Why is keyboarding necessary for students and individuals with learning difficulties?

03/04/2020

Touch typing is preferred over the ‘hunt and peck’ typing method for a number of reasons. Essentially, by learning to touch type correctly, muscle memory is engrained and for students and individuals with learning difficulties, can help with spelling.

 

Once the full keyboard is learned properly and with the correct finger / key patterns, the skill is automatised and fingers automatically press the right keys. The skill moves from the conscious to the sub-conscious mind and with practice, speed and accuracy are improved. 

It is a well known fact that learning to touch type increases productivity, allowing assignments and emails to be completed quickly  and efficiently.

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What makes keyboarding essential?

Learning to type correctly, can help students excel in all professions. Computers are ever present in today’s society and we are reliant on their use in many aspects of our daily lives, both work and social. Keyboarding involves training the muscles in the fingers and hands and the more we practice, the closer we come to ‘think typing’ - the ability to convey a thought from our minds to displaying on the computer screen. 

 

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As we move to school assignments being submitted via email or via school LMS portals, written work will become an unnecessary practice. Writing whilst using a computer offers many aids, such as spell checkers and the ability to edit efficiently. The mind is free to think and compose, allowing students to effectively think via their fingertips onto the screen. Students can take electronic notes in the classroom and adults returning to education can develop their spelling and literacy skills. Furthermore, touch typing facilitates group work, homework assignments and subject to access arrangement, is suitable for use in examinations. 

Digital literacy is a key reason to include keyboarding in the school curriculum. The faster a student can type, the more time they can actually spend on their response.

How touch typing helps individuals with learning difficulties?

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When it comes to writing by hand, people with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties can face many challenges. The reason touch typing is so highly regarded in the assistive technology field is that skill can help address many of these challenges and in turn, help ‘level the playing field’. It is also highly beneficial for visually impaired individuals. 

There is so much assistive technology available today but the most basic and fundamental tool of all is still touch typing. Not only does it interact with other software but it equips students with a ‘life skill’, offers them a new medium for learning and communication and increases confidence and self-esteem.

Finally…

Schools all over the world are teaching their students keyboarding skills again and in some countries such as the US, it has been added to the curriculum. It is important to prepare our students for the future because they are the future.

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