Category: Keyboarding

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: K-8 Keyboard Curriculum

Overview

K-8 Keyboard Curriculum (four options plus one)–teacher handbook, student workbooks, companion videos, and help for homeschoolers

2-Volume Ultimate Guide to Keyboardingkeyboarding

K-5 (237 pages) and Middle School (80 pages), 100 images, 7 assessments

K-5–print/digital; Middle School–digital delivery only

Aligned with Student workbooks and student videos (free with licensed set of student workbooks)

Student workbooks sold separately

__________________________________________________________________________

1-Volume Essential Guide to K-8 Keyboarding

120 pages, dozens of images, 6 assessments

Great value!

Delivered print or digital

Doesn’t include: Student workbooks

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Kids’ Computer Posture Explored

Here’s a great article on a topic I don’t talk about enough–proper posture at the computer. Written by “Karen Weaver a 3rd grade elementary school teacher and author of the upcoming children’s book “The Magic Pencil”, it covers all the basics. I think you’ll enjoy it:

Good Sitting Posture in Front of the Computer Explored

Are your kids slouching all the time especially when in front of the computer? You are not alone.

A recent study involving almost 600,000 children and adolescents found that over 65.3% have poor posture, while 3.7% had to be referred to radiography for intervention.

In this post, we tackle one of the major culprits of poor posture in children, what its effects are, and what you can do about it as a parent.

Technology and Bad Posture in Kids

Kids’ routines nowadays are filled with technology that can harm their posture and development if left unsupervised. Watching TV, browsing the Internet, checking social media, playing video games, and now, even remote learning all require using a device.

Think about how your child looks like when he’s doing any of the said tasks. He’s probably either lying down, lounging on the sofa with legs crossed, or sitting with his head tilted forward to look closely at his gadget.

One study showed the effects of habitual computer use in adolescents. It found that increased computer use led to increased head and neck flexion in male teens. Meanwhile, females showed an increased lumbar lordosis.

We used to associate slouching and a hunchback with old age or depression. Now, a majority of children and teenagers have poor posture due to the effects of technology. It’s so rampant that the condition has already been dubbed as “text neck” by the medical community.

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Tech Tip #66–How to Add Accents

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: How to add accents

Category: Languages, Keyboarding, Writing

Q: I teach Spanish and need a quick way to add accents to words. Can you help?

A: You can go through the symbols library, but there’s an easier way. Use Ctrl + another key to add the accent. Here is a table.

More tech tips:

Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

10 Best Keyboarding Hints

Why Learn Keyboarding


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Tech Tip #105: Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Create Shortkeys for Windows Tools

Category: Keyboarding

Q: I love the Windows snipping tool, but it takes too long to activate. Is there a shortkey?

A: Oddly, there isn’t, which is why I didn’t use it for a long time. I want a screen capture that’s instantaneous. I discovered how to create a shortkey for Snipping Tool—or any Windows program:

  • Right click on the program icon.
  • Select ‘properties’.
  • Select the ‘shortcut’ tab.
  • In the ‘Shortcut key’ field, push the key combination you want to invoke this program. In my case, for the Snipping Tool, I used Ctrl+Alt+X.
  • Click OK

 

Here’s a video on how to create the shortkey. Now all I have to do is remember the shortkey!

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher).

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Tech Tip #31: 10 Best Keyboarding Hints

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 10 Best Keyboarding Hints

Category: Keyboarding

This poster has ten keyboarding hints that cover the most common mistakes students make that prevent them from excelling at keyboarding:

  1. Tuck your elbows against the sides of your body. This keeps your hands in the right spot—home row—at the right angle (parallel to the rows).
  2. Use your right thumb for the space bar. That leaves your hands ready, on home row.
  3. Curl fingers over home row—they’re cat paws, not dog paws.
  4. Use inside fingers for inside keys, outside fingers for outside keys. This is a great rule of thumb until students start touch typing.
  5. Use the finger closest to the key you need. Sounds simple, but this isn’t what usually happens with beginners.
  6. Keep your pointers anchored to f and j. Notice the tactile bump on those keys so you don’t have to look at the keyboard to find homerow.
  7. Play your keyboard like you do a piano (or violin, or guitar, or recorder). You’d never use your pointer for all keys. Don’t do it on a keyboard either.
  8. Fingers move, not your hands. Hands stay anchored to the f and j keys
  9. Add a barrier between the sides of the keyboards. I fashioned one from cover stock. That’ll remind students to stay on the correct side of the keyboard
  10. Don’t use caps lock for capitals! Use shift.

There’s an eleventh in the poster. Can you tell which one that is?

Buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

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How Fast Should Kids Type

I get this question a lot from readers and purchasers of my technology curriculum: How fast should kids type? What about Kindergartners? When are their brains mature enough to understand speed and accuracy?

When I reviewed the literature on this subject, it is all over the place. Some say third grade, some leave it until sixth. I say–decide based on your own set of students. Me, I’ve come to conclusions that fit my particular K-8 students. Their demographics include:

  • private school
  • parents support emphasis on keyboarding
  • most have computers at home; actually, most have their own computer at home
  • students are willing to practice keyboarding in class and submit homework that is oriented to keyboarding

Based on this set of students, here’s what I require:

Kindergarten (more…)

Tech Tip #11: Four Stages of Keyboarding Growth

In these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 4 Stages of Keyboarding Growth

Category: Keyboarding

Here’s a poster with the four stages you will follow as you teach students keyboarding. It starts with pre-keyboarding in K-1st and ends with touch typing in 4th/5th grade:

keyboarding stasges

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#keyboarding

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Tech Tip #158: Why Learn Keyboarding

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Why Learn Keyboarding?

Category: Keyboarding

Here’s a poster with the top nine reasons why students want to learn keyboarding:

why learn keyboarding

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Tech Tip #9–Quickly Hide Your Screen

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 

Category: Keyboarding

Q: I’m updating grades at school. Students come in for help and I don’t want them to see what I’m doing. What’s the fastest way to hide the screen?

A:    Press “Alt+Tab” on your keyboard (or Command-Tab on a Mac). It’ll hide the window on your screen by bringing up the one you last visited.

        Use it as a verb as in, “I had to Alt+Tab when my student dropped by.”

Buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

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