Over the years we have gathered a wealth of information relating to the way that teachers use Typing Tournament in their classes. There are a multitude of approaches. The following list sets out some of the most useful that we have found.
It is important that teachers have an understanding of the requirements to teach typing embedded in the various different curricula.
Within The Australian Curriculum, there is an implicit requirement that students develop efficient keyboarding skills. (ACELY1654, ACTDIK007, ACELA1433, ACTDIK001).
Teachers usually report a rapid increase in student’s typing speeds when using Typing Tournament. This means that other tasks such as writing can be completed more rapidly with the time invested in Typing Tournament being more than balanced by the savings in other areas.
A little regularly is the best approach. With Typing Tournament, each student has their own account that tracks their progress word by word. This means that class sessions can be any length that suits your situation. Here are a few of the common strategies teachers use:
The teaching of typing skills, like handwriting, is a longitudinal process and needs to be introduced early to every student with ongoing practice, exposure and increasing expectations year by year. Typing Tournament gives schools an adaptable, expandable tool that goes from the rudiments of typing right through to typing speeds exceeding 100 words per minute!
Many schools are currently in the process of incorporating the teaching of typing into their teaching programmes. Often, schools start with one class and work from there or the ICT teachers uses it with a range of classes from the beginning. Typing Tournament has been built to help teachers achieve the relevant keyboarding curriculum outcomes across all years of schooling and to teach students the vital skill of 10 finger typing.
Typing Tournament can be implemented as whole school strategy or class by class and is commonly used from Year 2 through to Year 12. Enhancements currently under development will enable its use with even younger students. Ideally students should be well engaged in the process by Year 3.
Regularity and repetition are key when learning a kinesthetic skill like typing and like all such skills, the time taken to learn them varies greatly with the individual. Our current estimate is that students take approximately 20 hours of focused, regular use to achieve functional 10 finger typing. Younger students take longer. Investing extra time to achieve higher typing speeds is recommended.
Most students come to Typing Tournament with well-established poor typing habits. For them to learn to type correctly it is important that they retrain their muscle memory and establish good typing habits.The Typing Tournament system senses many attributes of each typist and uses this information to manage each student’s progression, however it cannot determine whether the student is using the right fingers on the right keys. Ultimately only a vigilant teacher can ensure that students use the right fingers on the right keys. Resist the temptation to let the students type, unsupervised – particularly in the introdutory stages of the typing lessons. Time being vigilant early on will pay dividends as the students progress.
There are many inbuilt encouragements and instructions within Typing Tournament that guide students to use the right fingers on the right keys. They include:
Although these inbuilt encouragements guide students toward the use of the correct fingers on the correct keys however, it is important that teachers complement the process through direct supervision and other strategies including:
You start young with simple music, learn your scales, use correct fingering and technique, and gradually progress to harder and harder pieces.
Slow down and take time to ensure that all students use correct posture and finger placement from the beginning.
From time to time it may be necessary to reset the results (work done in Typing Tournament) for an individual student, group of students or a whole class. This need arises when students have been using the wrong fingers on the keys and they need to go back and redo the exercises to build correct muscle memory or some other person has typed in a student’s account. To reset a student’s results, sign as a teacher, navigate to the class and select the student, then click on “View Student History” and then under Point 2 select the Activities which you wish to reset. Choose “Delete Selected” from the side bar.
To touch type correctly students must focus their eyes on the screen and not the keyboard. The prerequisite to this skill is the establishment of automaticity in the key strokes being typed for each letter and the use of the right fingers on the right keys. Once these primary skills are established the teacher needs to encourage students to focus their eyes on the screen and not the keyboard.
Have the class teacher or other teachers and parents from around the school community model good typing habits.
Many adults and older students have stories to tell about the frustration of not being able to type or the positive impact that good typing skills have made in their lives. Some can recount the difference that learning to touch type made once they acquired the skill.
There is a host of motivational devices built into Typing Tournament. Intrinsic motivators include: instant feedback on words typed, speed tests, lessons, drills and games. Extrinsic motivators include: Printed certificates, games, reward movies, collection of tokens and badges and more. Many teachers use a mix of the following to further enhance student motivation:
A series of pdf posters designed to jazz up your classroom and help you to focus on teaching the crucial concepts that underpin good typing technique. The posters will assist you in raising student’s expectations of the typing speeds that can be achieved and give a sense of context to the acquisition of typing skills.