Most K-12 schools are providing keyboarding for students, but why is this skill so important? In the following article, we discuss the importance of keyboarding and how it supports students not only in education, but also in future careers.
Importance of Keyboarding for Students
There are many benefits to providing keyboarding lessons for students. Not only does it help to provide crucial technical skills, but also helps to support better learning and career opportunities in the future.
While keyboarding used to be considered an “office” skill, its scope has recently expanded far beyond that. Keyboarding is regularly used in school lessons and projects, as well as in most modern careers. By helping students to master these skills, we help them to be more effective, productive, and confident when they are faced with a task requiring keyboarding.
1. Technical Skills
One of the most important reasons for teaching keyboarding to students is to provide technical skills. Keyboarding has become a necessary skill for education and most careers. It has even become an integral part of social relationships, helping to support email, social media, and other forms of communication. By teaching students keyboarding, we are ensuring that they can effectively and efficiently perform tasks that require keyboarding.
2. Helps to Free Up Cognitive Energy
Another important reason for keyboarding for students is to help free up cognitive energy during typing-related tasks. As students are keyboarding in everyday life, such as while typing a book report or later as part of their job function, typing without keyboarding skills can be a slow and arduous process, requiring them to find each letter on the keyboard one at a time. By helping students master keyboarding skills early, they are able to focus less energy on finding the keys during these tasks, freeing them up to concentrate more effectively on what they are trying to communicate.
3. Improves Computer-Based Test Scores in Students
As more assessments and assignments for students take place in a digital setting, it’s more important than ever that students are comfortable and confident using digital tools. Early and consistent exposure to keyboarding tools and practice has a notable impact on students’ performance and test scores in computer-based assessments. Studies, including a 2015 paper regarding the performance of fourth-grade students in the 2012 NAEP computer-based writing pilot, have found that prior education and practice in keyboarding and computer skills improved factors impacting test scores. These factors included text length; use of editing tools, including spellcheck, automated spelling corrections, and the backspace key; and use of thesaurus and formatting tools.
4. Eases Frustration
Students without keyboarding skills who are required to type for a project can quickly become frustrated and disengaged. They may detach from the project or may even refuse to complete it at all. As educators, we know how important it is that a technical skill such as keyboarding doesn’t act as a barrier for entry in learning or completing an assignment. Teaching students keyboarding skills helps to eliminate this hurdle, allowing them to more effectively focus on what they are learning.
5. Increases Confidence
Students who lack keyboarding skills can feel less confident in their schoolwork and education. For assignments that require typing, students may not be able to express their thoughts or ideas as easily as students who have mastered typing skills–or may choose not to engage for fear of embarrassment or frustration. This can lead to lower confidence in learning and may diminish the student’s desire to attain higher education or to seek higher-paying careers that may require typing skills.
6. Supports Digital Equity
There are some students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to master keyboarding skills outside of school. This makes it important to provide the opportunity to learn keyboarding skills in K-12 programs. Making keyboarding a part of elementary curriculum helps to support digital equity, offering students, regardless of socioeconomic status, the ability to master this important skill. This helps not only to provide more equal opportunities in the classroom, but also to open up more equal job opportunities in the future.
Helping students master keyboarding in elementary schools will help them not only with education programs and projects, but also to open more opportunities to them in the future. For more information about Learning.com’s K-12 keyboarding curriculum, click the button below.