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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 belmolis ( 702863 ) <billposer AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:45AM (#29347777) Homepage

    Teaching children touch-typing is an excellent idea, but high school is much too late. Even junior high school kids have reports to write, and still younger kids are using computers. Touch-typing should be taught in elementary school. As far as the curriculum is concerned, grade five or six would probably be alright, but it might need to be earlier to prevent kids from fossilizing bad two-finger habits.

    I went to an unusual school that taught touch-typing in grade six back in 1968. We didn't have personal computers then, but for me it was a godsend as I have awful handwriting. Judging from my experience in that school, sixth graders have no difficulty learning touch typing.

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @03:19AM (#29348015) Homepage

    Ya, and homerow bullshit is the cause of much of the hand crippling RSI that people experience. It's sad that something so obvious as "that's not natural" has to be argued for.

    I've been typing most of the day for 35 years and my hands are fine. All I needed to know was "watch your posture and keep your wrists straight," which my mother told me in about 15 seconds. Not worth a slot that could be used for an actual class on something important.

  • by BeanThere ( 28381 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @05:46AM (#29348807)

    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"?

    Similarly with touch typing.

    Are you stark raving mad? Do you have any idea how many people have to use computers at work on a daily basis? Unlike tabulation machines, there's a keyboard on almost every desk in the world these days - yet you equate the two, and get modded up!? And most of the users type painfully badly ... imagine every single one of them could type better, faster, more efficiently. Yeah, totally obsolete and useless.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @06:55AM (#29349119)

    People can call BS on parent, but I've seen his type. I work with 2 developers that do what I think of as 2 finger touch typing. The first time I saw it IRL i just about fell on the floor laughing. The guys hands were a frickin blur. Sure you'll never get wrist injuries, you're using your whole arm.

    I'd post a video of it to youTube, but the guy is my boss and I don't want to make him think I'm antagonizing him.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.