Category: Mouse skills

mouse skills

How to Teach Mouse Skills to Pre-Keyboarders

2027749 cartoon computer mouseMany students enter kindergarten with a basic knowledge of digital devices like iPads and smartphones, but this rarely includes the use of a mouse. This little piece of hardware is strictly for desktop devices and maybe add-ons for laptops. In today’s tech world, you may even consider it a niche item.

But you’d be wrong.

Rarely is there a child that can get through school without using a mouse. If s/he doesn’t know the basic skills — click, double-click, right-click, drag-drop, hover — they will be confused, even frustrated, by so much of what makes technology work. These are not intuitive, starting with how to hold the mouse.

mouse_hold

Little hands with undeveloped fine motor skills struggle to keep their pointer and middle finger spread apart while simultaneously pushing with one finger rather than the whole hand. The moment before students grab ahold of that round little device, teach them how to use it. Don’t expect them — or force them — to figure it out on their own. It’s not intuitive and — like keyboarding — will only create bad habits that must be broken later.

Here are nine websites that teach mouse basics to kindergarten and first graders in clever ways:

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mouse skills

16 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

I repost this article every September because I get so many requests for mouse resources for those youngest keyboarders. Enjoy!


One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:

[gallery type="square" ids="50137,28323,28324,50140,50139,54260"]

Here are 16 websites students will enjoy, including 3 for adults new to computers:

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14 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

1183938_stylized_mouseI repost this article every September because I get so many requests for mouse resources for those youngest keyboarders. For an up-to-date list, click here. Enjoy!


One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:

Here are 16 websites student will enjoy, including 4 for adults new to computers:

  1. Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
  2. Left-click practice while playing the piano
  3. MiniMouse1183938_stylized_mouse
  4. Mouse and tech basics–video
  5. Mouse practice—drag, click
  6. Mouse skills
  7. Mouse Song
  8. OwlieBoo–mouse practice
  9. Wack-a-gopher (no gophers hurt in this)

Puzzles

  1. Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
  2. Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
  3. Jigsaw puzzles
  4. Jigzone–puzzles
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles–JS

Adults

  1. Mousing Around
  2. Skillful Senior

Trackpad

Many of these are simply repurposing mouse skill sites to the trackpad. 

  1. Basics
  2. Practice
  3. Touchpad vs Mouse

If you’re looking for more, Internet4Classrooms has a long list you might like, and these fun sites from minimouse.us.

More on mouse skills:

Dear Otto: Should Lefties Use Right Hands for Mousing Around

Tech Tip #61: How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button

Dear Otto: Should I fix ‘Thumb clicking’?

 

[gallery type="square" ids="50137,28323,28324,50140,50139"]

 

http://eepurl.com/chNlYb

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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, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

12 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

Please see the update here with more websites, puzzles, adult-friendly sites, trackpad skills sites, and posters!

Resource list constantly updated here

One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:

[gallery type="square" ids="28323,28324"]

Here are 12 websites students will enjoy including 3 for adults new to computers:

(more…)

tech q & a

Dear Otto: Should I fix ‘Thumb clicking’?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Amy:

I teach K-5 technology.  I have made accommodations for several of my students who use the mouse with their left hand (medical reasons).  What about a kindergartener who insists on using his thumb to left click the mouse?  Is there a reason (other than it just looks wrong!) that this habit should be corrected? Unlike reinforcing the use of proper pencil pinch when teaching handwriting, I don’t see the thumb click impeding this student’s future technique.  Handwriting progresses to cursive (albeit very little time is spent developing cursive anymore) so technique is important.  And I know that the mouse continues to evolve – but left and right clicking still works if my student uses his thumb and fingers.

I have seen the thumb-clicking. Sometimes, it’s the fine motor skills issue of not being able to push fingers separately (on the two mouse buttons). Also, it could be from ‘thumbing’ on phones, for texting. In kindergarten, it’s probably the former.

It is a habit that needs to be corrected. It’ll slow him down when he gets older and make him look awkward to peers which could embarrass him enough he wouldn’t want to use the computer. Luckily, K’s retrain easily. Just keep reminding him. Gently change his hand hold. Ask his classroom teacher and parents to join your crusade. He’ll get the message. Have him practice the correct way with the fun websites below under ‘More on mouse skills’.

One thing to do first: Check with parents to be sure there isn’t a physiologic reason why he’s doing it the way he is. If he has Juvenile Arthritis (which he probably doesn’t or you’d see it in other joints or parents would advise you), that can affect the flexibility of his hands, as can other diseases. Having that conversation subtly with parents will also give you the opportunity to engage them as your partner in fixing this issue.

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Tech Tip #61: How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Kids always get confused when I’m explaining directions that require the right mouse button. I’ve found an easy way to clarify:

“Right click with your mouse”

Student promptly clicks with their left mouse. I know–doesn’t make sense. It does to them. They’re happy to focus on the right hand and have no idea they need to go one level further. My comeback:

“The other right.”

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Tech Tip #13: Powerful Right Mouse Click

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I need a faster way to access menus. Is there one?

A: Yes, and you’ll love it. All PC’s have this unique mouse with both a left and a right button. The left one is for all the normal stuff, but the right one is for the most common activities performed from wherever you are–on the desktop, in a program, whatever.

(more…)

Tech Tip #13: Powerful Right Mouse Click

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I need a faster way to access menus. Is there one?

A: Yes, and you’ll love it. All PC’s have this unique mouse with both a left and a right button. The left one is for all the normal stuff, but the right one is for the most common activities performed from wherever you are–on the desktop, in a program, whatever.

(more…)