Category: Mouse skills

mouse skills

Dear Otto: Should Lefties Use Right Hands for Mousing Around

[caption id="attachment_7341" align="alignright" width="176"]tech questions Do you have a tech question?[/caption]

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Sandy:

Q: I am a Computer Teacher for Early Education (3 & 4 year old) and also Elementary students. My question to you is if a child is left handed, should you teach them to use their mouse with their left hand?

A: That’s a great question. I’ve seen lots of different answers, but there’s only one that makes sense to me: Allow students to use the hand they’re most comfortable with. If they want to use the left, I set the mouse up so it works for them. Often, it’s a shared station, so I help the student get used to reversing the mouse buttons themselves. If that’s enough to convince them to use the right hand, so be it, but many times, they are eager to take the few extra seconds to visit the control panel and set the mouse up to suit their needs.

By allowing students to choose, I first don’t let my prejudices influence how they learn. I don’t want them to go one way because I told them to. I want them to make up their minds and act in their own best interests. This also prevents me from interfering with the parenting they receive at home. Moms and dads may have strong opinions on this subject and nudge their children accordingly. I don’t want to interfere with that when experience tells me it doesn’t make any difference.

What do you do with your lefties?

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tech q & a

Dear Otto: Should Lefties Use Right Hands for Mousing Around

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. I use only first names and the state where you live.

Here’s a great question I got from Sandy in

Q: My name is Sandy and I am a Computer Teacher for Early Education (3 & 4 year old) and also Elementary students. My question to you is if a child is left handed, should you teach them to use their mouse with their left hand?

A: That’s a great question. My approach is to allow students to use the hand they’re most comfortable with. If they want to use the left, I set the mouse up so it works for them. Sometimes, that’s not possible because it’s a shared station. Then, I help the student get used to reversing the mouse buttons. Often, that’s enough to convince them to use the right hand!

What do you do with your lefties?


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.

Weekend Websites #57: 28 Websites to Teach Tech to Kindergarten-First Grade

The moment students start using the computer, they need to create good habits. That includes not only posture and hand position, but internet use, In my class, that starts in kindergarten. Students need to understand the pros and cons of computer basics, the dangers and benefits of websites, and the right way to use both (they’re not just for games).

Here’s a list of websites I use with my kindergarten and first graders to both introduce them to the computer (and all of its parts) and start them on the right way to surf the internet. I start with internet basics and mouse skills at the beginning of the year and spend the remaining months working through the rest. By second grade, they’re ready for more advanced skills: (more…)

Four Online Sites to Teach Mouse Skills

It sounds easy, but to a five or six year old, holding the mouse, clicking that left button, dragging and dropping while holding a finger down is darn difficult. I found four programs that will make it painless:

Mousing Around–learn clicks, multiple clicks. Don’t be surprised when the kids start shouting out animal names.

mouse 1Bees and Honey–shorter, but concentrates on clicks and dragging-dropping

mouse2Tidy the classroom while learning clicks, double-clicks (difficult for youngers) and drag-and-drop

mouse22Mouse Program–for olders who can read, but a thorough exercise of the mouse skills

mouse222


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.