We are working on the final phase of Text Type 3, the touch typing tutor that can take learners from the home keys to mastery of the whole keyboard and typing sentences. This activity is designed to be as accessible as possible to visually impaired learners as possible. The final version should be accessible even to blind learners, after some initial guidance.
Learning to touch type.
There are some things that you need to know before supporting a learner on the road to touch typing
- Touch Typing is just that. There should be no keeking at the keyboard. Do not look at the keyboard or your hands, all the information you need is on the screen in Doorway Touch Type.
- Touch typing is a motor learning experience. This means not looking at your hands. The best way to ensure this is to cover the learner’s hands with a light cloth. If you truly learn to touch type this skill will last a lifetime like riding a bike. Even learners with mild VI can be tempted to peep.
- Motor learning is a very powerful tool and such skills will remin with you thoughout life. However you need to be careful. An incorrect motor habit is very hard to correct. So get it right from the start.
- You need to get into a comfortable position in which the hands fall naturally onto the keyboard. The surface on which the keyboard stands must not be too high. The wrists may rest on pads if you are typing for a long time.
- A Touch Typing programme is a series of lessons starting with the home keys (A S D F J K L ; ) and leading to full mastery of the keyboard. Moving on to the next exercise without sufficient mastery of the current exercise, will only lead to disappointment later on. A score of 90% or one error in every ten keypresses should be the minimum achievement before moving on. 94% or better is our recommended level of accuracy before moving on.
- Learners benefit from regular practice. Little and often is best.
- Accuracy should come before speed. Start slowly. If you can type at a regular pace, almost to a beat, it will help you achieve a high speed.
- Doorway Text Type is a series of exercises that, followed properly, can lead to a high rate of accuracy in typing and a good rate in terms of words per minute. In handwritten exams with a lot of writing involved. Writing at a rate of 20 words per minute is an arduous task. For a typist that is a low rate of entry. A rate of 40 words per minute is entirely realistic for a sixteen-year-old typist coming up to exams.