Keyboarding: When & How Much?
Keyboarding, like playing the piano, is a psycho-motor skill. In order to effectively learn to touch type, students need the sufficient hand size, finger dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. Studies have suggested that late elementary school children are developmentally ready to master touch-keyboarding (Erthal, 1985.)
Keyboarding, like any learned skill, benefits more from distributed practice than massed practice. In other words, it is more effective to practice in frequent blocks of a shorter duration than in fewer, but longer, blocks. As a result, teachers are being asked to assign 45-60 minutes of keyboarding homework a week. Students will also keyboard in the computer lab under the supervision of a teacher at least once a month. This guided practice will ensure that positive habits are being developed. Using this schedule, students will receive over 30 hours of practice in the third grade, a number that the research suggests is important to establishing a solid keyboarding foundation (Berg and Jackson, 1996.)
Berg, D., & Jackson, T. (1986). Elementary Keyboarding--Is It Important?. Computing Teacher, 13(n6), 8,10-11.
Erthal, M. (1986). The Status of Keyboarding. Journal of Business Education, 60, 192-193, February, 1985.
Erthal, M. (1996). Who should teach keyboarding and when should it be taught?. Retrieved November 29, 2010 from http://www.usoe.k12.ut.us/ate/keyboarding/Articles/Whowhen.htm