Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Keyboarding Sites

Being able to find the letters on a keyboard is an important skill for students. The following free web sites give students the ability to learn about keyboarding and practice their skills at home.

The first site is Dance Mat Typing, an introduction to touch typing for students from 7 - 11 years old. This site is one of the many BBC Schools learning activities and is a fun, colorful, instructive means for students to learn about typing. Students are shown how their fingers should sit on the keyboard and which finger types each of the letters. Having used the site with many of my students I know from experience that the activities keeps them engaged.

The next site is e-Learning for Kids. Again, in addition to this keyboarding course, there are also math, language arts, and health and life skills courses. It's well worth investigating all the resources. Once again, the activity is fun, colorful and students learn the correct way to keyboard.

Regardless of the site used to develop keyboarding skills, parents should take the time and sit with their child to make sure that the correct fingers are used for each letter. Sometimes the students get so caught up in trying to get through the activity they forget the purpose and just use any finger to get the job done! To make the activities even more challenging, try covering their hands on the keyboard with a cardboard box big enough to sit over the keyboard and their hands or cover with a light cloth. This forces the children to develop finger muscle memory since they can't peek at the letters.

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