One of the most important skills children need to be able to effectively produce work of a high standard, and a skill for the 21st Century work place, is typing. Typing on a keyboard, tying on a tablet or smart phone, it doesn’t matter where they type, but this is a skill that is not taught as much as it should be. I often go into schools where handwriting takes place every day. This is just as important for children to learn letter formation, but typing is a skill that will take them further in life.
During my time as a teacher, I tried to encourage year groups to book out our technology in blocks, maybe during morning work, or after lunch, to do 10 minutes of typing per day.
A great way to learn this from key stage 1 onwards, is BBC Dance Mat Typing, found here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr)
This enables the child to work through at their own pace, with a lovely goat character providing guidance.
One they have mastered that, a nice website to move them onto is AlfaTyping. (http://www.alfatyping.com)
AlfaTyping is a free service, and students can sign-up and use the service individually or you can create and manage accounts for your students. The benefit of creating a classroom account is that you can create your own lessons for your students. If you don’t have time to create your own lessons, you can use the pre-made lessons offered by AlfaTyping. Regardless of whether you create your own lessons or use the pre-made lessons, you can track your students’ progress in AlfaTyping.
One of the nice things about being able to create your own lessons in AlfaTyping is that you can use text that relates to topics your students are already studying. That way when your students are reading the text on the screen and typing it, they are getting increased exposure to key vocabulary terms from other topics they’re learning in school. The only downside to this site is the advertising, so be sure to warn children during your normal e-Safety chat prior to using the internet.
Thanks to Richard Byrne for providing information about AlfaTyping.