Sunday, January 6, 2008

Middle School Course Outline - Learn to Type

In addition to the questions I pose on the first day, I would begin with the learning intention for keyboarding. Vicki Davis pointed out the benefit for students to be able to type proficiently. They are able to accomplish more, and a greater variety of tasks when they are proficient touch-typists. But how do I balance drills with real work so that the students use the drills to become more proficient at genuine tasks? I think we must begin with a good reason (the learning intention) for becoming a proficient typist in the first place.

I myself have terrible handwriting and printing (for a teacher), so early in my life my mom (also a teacher) taught me how to type and made me practice. I learned on one of the old ibm electric typewriters. I think I was around 11 or 12 at the time. Then we got a computer, then a better computer, etc. I thought that these typing skills would only be good for doing "polished" work for school.

I went through different jobs starting when I was 13, bagging potting soil. I waited tables, and worked at a gas station...and then I got a job at the phone company main cellular office. I went from making around $10 an hour (a couple bucks above minimum wage) to around $17 dollars an hour! And to get this job, I had to go through some interviews, a math test, a few other tests, and.... a typing test. If I couldn't type 35 words per minute, I couldn't have gotten the job. I think that many young people would be motivated at the prospect of getting highly paid part time work indoors. I also made friends with other people at the phone company whom I keep in touch with today.

These are all good reasons to learn how to type.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

No comments: