“With an enormous computer presence in schools,
the question is no longer whether to teach keyboarding but when to teach it.”
Gary Hopkins, The American journal Education World
What is touch typing?
Touch typing is the method of typing without looking at the keyboard. It is a skill that isn’t usually taught in UK schools. However, it is a vital skill all should learn. Touch typing can be taught to a child as soon as their hands are big enough to fit onto the keyboard. Learning at an early age eliminates bad typing habits such as the ‘hunt and peck’ method. Without spending time searching for the correct key a child will learn and work a lot faster.
What are the advantages of touch typing?
- Touch typing provides phonics training helpful to dyslexic children
Typing helps dyslexic children break up words into smaller sounds. This can be very helpful for reading and spelling. Touch typing gives a dyslexic child the opportunity to work on sound-letter correspondence. This familiarises a child with what letters make what sound. Touch typing also eliminates the need for the child to form letters. This means a child can more easily focus on the sounds and the symbols they correlate to.
- Touch typing employs multi-sensory learning and develops muscle memory.
Touch typing is multi-sensory. It links sight and hearing to touch. The tactile element of pressing the keys helps with remembering the sounds that make up tricky words. Touch typing also develops muscle memory, very useful when learning letter patterns and spelling.
- Touch typing makes writing easier for children who have handwriting difficulties such as dysgraphia.
Children with dysgraphia may find holding a pen difficult and painful. Touch-typing eliminates this difficulty allowing them to focus on their work
- Touch typing can improve confidence with writing and spelling
Computers don’t get impatient and they allow a child to work at their own speed. Unlike handwriting touch typing allows children multiple chances to correct mistakes. This shows a child they can learn to spell and reinforces the correct spelling, leading to increased confidence.
- Touch typing is faster than handwriting
Touch typing leads to fluency using a keyboard. When a child has mastered touch typing they will have more time to focus on their ideas when working. With a smaller amount of attention spent on the keyboard children are able to concentrate more fully on the work.
- Touch typing improves general ICT skills.
ICT skills are vital in the modern day. Learning to type at a young age can be a big step in familiarising a child with computers.
- Learning to touch type prepares children for later life.
Learning touch typing when young can help prepare a child for the more complex writing assignments in higher levels of education.
Nessy offers its own touch-typing program called Nessy Fingers. Winner of the Educational Resources Award, Nessy Fingers is designed to help:
- Children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD
- Beginners who have never typed before
- Anybody who wants to improve their typing
Suitable for ages 7+, Nessy Fingers features 15 fun games to help children learn to touch type. Keys are introduced alphabetically which makes more sense to children. In five short lessons children will learn to type every letter of the alphabet. Games will then be introduced to help the child practise and improve their skills until typing becomes second nature!
To learn more and explore the benefits touch-typing can offer try Nessy Fingers today!
Praise for Nessy Fingers
“My 11-year-old son who is dysgraphic has been using the Nessy typing program and it has been great, he is actually learning to type. The best thing about the program is that it teaches the keys in alphabetical order, so it is much easier for children to remember where the keys are.”
“It really is very simple and great fun. My 7-year-old dyspraxic son doesn’t even realise we are teaching him to type.”
“Nessy Fingers is so well set out and logical and FUN! A real winner.”