Director of IT
With all the Artificial Intelligence hype and Web 3.0 slowly emerging in our midst, it can be easily taken for granted that touch typing is a skill that still needs to be developed. Many schools ignore it assuming kids are on their laptops most of the time or time could be better spent.
The British branch of the Multinational software company Microsoft completed a research study in 2014 on the topic of Typing skills and employment. This is what they found out:
- Almost 1/3 of British employers say they will not hire someone if they can’t touch type.
- 41% of employees, 38% of students and 29% of parents believe there is not enough emphasis on typing at schools and universities.
- 38% of employers say that typing enhances productivity.
- 45% of British workers do not know how to type ergonomically which has resulted in 24% of employers’ saying they have received reports of typing related injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury. Source: @MSAccessoriesUK
It is a skill that should be hard-wired to our digital native generation. They should be taught that not every device can be operated through a touch, a pinch or a voice command. Typing and touch typing in particular increases productivity because it allows us to write, jot down ideas and notes without thinking about the process. It is an example of cognitive automaticity where the ability to do things is present without thinking about it. We never really forget to ride a bike and instinctively pick it up after years of absences from it.
It is for this reason at my school we have introduced compulsory touch typing lessons from Years 3 to 8. Pupils spend at least 15 minutes a week learning the required skills to touch type with the view that by Year 8, pupils should be proficient. We use the web-based software ‘Typing Club’ which allows our pupils to practice at any time wherever they have access to the Internet. We also made this hard wired into the assessment process as every term pupils are assessed on their combined accuracy and speed.
Small steps taken one keyboard button at a time.