Necessity for Keyboarding Skills in Elementary School?

Directly skipping over the debate, if it is really necessary to dedicate specific (precious) time to teach AND practice keyboarding skills during school hours… our tech team was asked to “teach” keyboarding at our Elementary School.  Parents “demand” it, since it is something “visual” for them to understand that they child is “getting” technology instruction. Some teachers also feel that it is a “vital” skill to have for our students to succeed.

Yes, let’s skip over the debate, if students will really be handicapped in the 21st century,  if they do not use their pinky to type an “A” or the index finger for a “G”.

Let me forget that my three teenage daughters never took an official typing class and can type faster with their 10 fingers than I can on their Facebooks and MySpaces and on their cellphones with their thumbs.

Is the method (homekeys with proper finger placement) most of the older generation holds on to just because “That is the way we learned it” or is it because, if you did not take a typing class in the “old” days, you would automatically be doomed to the “Peack and Hunt” method for the rest of your life.

Let’s forget that we are dealing with digital natives here. Natives that are confronted with typing for almost EVERYTHING they do these days: cellphones, their social network places, e-mailing, school work, etc. That was not the case for the “Peck and Hunt” generation.

Does it really matter with which finger you typed a letter? Isn’t the content more important? Yes, of course it will take you longer if you have to look for each letter you are typing. I am arguing though that digital natives will pick up the skill anyway along the way. They have the opportunities to practice and most importantly they have the motivation to practice in so many different environments.  How else do we explain that teenagers learned to type on their tiny little cellphones at lightning speed without ever having attended a “Keyboarding for Cellphones” class.

Oops, I forgot that we were skipping the debate part…

I have to get back to my keyboarding lesson plan that I am working on for my elementary school students…

Check back for that post later…