Keyboarding Instruction is theKey to Computer Literacyand Language Arts
The typical lesson plan (business education model) for keyboarding starts with the Home Row and ends with the number row. Many of us, who learned to type in a high school or college class, remember the rhythm of our teacher's voice chanting, "A S D F J K L semicolon." Some of us never made it to the row of numbers across the top of the keyboard. Many of us learned to use the ten key pad, but find that the ten key pad is not available on most laptop computers. Most students now learn to type using computer graphics on a two dimensional computer screen, without live tutors to model and check their progress.

See also www.keyboardingArts.org


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An innovative new method, hosted by Doc Frog, starts with the Number Row and ends with the Home Row. Pre-readers who have not yet developed finger dexterity start with a large vinyl mat on the floor or tabletop. These students are merely learning to recognize the shapes, the names, and the sounds that numbers and letters make.

As they begin typing their names (and vocabulary words), they find the letters on the QWERTY keyboard that spell their names using both hands. Later, as they begin typing grade level "word wall words," they practice the appropriate hand and finger positions as they reinforce the spelling of grade level vocabulary words.

Doc Frog presents the letters on the keyboard ... not just in rows but in columns, with each "finger froggie" starting with an assigned number key "stone" and then hopping down to lower case letters on "lily pads." Rather than hunting and pecking like chickens, your students' fingers will soon be hopping like Doc Frog!

Preliminary research (informal observation and interviews) suggests that Secondary Schools are no longer teaching computer keyboard skills. Secondary teachers expect that students should come already prepared to write and edit their own papers before submitting them. Elementary teachers often send their students to a computer lab, where all of the students can access individualized computer based instruction (CBI) such as Dance Mat Typing (www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing).

However, Doc Frog suggests that we need to first train the elementary teachers on Developmental Stages of Computer Keyboarding and then give them curriculum for integrating keyboarding skills across the common core curriculum. This early instruction ought to be introduced with live tutors in small groups such as are found in Special Education environments. Teaching assistants and parent volunteers can be taught to deliver these lessons in short (5 to 10 minute) activities within the classroom, as part of the learning centers often found in Primary Grade Classrooms.

That being said, we need to retrain the adults who may or may not have learned correct keyboarding skills. How many fingers do they use when they type at the computer keyboard?
Reverse engineering allows anyone who has developed bad keyboarding habits to back up to basics.

Who do you know that hunts and pecks (like a chicken) with one or two fingers from each hand? Have you ever watched how they have to pause and move their fingers in order to find the next key? They often lose their place when they look down at the keyboard. They have not learned or memorized the patterns of numbers and letters on the keyboard. They need to develop their muscle memory to automaticity.

Traditional typing lessons follow the Behaviorist theory of learning; drill and practice build muscle memory. However, teachers who first teach the patterns of numbers and letters on the QWERTY keyboard follow Cognitive theory. Teachers who guide students to discover these patterns follow the Constructivist model for teaching and learning.

When you have completed taking/teaching these keyboarding lessons, Doc Frog has a special request. Will you please email your suggestions for revisions to doc@KeyboardingArts.org?

In order to keep this study research based, we must start each lesson with a Pretest and end with a Post Test. Please keep your own data and then Doc Frog will show you how to graph it using a spreadsheet.

In order to turn this into a funded non-profit effort, we will need your letters of evaluation (along with your data). Please rate this experience on the scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best and 5 being the worst (similar to a golf score, the lowest score is the best). Your narrative feedback will also be appreciated. Please send your comments/suggestions to doc@KeyboardingArts.org.