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Why I Want My Child to Have Keyboarding Skills

by | Jan 17, 2018 | News

I’m a proud parent of a 3rd grader who, like most kids his age, has grown up with technology. By the time he was two years old, he knew how to unlock my iPad, open GarageBand, and play around with the virtual guitar – his favorite app. His seemingly masterful use of my tablet and phone extended to many of the other apps. He could easily tap, swipe, and move virtual controls on the screen effortlessly before he could even read.

Struggling with Online Assessments

With all the technical prowess that I observed by way of his use of devices, one might tend to think our children come pre-equipped with an inherent knowledge of all things tech. So, you could imagine my surprise when a fellow parent in my son’s 2nd grade class reported that a child burst into tears during the online assessments, because they couldn’t navigate the test and type fast enough.

This was not an isolated incident. Many of the kids struggled to use the mouse, find letters on the keyboard, and navigate through the assessment. Compounded with the time constraints of testing, this created a high-pressure situation for our kids – the same kids that were raised on smartphones or tablets and could tap and swipe with ease. So, how did this happen? I believe, that if we dig a little deeper, we will find there is a big difference between using technology for entertainment versus mastering the tech tools required in school and adulthood.

The Need for Technology

Upon closer inspection, some fundamental ingredients were missing from the apps my son was using in his earlier years such as touch typing (a classic), and hardware and software basics. When those skills are under-developed, and students are required to take assessments online, we end up evaluating our kids more on how well they understand the technology and less on the material itself. Kids who have a deep mastery of digital tools required in school will inevitably have greater success both short and long term.

The role technology has played within our world has changed at an astonishing rate. When I think back to the tech-toys of my youth, the options were much more analog in nature with chunky push buttons and 8-bit sounds. The days of scantrons and #2 pencils are going by the wayside and as parents, we need to give our kids the best chance in this new digital age. That begins with Digital Literacy.

 

You’ve heard about the importance of digital literacy skills from a parent, but now hear from students as they share their struggles and successes with learning necessary digital literacy skills.

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