Ask the Experts

Why Typing Is Important for 21st Century Learners

Why Typing Is Important for 21st Century Learners

Take it from me, a 23-year elementary school teacher, we need to teach our students BOTH skills of handwriting and keyboarding in our world today and here's why. 
 

Throughout my experience teaching students from all levels from Pre-K through middle school, students need to be able to communicate effectively in many different ways in order to succeed in school (and ultimately in their career).
 

So why do we need to teach both handwriting and typing?

Imagine students in a big lecture hall, listening intently to the speaker. Are their laptops open, phones being typed into, or video recorders turned on for them to retain as much knowledge as they can?

 

No! Pencils (or pens) are in the majority of the hands in the audience.

 

These learners subconsciously know that the best way to absorb the information quickly is to use the “old-fashioned” way of writing notes down with a pen or pencil on paper. 

 

Now think about a scenerio when you needed to get a message across clearly to a colleague, to your administrator, or to a child's parents from your classroom. Do you pull out that trusty old pen and paper?

 

Maybe...but probably not.

 

What usually happens is this:

  • You sit at your computer.
  • You review your notes (or take a moment to organize your thoughts about the topic).
  • You start typing.
     

Then, after a little while, you review what has been typed and whoops…

  • Correct the problem in sentence #2. It just doesn’t make sense.
  • Forgot a word in sentence #5. Insert and correct.
  • Need to re-type sentence #7. Doesn’t have enough information that I want to give.
  • Hmmm. Now, how do I merge my thoughts from sentence #8 to my blank canvas of “yet to be written” sentence #9?
  • Highlight, cut, copy, paste. Read over. Type new… and then …
  • Repeat.
     

Ah, the beauty of the “written” word. How ironic.
 

Typing is a necessary skill for today’s students.

In today's ever-evolving world, a student's ability to type fluently enables them to focus on what they're typing vs. how to type. Being able to quickly share thoughts and send them to their teacher from any location is much more efficient than using paper and pencil. Educators need to be able to connect to a student’s online world to engage and motivate them, because they are a new and different type of learner (Larson et al. 2009).
 

That’s why we created Keyboarding Without Tears.

We know that handwriting isn’t enough. Children need to be fluent in both handwriting AND typing to be successful in life in and outside the classroom. Keyboarding Without Tears prepares children for success in school and life.

Check out this video below to see what I mean. 
 


 

I'm excited to share that Keyboarding Without Tears was awared a 2020 SIIA CODiE Award!

Here's what the judges had to say: 

  • "This product is a must for students. The term keyboarding fluency was so appropriate and is vital for 21st century learners. The lessons were age appropriate and engaging."
  • "This is the best typing solution I have seen on the market and is appropriate for very young children and a variety of age groups. It is developmentally appropriate and designed with young children in mind."
     

Prepare your students for digital communication. 

To help your 21st-century learner prepare for the road ahead, we're giving students free access to Keyboarding Without Tears through July 31, 2020. Sign up here
 


References: Larson, Lotta, Teresa Miller, and Mike Ribble.  2009. “5 Considerations for Digital Age Learners.” Learning & Leading with Technology Magazine (4): 12-15.

 

Mark Putney's picture
By Mark Putney Mark D. Putney is currently a Pre-K through Grade 4 Elementary Computer Teacher in the Fredonia (NY) school district. Previously, he taught in all of the grades (1st through 5th) in his 23-year career. Mark is also a National Presenter for Learning Without Tears when he is not teaching. He and his wife, Melissa, have four children: Tyler, Emma, Ashton, and Graham… and they all both “write” and “type” in their household.