Learning to type is one of those crucial skills that everyone needs to know, especially considering how commonplace computers are becoming. They’re in our offices, our homes, our schools, our cell phones… they’re everywhere. Some employers have even made typing skills a job requirement, having prospective employees take typing tests before they even interview. Mastering this skill early on is the best way to tackle it.
- Texting – You may think this is a joke, but with how often kids are on their cell phones these days and the fact that most cell phones keyboards mimic computer keyboards, texting really is making people better and more adept at typing. While it may not be the preferred way for kids to learn how to type, it is rather effective…
- Typing games – Any game that makes a learning experience fun is a great way to get kids involved and ‘studying’. A lot of typing games are so geared towards looking like a game that kids don’t even realize how much information they’re absorbing in the process. For instance, when I was growing up I learned how to type playing Mario Teaches Typing – it was set up exactly like the Mario video games and every letter you typed correctly made Mario jump up and bump a coin out.
- Typing sentences – While it may be a little more boring than learning to type while also playing Mario, typing certain sentences repeatedly will help you learn the lay of the keyboard and get comfortable with all of the letters, obscure ones included. Sentences like “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” and “pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs” are effective sentences to practice typing when you’re trying to learn how to type without looking at the keyboard.
- Websites – There are a plethora of websites out there that are geared towards teaching you how to type correctly – some free and some for a fee. Websites are a nice tool to use because you can access them virtually anywhere with an internet connection and practice to your heart’s content.
- Software – Contrary to websites, you can also buy software to install on your laptop or desktop computer that will help you learn the ins and outs of typing. The benefit to having software is that you don’t need an internet connection to be able to use it. It will also give you all of the relevant information you need to know, like your accuracy rate and speed at typing.
- Typing Tests – The internet has plenty of online typing tests you can take to gauge how good you are at typing under pressure. Most of them are timed and some of them don’t allow you to delete so that you can see how well you type without backspacing. You should consider taking a typing test throughout your learning experience to assess your progress and see your improvements.
- Toy Computers – If you want your kids to learn how to type early on you should consider investing in a toy computer for them that has preloaded games and quizzes on them so that they can get familiar with the keyboard layout while they’re still young. This allows it to become almost second nature.
- Computer Classes – Most schools and local colleges will offer typing courses that you can enroll in throughout the year that will teach you or your children everything you need to know about typing correctly and effectively. Since no one wants to use the hunt and peck method for forever, these are a good way to learn correct techniques and have a teacher there to ask questions to when you hit a snag in the learning process.
- Practice with the keys covered – One way to get comfortable with typing without looking at the keyboard is to cover kid’s hands while they’re typing so they are forced to learn the layout of the keyboard and rely on instinct to type the right letters.
- Hide the letters with colored tape – Another way to get kids used to typing without relying on looking at the keyboard is to place colored masking tape over the different letters on the keys. Cover the letters that each finger uses with the same colored tape so that they remember which finger touches what. This will help them learn to keep fingers on the home row and to branch out to the top and bottom rows accordingly.
Learning to type is a key skill that everyone should learn at some point in their lives and one that you will never regret investing time in perfecting. Plus it can be a fun experience if you engage the right tools to help you along the way.