I wanted to briefly comment on the issue of touch typing.

I never had any typing lessons at all in school. Not one.

There was in those days at the high school I attended, students who it was
determined would likely need to type and those who would likely not. I was
deemed one of those who would not.

When I left college (where I never needed to type a word...not once, even
in my science, sociology or criminology courses) and obtained my first job
in my chosen field of commercial and fine art, it was in an art department
and a lot of the job was setting type, both at an old fashioned
photo-typositor (no keyboard at all) and a compugraphic typesetter.

When setting up text on the Compugraphic it was comparable to working with
a computer keyboard. While I was not fast at first, after 10 years of day
after day of typesetting using the hunt and peck method, I did get pretty
fast. I may have gotten even faster, but a good portion of my job was also
air-brush illustration and catalog production.

I have since tried to teach myself touch typing and know what it is and how
to do it, but have never been able to obtain the speed of my former method
using touch typing.

I wonder if this is not the result of years of repetition overpowering any
new attempt to change.

Could this be a problem that students are going to face in the future (or
are already facing)? By the time they get to school and start getting
instruction in touch typing, they will conceivably have already formed such
ingrained habits that their habits will be as difficult to change as I find
my own habits to be.

I admit that my speeds will likely never attain those of a well trained
touch typist, but I am not sure that my writing skills have suffered as a
result. I think that far more than my method of keyboarding, my voracious
appetite for reading....anything, really... but mostly the classics,
history, tech manuals and science has helped me to be able to write in the
style I do.

I am waiting for the day when I can get my cybernetic implant that connects
via wireless to my device and takes down my every word as I think it....


On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 7:41 AM, Clarena Renfrow <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Well said Lucy!!
> Clarena
> Clarena M. Renfrow, M.Ed.
> Educational Technology  Spec.
> 802-287-1039
> On Jun 1, 2014, at 5:54 AM, Annie Brabazon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hi Lucie,
> I couldn't agree more with your thoughts about keyboarding. We have been
> using Type to Learn and I am not sure it is improving skills. I went to
> Chrome store and there looks to be two typing tutor programs, one from
> Depaul bookstore  and one from  Heuxa software.  Do you know which one you
> used?
> Thanks
> Annie
> On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 9:31 AM, Lucie deLaBruere <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>> Lots of discussion here
>> As a former 'typing' teacher who believes that keyboarding 'fluency' is
>> important because it is key to literacy in a digital age,  I'm glad to
>> share some of my observations. Most educators are committed to helping
>> students develop  'fluency'  in writing -  but its hard to reach that level
>> of fluency if your search for the next 'word' in writing fluently is
>> interrupted by your search for the letter 't'.   Once a student can key
>> fluently, their writing skills grow exponentially.  They experience a
>> freedom that has a lifelong impact on their  WRITING and THINKING fluency.
>>  When I started to work with  writing and reading coaches and educators
>> around the concept of  fluency, the conversation moved away from one of
>> keyboarding speed to fluency and everyone got on board. It didn't feel so
>> much like 'taking time' away from academic goals to teach keyboarding.
>> From experience I agree with the comments in this list
>>    - that there are many approaches that can do more harm than good.  I
>>    have found many programs that move too fast too quickly (Mario Teaches
>>    Typing had younger students in tears because they wanted to reach 'water
>>    world', but the program did not provide enough pedagogically sound
>>    scaffolding to get kid there).  Also for some kids the video game mentality
>>    (of beating the next level)  was so strong that they never really 'learned'
>>    the skills they needed,  they just found anyway they would to reach the
>>    next level. (those kids will need extra help and attention from you)
>>    - that once a week is NOT enough.  15 minutes a day is also not
>>    enough.   But that does not mean that we need to go back to the days of
>>    teaching keyboarding using curriculum that was structured for a days of the
>>    typewriter or days  prior to 1:1 access.   If you have a learning
>>    environment where students are learning in a digital learning environment,
>>     whether it be a 1:1  or one where students do meaningful learning on
>>    devices every day,  this can count as 'practice'  and will be much more
>>    meaningful than weeks after week of drill work.   However some strategic
>>    drill work, can be key to building skills that can help  you succeed in the
>>    'real game'.  Just like in athletics, connecting the drill work to the real
>>    game can reduce the amount of time you need to spend on drills, and
>>    capitalize on the time you do allocate to drills.   The ratio changes at
>>    different points in the process.
>>    - I can't recommend the "best" program, since I've stopped looking
>>    lately.  When I last left the K-8 classroom we were transitioning from Type
>>    to Learn to Typing Tutor.  Found that the 3 'stars' gamification was well
>>    designed and offered formative assessment for kids.  The tracking of
>>    classroom data helped teachers integrate keyboarding in the classroom,
>>    offered formative assessment that the teacher could use to differentiate
>>    and scaffold students in ways that met their individual needs.  There were
>>    customization options that worked well for educators.  Since it was in the
>>    cloud, students could work outside classtime  (after school, tutoring,
>>    home) and increase their 'drill time'  to build skills, especially if the
>>    educator also build in some strategies that reinforced this.  Parents and
>>    tutors could get engaged with the process.  And of course everyone loved
>>    the Google Apps integration.  Again  I'm sure there are others out there..
>>    but that is what I liked about Typing Tutor - the last program I spent
>>    significant time with.
>>    - As much as we'd like to pass this on to an 'automatic' tutor like a
>>    keyboarding program,  it is important to remember the power of the human
>>    element in learning to keyboard. MODELING -  when kids see their teachers
>>    or other kids 'type fast', many of them will also desire to be able to do
>>    this.   Praise, reminders, and incentives for keyboarding techniques (not
>>    looking at your keys)  that get you over the hurdle come best from a human
>>    being - not a program.  If you front load the human element in the initial
>>    learning phase (learning the home rows, Shift,  and the initial reaches)
>>     your students will reap the benefit and will be able to move through the
>>    rest more independently.   Nothing pays off more in the early stages than
>>    walking around the room, helping students adjust their techniques.  Very
>>    similar to sports, (helping them adjust their grip or swing). Kids also
>>    really like the human touch and will strive for it. They would rather
>>    please and get praise from a human than a computer program.
>>    - I found that using "typing guards" as a positive challenge 'AFTER'
>>    the initial learning of the reaches and home rows increased learning , but
>>    it had to be done as a reward, not a punishment.  I would "knight" each
>>    student when they got past lesson 5 and had "earned" the right to use use
>>    the "expert" tool .  Most could not wait to have the earned this level.
>>    - REAL Digital age learning -  If prepping students to be good test
>>    takers is your goal (not saying it should be) -  then giving them lots of
>>    opportunities to do real learning using digital tools AND helping them use
>>    the right technique AS THEY DO  that work is KEY.   Spend a whole week with
>>    daily focus on learning the home keys, initial reaches without looking
>>    while staying on anchored on home rows, and then expect them to use that
>>    technique while they do their daily work.  Of course they will have to
>>    "look' for the keys they don't know, but if they stay true to the technique
>>    of anchored home room, the muscle memory will kick in and the "looking"
>>     will disappear (especially if you throw in some contest, games, and drills
>>    to help them gain their confidence and ability in keyboarding fluency
>>    without looking).  Teaching keyboarding should NOT be an isolated skill
>>    that belongs to one teacher or special class.
>>    Most of these observations come from my recent work in a K-8 school.
>>     In my prior days of teaching high school, the strategies were slightly
>>    different since those kids had NOT grown up digital, and I was their
>>    introduction to the task -  I'm afraid it might feel 'too late'  to take
>>    that on at this late in the game and I'm not sure my old strategies for
>>    high school would still work today.
>>    And of course, there is the whole topic of fluency on a tablet or
>>    phone, which is a whole different topic.  Would love to hear more about
>>    this topic from those who are in 1:1 with tablets.
>>    Lucie
>> On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 8:32 AM, Rochelle Garfinkel <
>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> This test has song lyrics (amongst other things) as an option for a
>>> quick timed test.
>>> I used it very successfully as an assessment with 7/8 grade. Just had
>>> them practice and then take a screenshot of their best effort to submit it
>>> to me.
>>> Rochelle Garfinkel, MLS
>>> Librarian & Educational Technologist
>>> *Marlboro School*
>>> *PO Box D*
>>> *2669 Rte 9*
>>> *Marlboro, VT 05344*
>>> *phone (802) 254-2668*
>>> *fax (802) 254-8768*
>>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM, Joe Bertelloni <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hey Thomas
>>>> I think song lyrics might create a slippery slope. Might want to avoid.
>>>> Joe
>>>> —
>>>> Sent from my iPhone. I apologize in advance for any unintentional
>>>> errors.
>>>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM, Thomas Heller <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> I guess I am lucky, I get 7th graders every other day for half the
>>>>> year.  We spend about 25 min/class on keyboarding. We use
>>>>> Friday's (one out of 5 classes) we play the typing games but on the
>>>>> other days we do tutorials or they practice with the BBC News. Hard to
>>>>> motivate students enjoy the create your own text. I have them copy from
>>>>> wikipedia, but I said no to song lyrics. Should I say yes?
>>>>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:51 PM, Rochelle Garfinkel <
>>>>> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>> This is an interesting concept, and I agree with Mark. So many of our
>>>>>> models for teaching keyboarding are within the structure of a once per week
>>>>>> tech class, which for beginning keyboarders is not going to do much.
>>>>>> Has anyone developed a different sort of model? I'm thinking about a
>>>>>> way in which students can have 15 minutes every day to practice in their
>>>>>> main classroom (K-8 school). Then, in tech class they could have the choice
>>>>>> of playing some of the games that reinforce their fundamental skills,
>>>>>> and/or work on actually typing up projects that they are working on in
>>>>>> class.
>>>>>> If anyone has successfully created a model like this, please share
>>>>>> details!
>>>>>> Rochelle Garfinkel, MLS
>>>>>> Librarian & Educational Technologist
>>>>>> *Marlboro School*
>>>>>> *PO Box D*
>>>>>> *2669 Rte 9*
>>>>>> *Marlboro, VT 05344*
>>>>>> *phone (802) 254-2668*
>>>>>> *fax (802) 254-8768*
>>>>>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM, Mark Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>>>>  This is something that I've found with keyboarding programs. There
>>>>>>> are some that are "fun" and "exciting" due to lots of graphics and
>>>>>>> gee-gaws. That doesn't necessarily improve learning, though. In addition,
>>>>>>> I've found that many move the kids ahead too fast, so that they become
>>>>>>> overwhelmed with trying to build new knowledge on top of a shaky foundation
>>>>>>> (because they haven't had enough repetition). While teaching, I often had
>>>>>>> students who asked if they could be "backed up" a bit in their progression
>>>>>>> through the program. They then felt more successful and could *strengthen
>>>>>>> the foundation* so that new lessons went better rather than just
>>>>>>> being frustrating.
>>>>>>> Think about when we "old-timers" learned typing. It was generally a
>>>>>>> full class period every day for months. I don't mean that the
>>>>>>> drill-and-kill was necessarily good, but the repetition was important. I'm
>>>>>>> not convinced that 15 minutes once or twice a week, without many reminders
>>>>>>> about things that need correcting, really does much more than develop worse
>>>>>>> habits.
>>>>>>> Learning keyboarding is like becoming good at dribbling and shooting
>>>>>>> a basketball or hockey puck -- it takes a LOT of repetition. Helping
>>>>>>> students to march forward doesn't involve fun as much as
>>>>>>> *motivation* to improve. In sports that is not so hard -- you get
>>>>>>> better so that you and your team do better in games. With keyboarding
>>>>>>> teachers can sometimes find ways to help students perserve through the
>>>>>>> tough times until they start to see the benefits of being able to "think
>>>>>>> with their fingers."
>>>>>>> Forgive my rambling,
>>>>>>> /\/\ ark
>>>>>>> *Mark Kline, M.Ed.*
>>>>>>> *Technology Coordinator**Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont*
>>>>>>> On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM, Bob Wickberg <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> We've used a program called Ainsworth Typing Tutor at both the High
>>>>>>>> School
>>>>>>>> and Middle School for years.  A couple of years ago one of the
>>>>>>>> middle
>>>>>>>> school tech ed teacher bought, and we helped set up, Type to Learn,
>>>>>>>> he
>>>>>>>> said the kids would like it better because it had better games.
>>>>>>>>  But when
>>>>>>>> I talked to him a few months later, he said he went back to using
>>>>>>>> Ainsworth, because the kids learned faster.  So, Ainsworth isn't the
>>>>>>>> sexiest thing out there, but it does seem to do the job.  It's not
>>>>>>>> free,
>>>>>>>> but we bought it so long ago (I've been here 10 years, and it was
>>>>>>>> here
>>>>>>>> before me, and it's never been upgraded), I couldn't tell you what
>>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>> cost.  I think we've gotten our money's worth, though!
>>>>>>>> Bob Wickberg
>>>>>>>> Technology Coordinator
>>>>>>>> Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
>>>>>>>> 802-451-3418
>>>>>>>> School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> writes:
>>>>>>>> >Typing Web and Typing Tutor are both free for home use and can use
>>>>>>>> >existing Google Apps accounts (but don't need them).  Both come
>>>>>>>> well
>>>>>>>> >reviewed.
>>>>>>>> >
>>>>>>>> >School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>
>>>>>>>> writes:
>>>>>>>> >>Hi all,
>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>> >>A parent of an incoming 9th grader would like to have their child
>>>>>>>> >>practice keyboarding over the summer. Any recommendations for
>>>>>>>> >>age-appropriate keyboarding programs -- either online or purchased
>>>>>>>> >>software?
>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>> >>
>>>>>>>> >>Thanks,
>>>>>>>> >>Sue
>>>>>>>> >
>>>>>>>> >
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>>>>> --
>>>>> Tom Heller - Tech and Web @ VUHS
>>>>> ----------------------------------------------
>>>>> Windows Cleaner, Ubuntu User.
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>> Google Voice (802) 557 0013
>> [log in to unmask]
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