Why Typing Technique is So Important
Experienced touch-typing teachers place the greatest emphasis on typing technique.
They do this before emphasizing speed or accuracy, and they avoid relying on games or moving on to advanced activities before the fundamentals are taught. Why?
Fluent keyboarding requires the right body position, hand position, striking technique, habits, knowledge and attitudes that form the foundation for learning to type. With this foundation in place, typing speed and accuracy are the natural result.
Some people ask, "As long as I can poke along at about 20 words per minute, why does it matter how I type?"
The expert answers, "Without the foundation of good technique, you will always be limited to that slower speed instead of reaching the fluent 60 to 100 words per minute, which you are capable of."
Playing games can sometimes be helpful in building typing fluency, but with two cautions:
First, technique has to be taught first. Without technique, students will just be learning to get good at a game, not becoming fluent typists.
Second, the games have to encourage excellent technique, not work against it such as teaching students to race.
UltraKey is not game-based but success-based, setting individual goals with users and giving them lots of positive reinforcement as they build the fundamentals. The UltraKey Manager Guide, the More Info section installed with the software, and our How to Teach Keyboarding book all offer game suggestions for UltraKey, which avoid racing and allow teachers to lead their students in good technique as they play.
Competition can also be a great motivator and fluency developer, which is why Bytes of Learning supports the Davis School District Annual Keyboarding Challenge. Teachers don't have to run a district-wide challenge like the Davis School District does -- they can have the same level of fun and adventure running a challenge within their own school or organization.
We are happy to discuss this, or any other questions you may have about best practices in typing instruction. Please contact us.