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The Case For Mandatory Touch-Typing In High School 705

Hugh Pickens writes "With the perspective of forty-plus years since my graduation, I would say the single most useful course I took in high school was a business class in touch-typing that gave me a head start for writing and with computers that I have benefited from my entire life. So it was with particular interest that I read Gordon Rayner's essay in the Telegraph proposing that schools add a mandatory course in touch typing to the cornerstones of education: reading, writing and arithmetic. 'Regardless of the career a child takes up when they leave school, a high percentage of them will use a keyboard in their daily work, and all of them are likely to use a keyboard in their leisure time,' writes Rayner. 'Touch-typing would help every child throughout their lives — so why are our schools so blind to this?'"
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The Case For Mandatory Touch-Typing In High School

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  • by Useful Wheat ( 1488675 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:33AM (#29347697)

    Say goodbye evolution/creation debate. Say hello keyboard layout wars.

    I won't have you teaching my children DVORAK, you left wing hippie! If QWERTY was good enough for our founding fathers, its good enough for us!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:37AM (#29347731)

    Think about how much it would hurt their texting speed to have to work on a layout as large as a full-sized keyboard.

  • by Supurcell ( 834022 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:37AM (#29347733)
    I don't type very fast, but I also don't really have anything too interesting to say.
  • Equal time (Score:5, Funny)

    by has2k1 ( 787264 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:40AM (#29347745)
    As chairman of the Hunt-And-Peck Association of Typists (HPAT), I demand equal representation in the class room.
  • I don't want their hands to be crippled before they start their first job!

    I wouldn't accept anything less than this: []
    With a adapted proper layout like DVORAK, or for German keyboards NEO ( [] Because compared to this, DVORAK looks like a bad joke of inside-the-box thinking ^^).

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:55AM (#29347855)

    I do not (repeat do NOT) use the "home keys"

    I can understand getting away with not using the ';', but this post itself contains all the home keys.

    You must be some kind of savant.

  • by Rakshasa Taisab ( 244699 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @03:31AM (#29348093) Homepage
    Yeah. They should also get rid of that useless physical education thing, it's useless as it's not really education. Of course, they should keep the small part that is theoretical stuff, perhaps roll it into the biology classes.
  • by MrMr ( 219533 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @03:33AM (#29348105)
    You hire people for your mom's basement?
  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @04:24AM (#29348411) Journal

    It was the single most valuable class I took in High School.

    ...for one handed typing?

  • by RuBLed ( 995686 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @04:36AM (#29348477)
    I touch type so much that the only things I write these days are my signature and various doodles.. Oh wait.. make that various doodles only...
  • by rabiddeity ( 941737 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @05:08AM (#29348637) Homepage

    >>I do not (repeat do NOT) use the "home keys"
    >I can understand getting away with not using the ';', but this post itself contains all the home keys.

    I tore out type ere I wrote, to type up top:
    upper typewriter row, pert repertoire.
    Reporter, I quote to you: To write, pop type out.
    Retire typewriter row two. Your tri-row?
    Rip it out, too. Tour your top row territory.
    Queer tip, you retort? I worry your poor typewriter?
    To torque it out -- typewriter terror?
    You require row two, your tri-row prop?
    You pout, try to quip. (Poor etiquette.) You titter.
    (Poorer propriety.) You utter uppity output?
    Quiet, you! Quit it! You purport to write.
    I tire to peer to your rot, your petty writ,
    to eye your wire report. You write pyrite,
    terrier to torpor. I pity you, preppie yuppie.
    I tutor you, tyro, to uproot your trite tree,
    put type to pyre. Rupture type. Write to write.
    I erupt. I riot. I prototype pure power
    to write. I, upper typewriter requiter.
    I outwit you, too. To perpetuity, I write poetry.
    You, to put it true, putter out rote poop.

    (with regards to Nick Montfort [])

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @07:18AM (#29349229)

    OK, let me get this straight --- your reasoning is basically "I was taught some skills in school that are now obsolete, therefore touch-typing is obsolete"?

    No, the purpose of a modern American school, at least in part, is to teach obsolete middle class skills as rich peoples hobbies, so a school teaching touch typing would be a strong indicator that most computer usage is or soon will be obsolete.

    The educational theory is for the middle class, based on worship of the upper class lifestyle, while confusing cause and effect. A quick summary of the theory would be that only rich people can afford to learn "useless" skills for fun, therefore if you learn useless skills, you'll become rich.

    Example of typical middle class education primary revolving around obsolete skills that are only useful for rich people's hobbies, thus if you have the time to waste to learn them, you must be rich, aspirational, etc:

    1) Music classes - Musician used to be a middle class lifestyle, before the recording cartel/industry/complex took it over. Now only rich people can afford to focus on music.

    2) Art classes - See all that "decorative americana junk" at the walmart, craft store, etc, made in China, to decorate our walls? Middle class people in the USA used to make "decorative artistic americana junk" and sell it to each other but now its all imported from China.

    3) Wood shop classes - Furniture carpenter used to be a middle class american job, before it went to China and/or Amish.

    4) The whole concept of the steam whistle coordinating the middle class worker at the factory assembly line. All that has gone to China except for their kids responding to bells/buzzers at school.

    5) Political Science / Government used to be something middle class folks needed to know, but now the TV tells them all they need to know about politics, or at least the last TV commercial they saw is the only thing that affects them. The only reason for middle class folks to learn about it is to participate (if you are in the oligarchy and have a last name like Kennedy or Bush or Clinton) or as an idle hobby in your spare time.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @08:20AM (#29349583) Homepage Journal

    We count "types per minute", no words. I.e. letters punched. I have no idea how it translates to wpm, probably 1:4 or something.

    Or 1:30 if you're German.

  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:13AM (#29350043) Homepage Journal

    That reminds me of the plaque I saw on the desk of my tax preparers secretary. "Do you want to talk to the man in charge, or the woman who knows what's going on?".

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson