How to Develop a New Skill

As the President of Keyboard Classroom for the past 6 years, my passion has been to teach students how to type successfully so they can have a skill that they will take with them from their school years into their career years.

My three main reasons for teaching students to type are:

  •  If you wouldn’t give a child a book without  teaching them ‘how’ to read then WHY would you put a computer in front of a student without teaching them ‘how’ to type?

  • Typists are better writers because touch-typing frees the mind from mechanics, allowing students to focus on ideas.

  • Typing is a skill they’ll use every day!

My goal is to get parents and students to understand how important it is to develop typing skills when they are in elementary school.

Here are some steps for “developing a new skill.”

♦  Clearly identify the skills you actually want to build:
When trying to identify the skill you want to build, you need to be able to state it specifically enough so that you can easily devise a plan for building that skill.  Ask yourself these two questions, “what do I specifically want to learn?” and “why do I want to learn it?”

Set aside time to focus specifically on building those skills:
When building this skill you will need persistence, and persistence is a commitment to practicing that skill every day, or at least frequently enough that you don’t begin to forget what you’ve learned before the next session

Invest in top-quality resources for learning.
Many people attempt to learn a new skill by using free tutorials or a hand-me-down book bought at a garage sale in 1972. Don’t!  Ask people who are experts what they recommend for a beginner. Gather good resources, not whatever you stumble across. Don’t skimp on the quality of the learning resources.

 ♦ Use something in the “real world” to work on as you learn:
For some skills, merely practicing will suffice, but for others, it pays great dividends to work on a real project as you learn your skills.  When learning how to type be sure to type papers, emails and reply to Facebook and LinkedIn as much as you can.  This will reinforce the transfer of what you are learning to your real life actions.

Get started. Now. Not later:
Just do it. If you’re sitting there thinking, “Yeah, that sounds good, but it seems like too much effort”, just toss that kind of thinking aside and get started. Set aside some time each day for this – even just fifteen minutes – and start digging in. Commit to it, start learning, and you’ll never regret it.

So, for the goal of learning how to type, here are some answers to some important questions:

What skills do I want to build?  I want to be able to learn how to type without looking at my fingers.

What’s the game plan?  I will practice 15 minutes a day.

What resources am I using?  There are hundreds of free online typing programs and programs that use games and cartoon characters to teach typing.  It’s important to weed through all the junk and find a program that has documented pedagogy.  You want to learn how to type by building muscle memory in your fingers by use of repetition.  This will allow you to learn the location of the letters without much thought! You want a program with a proven track record of accomplishing the new skill in a set period of time.

What are my clear goals?  My goals revolve around being able to type without using the “hunt and peck” method.  I want to be able to look at the screen while I type.  I want to be able to cut down on the time it takes me to write a paper, respond to an email or a Facebook post.

Where will this typing skill take me in life?  Typing with efficiency and consistency can take you places in your school work, career and personal life!

In today’s society, typing is the key to getting a great job. Most jobs require some degree of computer work, and knowing how to type quickly and efficiently will make you more marketable than your fellow worker who simply “finger pecks” at the keyboard. You can honestly state, that learning to type is an investment in your career future.

This entry was posted in Children's typing, Fluencies, kids learn to type, learn how to type for kids, Learn to type, Learning to type, Typing for kids. Bookmark the permalink.

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