USN Lower School Technology!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Typingtypingtyping--Plus Drawing for Children!

It's a landmark decision: I've followed, for a good while now, discussions about children as young as 1st grade learning to touch-type fluently; but what has always kept me from teaching keyboarding earlier than 3rd grade was an abiding belief that until children have a reason to type enough to learn the wrong way, they are not ready to work on acquiring that skillset. Well, our school's emphasis on writing this past year leads me to believe that it would serve our 2nd graders well to get them into "proper" patterns of touch-typing technique. Hence the introduction I'm leading them through, this week, to Type to Learn 3. So far, I'm very encouraged by their interest and focus. Stay tuned!

By the way, it's not my policy to encourage purchase of this program for home use: USN's invested in it already. If you feel the need for your child to practice typing at home, there are a lot of fun (Spongebob, Mario, etc.) programs you can purchase to allow them to do that, and we'll be looking at some fun free online options in future weeks.

3rd and 4th graders continue their TTL3 work, and Kindergarten and 1st graders will be discovering the great Windows freeware drawing program, "Drawing for Children." There's a link to its download site at the Webliographer in the "Keyboarding" topic, if you want it on your home computer. Technically speaking its downside is that it stores saved pictures in very large (~1.2 Mb) bitmaps, but its cost (free) and its commensurate availability to all students with Internet access trumps that disadvantage.

A couple bonus pictures taken during Mr. Hooper's kindergarten class's discovery of Drawing for Children. Ever wonder why I do this work? Here's one reason:

and another:
and perhaps my most compelling reason is illustrated to the left: helping children know that it's okay to help one another!


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