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Category Archives: creativity

Research Shows the Power of Keyboarding for Students

There are a number of research documents written regarding the power of keyboarding as a literacy skill. This sums up what nearly all researchers agree on. Traditionally, keyboarding was taught at the high school level to students who had never before used a keyboard. Now, with computers both at home and in our elementary schools, we find that very young students are being exposed to the computer keyboard. One study focusing on computer use in the school system estimated that students would spend more than 400 hours on computers before they reached the ninth grade (Kidney, 1985). As the keyboard continues to be the primary device for inputting data into computers, the purpose in presenting these guidelines are three-fold: • to familiarize young students with keyboarding skills. • to give elementary students the opportunity to learn and develop keyboarding skills … Read More

How Computers Change the Writing Process

Recently, while perusing the internet, I found this interesting article about how computers changed the writing process for people with learning disabilities. It was written by Richard Wanderman.  I was taken back by how much Richard and I agreed with this concept.  As an educator who has taught students how to type for the past 16 years, it was refreshing to see this concept finally taking center stage! Richard was an adult with learning disabilities when he discovered how important it was to work on a computer to write instead of using the pencil and paper mode.  As he says, “In fact, if I didn’t write with a computer I wouldn’t be able to share this article with you because I wouldn’t be able to record, work with, and share my ideas and I wouldn’t know from personal experience how … Read More

Handwriting vs. Keyboarding–from a Student’s Perspective

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. Every year, she has her 4th grade students compare handwriting speed to keyboarding speed.  Here are some of the results from the students who thought keyboarding was more useful than handwriting. Can lose your paper pencils break, erasers disappear, points get dull. Then, I have to take time to get a replacement. Never happens with a keyboard. hand never gets tired eyes must constantly move from sheet to pencil. Once I’ve memorized the keys, I don’t have to do that anymore you can only get so fast at handwriting–say, 45 wpm. Most students will exceed that speed with typing. Lots of people type 65 wpm. I type 120 (well, not anymore because of my arthritis). In the big picture, the average student will never handwrite as fast as keyboard Erasing … Read More

Teacher Conferences will be here before you know it!

I can hear it now….why isn’t ‘Johnny’ progressing in his work?  Why can’t he take good notes?  Why can’t he keep up in class? Well, you are not alone if you hear those words!  As parents, we go into overdrive to solve these problems.  We don’t like to see our kids struggling.  We see that look of defeat on their faces and it drains us-we hate to hear them say, “I’m just not smart”! There are many answers for those questions.  I can help in the written communication aspect of learning.  Writing is an important skill for ALL students.  However, some students find writing extremely difficult to learn and to master.  As the Director of an educational program at the Ben Bronz Academy in Ct. I worked with many students who had a hard time manipulating a pencil/pen.  We introduced … Read More

A Simple Solution for a Struggling Student!

Yesterday I visited a friend whose child just started 4th grade. He was at the kitchen table doing his ‘homework’. The assignment was to write about his summer vacation. The first thing I noticed was the look on his face as he contorted it in frustration. I wondered where this struggle was coming from so I watched him…There it was! The dreaded “pencil syndrome!” He was gripping the pencil in an unusual way and had a hard time forming the letters. His eraser was getting a good workout! He was fumbling, stumbling and bumbling his way through the paper. Of course, the meltdown came half way through the paper and the mom started finishing it for him!!! Unfortunately, this is NOT an uncommon occurrence! There are many different motor skills that go into writing. Writing is an important skill to … Read More

The Reason your Student is NOW Smiling!

As parents it’s so hard to peek into a room and see your child struggling with their homework!  We know something has to be done to relieve some of this pressure on our child but where do we turn? My first suggestion would be to look for an ‘intervention’  as soon as possible!  To be clear, an Intervention is a planned set of procedures that are aimed at teaching a specific skill to a student.  It’s more than a single lesson and less than an entire curriculum. Deciding what intervention option to use should not be made lightly. It will take much contemplation on what is the best for your child, what your finances will allow, and if you are willing to carry through with any of these choices. As a parent I did two things that made a big … Read More

What Inspires Me

A-ha Moments…that’s what a teacher lives for. That moment of sudden realization in a student who has finally ‘gotten it’.  When the recognition of a student’s success causes their face to light up and a smile to form across their face.   Recently, I heard from a father who said,  “you don’t know me, but I have to say how impressive your method is! My late Asperger’s son was also so frustrated with the pen/pencil, but flourished on a keyboard.  Keep up the good work”. I wanted to know more about his son and asked for a bit more information on his success story.  These are some of the comments: “My son Ryan, who with Asperger’s Syndrome and legally blind, had some real challenges in being able to keep up with mainstream class work, especially in regards to getting his … Read More

Out with the Old… In with the New!

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” John D. Rockefeller Doesn’t that say it all!  My new mission is to get schools to throw out their ‘old school mentality’ and embrace the new ways of doing things.  Students have a different mentality towards learning because of the way they were brought up with technology.  Their brains work faster, their learning style is quicker and they expect to multitask as they are learning. As Alan Cohen says: “It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” … Read More

Time to get serious about the Typing Program you are using!

I read an article in The Hartford Courant about “allowing students to bring to school any online device they had- Smartphone, tablet or laptop- for use in class as teachers saw fit.”  Educators are realizing that it makes no sense to stop students from using the digital tools they use outside of school.” I totally agree with this but I do have one concern.  Why would you hand a student a laptop and NOT teach them how to touch type beforehand?  You don’t drive a car until you take driver’s ed….you don’t jump into a pool before you learn to swim….you don’t give a child a book without teaching them how to read first.  My point is that there are steps to learning how to do something.  You don’t start at step 10 and work backwards!  You start at the … Read More

I found my Passion!

I have been a very happy educator for the past 23 years….There is nothing better than to see a student overcome an obstacle and see themselves as confident and successful. As Mickey Rooney says, “You always pass failure on the way to success.” My job is to be sure I give my students enough skills to use when fighting for success.  There will be plenty of roadblocks in their lives.  The secret is to be able to jump over the obstacles and keep yourself in a forward motion. As Sir Winston Churchill reminds us, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” So now I HAVE come upon a personal roadblock.  I have noticed that one skill is missing from their curriculum….learning how to touch-type.  Now you may think this is a … Read More


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