Why is Typing still an Elective Course?

By Paul Silli

I was walking around our schools technology-lab watching my students work diligently on the computers. While checking each station, I saw a peculiar thing. Many of my kids had their hands in a ball with one finger sticking out on the keyboard. With this “finger” they were pushing the keyboard buttons, one letter at a time. Of course, I am referring to the “Hunt n peck” syndrome. It’s a phenomenon. 😉 

Most of my 13 year olds are not skilled at typing. You would think with technology being so popular, kids and adults would know how to type. A lot don’t!

I remember back in the late 80s… being a Hunt n peck myself, the frustration of not being able to find the “w” on a keyboard drove me to take a typing class at my ole’ high school. The school offered an adult-ed. class in typing for a low cost. Taking that course saved my life. Well, that is a bit dramatic. Let me express it helped fix my typing frustrations. I can now find the “w.”  

It is odd typing is not a common skill learned in school. Typing is still considered an “elective course” at the secondary levels. Learning how to type should be mandatory with today’s “techie” market. Don’t ya think?

Here are two links that can help you learn how to type online: 

Thought ~

Make typing fun. Practice typing topics you enjoy such as your favorite recipes or poems. 


18 Responses to “Why is Typing still an Elective Course?”

  1. Ayrolyn Says:

    If we are truly considering technological fluency as a necessary skill than typing and other basic computing behavior should be a mandatory skill. Yet… we do have to be careful at what level coursework is mandated.

    Will your kids need to take a full course in typing? Or will you teach this at home along with the use of birth control and how to cook?

  2. Ayrolyn Says:

    I want to be able to provide the education that I am capable of providing and allow our educated specialists to instruct in coursework I will not be capable of providing. Ex: I can teach my kids how to balance their checkbook and do laundry, I cannot teach them Math Analysis or AP Calculus. This is where the mandate of coursework becomes a burden, students only have so many hours in the day. I feel similarly with PE. Why are students who participate in 4 or 5 varsity sports still made to take physical education during the school day at some schools? Talk about waste of time!!!

    And I digress…

  3. James Blake Worley Says:

    Great links. I’ll get my cousin caught up with the 21st century. Thanks.

    I agree wholeheartedly that typing should be a mandatory skill taught in schools. You could possible put two together, a typing and texting class. Then again the students might be able to teach me more about texting than I could teach them.

  4. gatorball Says:

    Thanks for the comments. Yes, I agree with your perpectives. Typing should be mandated; but the second you do that, PE instructors will jump to say PE classes can reduce obesity problems, and improve health… which can be true. It is a difficult call. I do think learning to type leads to better academic and occupational careers. It is an essential skill.

  5. Carolyn Says:

    I agree with your comments and where I teach all students (preferably 9th or 10th grade) take a computer class where they have the opportunity to learn the keyboard or to improve their keying skills. Students learn valuable computer skills that help them throughout their high school years. Some students never learn to key using proper technique because they do not have the discipline, but at least they learn computer skills they can use in high school and beyond. Some students choose to test out of the class.

  6. malujan Says:

    Totally my case! I remember being taught and it never quite stuck, I think I’m an odd case because I use 6 fingers! It’s always frustrating because it takes while t retrain your motor skills (by the way this happens in the spinal cord believe it or not!).

    Thanks for the links, I’m going to give it a shot maybe I;m not too late. I strongly agree it’s a huge plus to learn it well at an early age and it would make your life easier.

  7. jnhack Says:

    This is SO interesting…I agree. My school has a typing program to help students with typing, but it isn’t mandated. I would agree that computer/typing course should be mandated for elementary school students, so they have the skill before middle school. Hopefully someday, people will start to realize the benefits of it or realize that students need this skill.

  8. Ryan Adams Says:

    It is a required class in Lawrence, kansas. the kids can “test out” if they can type fast enough. Every kid by 8th grade has to have it. Although, in high school. I got a D- in typing so I’m not a big fan of the class. 🙂

  9. Paul, gatorball Says:

    Hey, thank everyone for the great comments. I do think that typing should be mandated. This way it would force students to develop essential skills with the computer. A lot of classes teach software uage, but forget that many students can’t type fast enough because they don’t know how. Later, when they get into college or a job, this skill will be vital. For example, many tests are essay timed on the computer. I will hope for the best. 🙂

  10. czimber Says:

    Interesting point. I think it really makes sense to mandate keyboarding from a young age. Our world is obviously going towards the computer and there will be no going back.. Providing all children with this skill early on will only make it easier to effectively include applications that require typing in the classroom and will provide young people with a skill they will no doubt use for the rest of their lives.

  11. ramie macioce Says:

    It’s just like anything. If you don’t learn how to do it correct from the very beginning it will be harder to change down the road. I actually never took typing in school…however, I had a mom who taught me the proper fingers so even though I was very slow I used the correct fingers. I type a lot faster now, probably because I have to type so much. It is an invaluable skill that will benefit kids if they know how to do it correctly.

  12. elementaryteacher Says:

    I just found your blog today, and I’m glad to see you are writing on this issue. It has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time.

    When I was in junior high, typing was a required course for all seventh-graders. Even though in one semester our typing speeds were minimal (25 wpm average), I took one semester in high school (elective) which later enabled me to get a job a s a receptionist and have a skill to support myself. I later went back to school and got a college degree while working as a secretary during the day (with a college level typing course under my belt). I type 70 wpm and it has been perhaps the skill which has helped me most in every area of my life. I’m a teacher, as well as a prolific writer. If I couldn’t touch type, and quickly, I’d be far less successful. It’s a life skill right up there with addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

    When I moved to the Middle East, I was suddenly confronted with keyboards in different formations of letters. I had to reteach myself to type on a differently-arranged keyboard (it took several months). French and German keyboards both have different arrangements than English keyboards, as well as different from each other. I am also confronted with Arabic keyboards which have a different arrangement (and western letters also marked on the keys, but neither in a French, nor English arrangement).

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

  13. Paul Says:

    Wow Eileen… You have skills! I am impressed at the many languages and speed in which you type. It is such an important skill to have with technology being required in just about every career field. I am glad you support my ideas for the need of typing to be a mandatory course learned at the secondary levels. Without it, many of our kids will enter todays market and will not be ready for many jobs that require typing skills. As you know many entry level college exams (essay portions) are typed and timed. Learning how to type well is so important. 😉
    PS_ Oh, I am not the fastest typist. Maybe 40 wpm if I am lucky. lol

  14. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  15. Cool Beans Says:

    I remember how I hated taking typing class in high school. However, looking back, I have to say its been one of the most beneficial classes and skills I picked up during that time. It teaches an invaluable skill necessary in today’s workforce. This hasn’t been mentioned, but the typing class I took also taught us proper formating guidelines when it comes to letters (business vs personal), envelopes, resumes, etc. While we were honing our typing skills we were also learning how to format letters, resumes, and other documents that people use on a daily basis.

  16. Bloo Says:

    I agree with Nunya Beezniss. Taking computer skills IS stupid!!! IT SHOULD BE BANNED!!!!!!!!!!!!! X(

  17. Nunya Beezniss Says:

    Bloo is AWESOME! I am in computer skills right now…SHHH!

  18. albertlee2011 Says:

    Thank you for shared information

    Regarding typing test,
    In the 1980’s typing speed was one of the criteria to get jobs anywhere.
    But slowly this trend stopped and typing speed was not important to most of the employers.
    This is the reason why typing tests, which were once very popular suddenly, vanished from the scene.
    However recently we see a growing shift in the attitude of the employers

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