fact that students who learn to keyboard early, such as in primary schools reap the benefits into secondary, further and higher education and then into the workplace.   Contributes to future success Computers are found in most if not all office environments, even if just for maintaining customer records or for email communication. An individual that can touch type well will outperform their peers, produce higher quality work and usually excel in time management, all essential traits required for enhanced career prospects. A fast typist will always be noticed amongst peers and management.   Benefits children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD and others Learning to touch type is recommended for students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, ADSD, ASD, tourette’s, amongst others.  If their differences are addressed, learning to touch type opens a whole new world for communication and learning. Assessors, SENCOs and teachers agree that learning to touch type levels the playing field.   Increases the focus on content When a student learns to touch type the skill is transferred to the sub-conscious. This frees their conscious mind to concentrate on planning, composing, processing, proofreading, editing or the task at hand. As a consequence, the quality and delivery of work, automatically improves.   Adding touch typing to the school curriculum would equip children with the skills necessary for increased efficiency and productivity but more importantly, prepare them for further education and their future.

30/04/2020 14:26:08

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