Category: Keyboarding

Is Handwriting Like Camera Film–So Last Generation

UPDATE

Another problem for cursive in schools: Common Core is ‘silent’ on it, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Education. That’s like the Fat Lady warming up, but not sure when she’ll be performing.

Studies show one in three children struggle with handwriting. I’d guess more, seeing it first hand as a teacher. Sound bad? Consider another study shows that one in five parents say they last penned a letter more than a year ago.

Let’s look at the facts. Students hand-write badly, and don’t use it much when they grow up (think about yourself. How often do you write a long hand letter?). Really, why is handwriting important in this day of keyboards, PDAs, smart phones, spellcheck, word processing? I start students on MS Word in second grade, about the same time their teacher is beginning cursive. Teach kids the rudiments and turn them over to the tech teacher for keyboarding.

I searched for reasons why I was wrong. Here’s what I found:

  • 1 in 10 Americans are endangered by the poor handwriting ofHandwritingCursiveCapDir physicians.
  • citizens miss out on $95,000,000 in tax refunds because the taxman can’t read their handwriting
  • Poor handwriting costs businesses $200,000,000 in time and money that result in confused and inefficient employees, phone calls made to wrong numbers, and letters delivered to incorrect addresses.

Read on:

Schools: Less cursive, more keyboarding

BROWNSBURG, Ind., Aug. 28 (UPI) —

Officials in an Indiana school district said cursive writing lessons will be scaled down this year in favor of computer keyboarding.

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TOP TEN LIST

10 Top Click-throughs from Ask a Tech Teacher

I include lots of links for my readers to places that will help them integrate technology into their education. They cover websites on lesson plans,

[caption id="attachment_4210" align="alignright" width="160"]top ten Top Ten Click-throughs[/caption]

math, keyboarding, classroom management, cloud computer, digital books, teacher resources, free tech resources, and more. On any given day, I generate on average 157 of these click throughs. Which links my readers select tells me a lot about the type of information they’re looking for from me.

Here’s a list of the top sites my readers selected to visit from my blog:

  1. Keyboard Climber–actually, the top four were keyboarding websites, so I’ll lump them all into the #1 slot. They included:
  2. Mousing around--a fun mouse-skills program that’s perfect for kindergarten and first grade (more…)

18 Online Keyboard Sites for Kids

You want to practice 10-15 minutes two to three times a week. Even for kindergartners. Choose a fun software program–whichever will keep their attention when they’re young. I use Type to Learn Jr. in my school until half-way through first grade, but there are other good ones. For the older children, I use Type to Learn. I have great results with it. Students are challenged, intrigued, motivated by the prizes and the levels.

Another option is online typing sites. Typingweb is good. It’s a graduated program that keeps track of your progress. If you’re picking an online program as an alternative to software, it’s important to log in so the software remembers what your child has accomplished. If you’re going to use online sites as part of an overall typing practice curriculum, here are some other good sites to try:

  1. Keyboard challenge—adapted to grade level http://www.abcya.com/keyboard.htm
  2. Keyboard practice—quick start http://www.keybr.com/
  3. Keyboarding Fingerjig—6 minute test of ability http://www.jonmiles.co.uk/fingerjig.php
  4. Keyboarding for Kids http://webinstituteforteachers.org/~gammakeys/Lesson/Lesson1.htm
  5. Keyboarding practice http://www.usspeller.com/keytutor.html
  6. Keyboarding—alphabet rain game http://www.powertyping.com/rain.shtml (more…)

ASCII Art–Computer Art for Everyone

ASCII art is that amazing computer drawing where keyboard letters become a picture. Done well, it never fails to impress friends with your geekiness.

I was inspired by my friend, Zakgirl, to try it. I’m inherently lazy so wanted an ‘easy way’ to accomplish this tedious art. I went on a hunt for that method–and found it! Here’s a pumpkin I did for Halloween in about fifteen minutes:

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18 Great FREE Online Keyboard Websites

When your child is learning to keyboard, they need 10-15 minutes two to three times a week. Even for kindergartners. Choose a fun software program–whichever will keep their attention when they’re young. I use Type to Learn Jr. in my school until half-way through first grade, but there are other good ones. For the older children, I use Type to Learn. I have great results with it. Students are challenged, intrigued, motivated by the prizes and the levels.

Another option is online typing sites. Typingweb is good. It’s a graduated program that keeps track of your progress. If you’re picking an online program as an alternative to software, it’s important to log in so the software remembers what your child has accomplished.

If you’re going to use online sites as part of an overall typing practice curriculum, here are some other good sites to try: (more…)