These came directly from the classroom. I tested them on 400 students for a year.
Hands down, these are the most common mistakes students make that prevent them from excelling at keyboarding. Besides good tips, you might find this a different ways of saying things, for those multi-disciplinary students:
- Tuck your elbows against the sides of your body. This keeps your hands in the right spot—home row
- Use your thumb for the space bar. That leaves your hands on home row
- Curl fingers over home row—they’re cat paws, not dog paws
- Use inside fingers for inside keys, outside fingers for outside keys
- Use the finger closest to the key you need. Sounds simple, but this isn’t what usually happens with beginners.
- Keep your pointers anchored to f and j
- Play your keyboard like you do a piano (or violin, or guitar, or recorder). You’d never use your pointer for all keys
- Fingers move, not your hands. Hands stay anchored to the f and j keys
- 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
- Don’t use caps lock for capitals! Use shift.
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.