Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two Thumbs Up?

The following is from a weekly column I write in the OCDSB Business & Learning Technologies e-Newsletter called Curriculum Connections.

With the advent of netbooks, tablets, and moble devices such as cellphones and iphone touches, what constitutes 21st Century Learning keyboarding skills, and mastery?

From a curriculum standpoint, if a grade 9 or 10 student opts for Business Studies, we find:

Electronic Communication: Students will identify the skills and competencies (e.g.,keyboarding skills, software knowledge and skills) needed to work effectively in an information and communication technology environment;
Digital Literacies: Students will:demonstrate efficient use of a computer workstation (e.g., proper keyboarding technique, correct posture).

But how do they get there from here? Should we be “teaching” keyboarding at elementary? From a very early age, students are texting, their thumbs used in the newest version of the two-fingered hunt and peck. And they input text with astonishing speed, not even considering the emoticons, short forms and acronyms that form the language of the cyber-streets.

Read the following blog, authored by Dr. Leigh E. Zeitz, Ph.D. , for some thoughts and research about keyboarding. http://keyboarding.wordpress.com/ Thanks to Kent Manning for that Twee-source.

All The Right Type is a Ministry licensed software for school use and provides tutorial style practice, a motivating rowing race and tracking.

On-line websites offer similar experiences, and can be used at home. For grades 7-10 check out http://www.freetypinggame.net/play.asp  and http://www.sense-lang.org/typing
For grades 1-6 try http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing

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