Please check out my guest post for BAM! Radio, What Should You Expect of Younger Keyboarders, a continuation of our on-radio discussion about younger keyboarders. I take the sometimes controversial stand that youngers can keyboard if it’s taught in an age-appropriate and developmentally-healthy manner.
Here’s a teaser:
Before I answer that question, let’s back up a step and answer a more fundamental question: Should you expect youngers to keyboard? I’m talking about students between kindergarten and fifth grade. Are they mature enough? Do they have the fine motor skills required to use the pinkie to push the A key? Do they have that kind of focus and concentration? Should they be playing outside rather than typing at a computer?
The answer is: Yes, as a rule, though when I reviewed the literature on this subject, it is all over the place as far as when students should begin. Some say third grade; some say not until fifth or sixth. From my experience, it’s third grade, though I teach pre-keyboard skills as young as kindergarten. That might be why my students are ready in third grade.
Here’s a caveat: You’ll have to be the arbiter as to whether this is true for your group. If you determine your students aren’t ready, wait a year. You’re the teacher. You’ll know when they’re ready.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Query letters to agents is not for the faint of heart. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.