USN Lower School Technology!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Keyboarding for Kids!

Our 3rd graders started Keyboarding for Kids this week, learning to login and to concentrate on typing in "home row key position" without looking at their hands. Last year, the 3rd graders took home textbooks and were encouraged to use the program every day, but on an optional basis. That experience taught me that it is better to keep instruction and lessons for K4K in-house and not to expect our already generally "overbooked" students to choose to perform extra homework, even if it is especially helpful and useful to them. SO, my goal this year with 3rd graders is to instill good foundations for correct typing and I intend to work with them in scheduled computer lab periods to do so.

4th graders, of course, are still working at home, hopefully every day. The more they work the better typists they will be!!! They are working harder than I've ever seen 4th graders work, on their story planning and writing, under the firm and experienced guidance of their wonderful teachers. Parents can help at home by using these four words whenever your child is typing:
"home--row--key--position." *

I hope that parents have enjoyed the Halloween drawings created with Drawing for Children in the lab this week. HS Tech Coordinator Penny Phillips had her High School Computer Helpers create new data files of clipart and stamps for the program and my own HS helpers installed them on each computer to allow our LS students to create those individual and fun little drawings. Meanwhile, they're learning a lot about how graphical user interfaces work (sneaky, huh?).

2nd graders are winding down their Type To Learn 3 work this week, toward an earlier version of beginning typing skills acquisition. We'll start doing other fun things next week!!!

*image from

Friday, October 21, 2005

Kindergarten and 1st graders have been exploring's new UpToTen Premium @ School site this past month. University School of Nashville proudly became the site's first school account as a result of my work with the site's founder and manager, Jason Barnard. Jason lives and works on the Pacific Ocean island of Mauritius and perhaps one day he'll fly me out for a visit! I am happy to have helped him share his rich site with teachers of young children because the site is kind, gentle, and fun--three qualities not always shared by online offerings for children! The basic site with its hundreds of developmentally appropriate games will always be free, though there is now a subscription fee for individual memberships which allow access to hundreds more new games and songs. Now, as of the month of October 2005, the Premium site is all free for schools to use with their technology programs! See for more info!!!