Best Typing Practice for Students and Beginners
When you are a teacher it is often hard to assess what would be the best typing practice for students, and what is just a waste of your time. In many cases, you will stumble on programs that might have been efficient several decades ago, but not so much today.
The mechanics of typing have stayed the same since the time QWERTY keyboards were invented. But the expectations and limitations on the typist are not the same anymore.
There are no more jobs where you need to re-type existing copy, as that is done by machines. Also, with the development and improvement of speech-to-text software, there is a diminishing need for stenographers.
But, there is an explosion in demand for good journalists, copywriters, and communication personnel. A typing class should reflect these new demands and focus on the skills the students are going to use. These exercises can also be fun and engaging, especially if combined with specialized apps for typing exercises.
What Kind of Typing Practice for Students Works?
Teachers, and especially older educators, sometimes have a hard time realizing just how many distractions there are in the modern world. Everywhere you go there is something popping up to get your attention, and it is usually more entertaining than doing repetitive school exercises.
That is why new education shouldn’t just be repetition, but also entertainment. We can use the ideas promoted in video games and media to engage with the people doing the learning. This will make the lessons more impactful and even drive some students to practice at home on their own accord.
Games and challenges should be something incorporated into the class, as that is the best way to engage your students. Similar to the real world, education must be a mixture between a carrot and a stick. Failing the class or getting a good grade is not that important for many students today, so they need to be able to win something and lose something more tangible.
Games, challenges, and competitions can be incorporated via software in anything from basic exercises to advanced typing tests. Even if there are students who are entirely uninterested in the subject itself, they won’t be so willing to fail direct competition with their peers.
Basic Row Practices
Everything starts with the basics. Thankfully, it is very easy to include novel practices when practicing the basic row, or home row. There are even plenty of actual games that include the home row for gaming, and every teacher can build upon that.
Software used for typing exercises will usually use this gaming mechanic to engage students better. When the goal is to quickly type in words like ‘flask’, ‘dhaks’, or ‘skald’ you will need to use the proper finger placing in the home row if you want to win the game.
You need to turn your little warm-up exercises into a ritual. Making the F and J exercise something your students do at the beginning of the class every time, even in advanced classes, can be made into something that parallels stretching in a gym.
Your second exercise should be something fun. This way, the reward for doing the exercise correctly can be the recognition of being the first to complete the exercise.
Some of the best typing exercises for your students can be found already integrated into various types of learning software. From basic learning exercises to advanced challenges and tests, everything can be included.
Additionally, the software can track the progress and improvement of students and give specific advice on what can be improved. While it will always lack the human touch provided by teachers, it has become an irreplaceable tool in every good classroom.
Online Free Practice
If you are not willing to spend on specialized software, there are always some basic programs online. These are not anywhere near as advanced or interactive as premium apps but can be a great addition to any classroom.
Also, they are very accessible to all students, as even older computers can use all of the features. The only thing you need for them is the internet and a keyboard.
Feel Free to Experiment
Regardless if you are a trained educator or you want to learn proper typing yourself, you should be free to experiment. All people are different and respond to various techniques. Find what works best in your specific case.
The best typing practice for students is the one that will keep their attention and engagement. And this will be a different set of exercises for every class and every individual.
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