Touch Typing – Mibu Tako

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https://edtechreview.in/news/990-5-online-typing-tutors-every-teacher-should-try-in-the-classroom

Mibu Tako

According to the Daily Mail, people living in Britain spend an average of 13 hours per day staring at a screen. Given that secondary students are now receiving education remotely, teenagers are no exception to this statistic.

As you may already know, the increasing amount of screen time during the Covid times, are one of the major reasons for mental illnesses such as fatigue and depression. One way to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, is to learn how to touch type.

You might be wondering, how could touch typing possibly influence our mental health? Well, here are the 3 benefits you may gain by improving your typing skills:

  1. Productivity – By developing touch typing skills, you can effectively reduce the overall time spent on your schoolwork. It has been proven that; whilst an average two finger typist spends approximately 17 minutes to type a 170-word paragraph, a trained touch typist can complete the same section in around 4 minutes. Once you learn how to touch type, 20 to 35% of your time can successfully be saved for other healthy activities (i.e., fitness, sleep, social interactions, etc.)

 

  1. Posture – Because you would only have to look straight ahead while touch typing, learning typing skills can prevent you from constantly bending your head over the keyboards. Your upper body wouldn’t have to remain hunched for hours, meaning that your posture can be improved by touch typing.

 

  1. Remove stress – When you haven’t learnt any of where the individual keys are, the act of typing itself could become exhausting. This could lead to repetitive stress injuries (RSI) from having to continuously find your keystrokes. If you were to remember the positions of each key, you would no longer have to worry about the output, but only about the input (or preferably about nothing!).

 

So, how many of us are actually confident in our ability to type? Aiming to find the answer for this question, two separate surveys were carried out. One for high school students, and the other for teachers. Quite unexpectedly, interesting outcomes were demonstrated.

In response to the question “How confident are you in your typing skills?”, the teachers’ answers appeared to be very valid. Within the range from 1 to 10, more than 60% of the respondents chose either 8, 9 or 10, with an average of 7.83. For the high school students, however, the answers greatly varied, and the average number chosen was 6.49. A different question in the survey asked the respondents to select either yes or no for whether they knew how to touch type. 48% of the students and 69% of the teachers checked yes, whilst 51.2% of the students and 38.1% of the teachers answered no. A significant difference was represented between the two broad age groups, which seemingly illustrates that; experience is the key to excellent touch typing.

Despite couple of the teachers who proudly explained how they self-taught touch typing and kept practising for decades, many of the adults seemed to have learnt touch typing as a part of the school program. On the other hand, the majority of high school students commented on how they unconsciously learnt their typing skills over time, or by using specific websites/online games. Only few of them showed their experience of having to learnt touch typing at school.

According to Anne Trubeck, an associate professor at Oberlin College, schools have stopped incorporating keyboarding classes in the school curriculum, due to the technological experiences that children already have through their use of smart phones and computers. It may be the same reason that Marymount does not have a typing class at all. In fact, all students in the Marymount community know how to type already. Some just don’t know how to type correctly. Or even, some might not know that there is a correct way to type.

Considering the new wave of online learning, it is now vital for teenagers to figure out an efficient approach to complete schoolwork on-screen. Still, practising touch typing definitely requires much effort and time. It is even more time-consuming when your hands have learnt the wrong finger positions. Memorizing the keyboards surely wouldn’t be the most attractive way to spend their free time for teenagers. Especially when they are busy scrolling through social media or trying to get through the nightmare of unfinished homework.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a mandatory typing class at school? You might not like the idea, but you will 100% thank yourself for taking those classes in the future!