Typing — The CONNECTOR Element of Today`s Education

By Education Facilitator

After a few good years working with kids in workshops and in schools, after listening and reading many articles and reports about low reading scores, hearing that this generation has more dyslexic kids than any generation before I started observing this problem.

I followed and checked out many literacy and reading programs and I always felt that something is missing from them. I am not here to judge or score what is the best program that kids can use. I simply observed how kids react and how they benefit from all these programs.

Kids are always excited when there is something new to do or learn. They love interactive apps and games the most and also they watch youtube videos with great enthusiasm. So no wonder that many companies build programs based on the above interest.

Just the only problem seemed to be that kids get bored easily and seemed to just simply shuffle with their fingers to the next game, app or program.

Often happens that on the half way into reading programs, kids lost interest and lost the excitement.

My question was: why is this happening?

What is missing from all these programs that makes kids losing connection with the programs?

While I was researching and observing, it happened that at the school where we teach computer literacy and coding I assisted at a testing session.

There were primary school kids testing and most of them were struggling finding the right letters on the keyboard, not only losing valuable time from but also getting stressed and frustrated.

When we teach coding, there was the same issue! They were not frustrated as did not understand coding they were more frustrated by not finding easy and fast what they needed to use on the keyboard!

At this moment downed to me: we assume that because they growing up on games and all kind of devices our kids MUST know keyboarding just because of the exposure to technology form a very early age.

Wobbling on the keyboard all they long actually is not knowing the keyboard! It is like sitting down at the piano pressing random keys! It will be making sounds, but not music!

That was the moment that I got it!

We need to teach keyboarding and typing skills to kids as part of their academic education!

Not to mention that typing can differentiate your kids in the future when they are looking for employment! Seems far, but it is skill that now companies are looking for.

“Many employers now seek a minimum typing speed of 50 words per minute simply for the sake of productivity, and around 30% of managers say they wouldn’t hire someone who can’t touch type. Read this article and you will be surprised!”

So, we started a journey into learning keyboarding and typing skills as part of our coding curriculum, as coding also needs great typing skills!

The results spoke for themselves!

Every day we introduced 10 minutes typing!

From the 1st to 6 grade all students loved this part of the class!

Of course for the little one we started with 1 minute then 3 and 5 minutes and so we reached that they were doing up to 10- 15 minutes of keyboarding!

We run a few trials on a few typing programs, and there are many of them out there, and we found that for the little ones www.typing.com is working very well! Also, it is easy to set up for teachers and gives an accurately detailed follow-up option.

Then one day observing the kids it dawned to me what was the missing link in most of the literacy programs that they get easily bored with: the connection.

This generation we all know are kinesthetic learners!

So, typing gives them the possibility to learn reading and writing this way!

Typing is the CONNECTOR of letters, sounds, movement, focus, and playfulness!

Typing is the way our kids enjoy to learn!

It is the master game of gamification of literacy, it is developing focus, patience and helps coordination and brain development!

Learning to type is the missing element that CONNECTS today students and engages them in the learning process!

Would love to know your thoughts!

Katy Toma

STEAM & Technology Educator